Monday, December 5, 2011

Sofia Taliani's Soul Kitchen Music Feast

Sofia Taliani (Italy)
(Venice, Italy) The dynamo known as Sofia Taliani has brought together musical friends from all parts of the globe and combined them into a smorgasbord of sound. Sofia Taliani's Soul Kitchen Music Feast is an ongoing project that last took place on October 31, 2011 at 11:30 AM, just before lunch. The setting was the Toffolo shipyard canteen, run by Piero Fortunato, on the island of Giudecca, giving the performance a unique Venetian flavor. Combining classical, opera, world-music, jazz and contemporary music, Sofia initiated a bunch of Venetians, local residents and visitors from all over Europe, children and grownups, into her multicultural world. The place was packed, so full that it was standing-room only.

Jennifer Cabrera Fernandez (Mexico)
Sofia's bio:  Sofia Taliani was born in Rome. A singer, pianist and composer who grew up musically in London and Vienna. Her music is a very personal fusion of classical, jazz, folk and contemporary. 
I asked Sofia how she would describe herself, where her heart was, and she told me she felt "Mediterranean."


I found myself seated in the Austrian contingent with a group of people who knew Sofia from her days in Vienna, plus some members of the Volker Nemmer fan club. Volker plays the piano -- very, very well.


Volker Nemmer (Austria)
The show kicked of with Sofia Taliani herself playing the piano and vamping it up. Sofia is vivacious and gutsy, a joy to listen to and fun to watch, full of positive energy. The performances took place in the center of the canteen, with the audience -- itself a hodgepodge of humanity -- packed comfortably into the remaining space. After Sofia came Jennifer Cabrera Fernandez from Mexico. Jennifer is a dancer and percussionist, and combined both her talents in a riveting performance. David Boato from Italy on trumpet took us on an Autumn Leaves journey through deft jazz riffs and improvisations.


David Boato (Italy)
My favorite performer was Dudu Kouate from Africa on percussion, but percussion like I'd never heard or seen before. Using an assortment of rhythm instruments and noise makers, he took us on a different, more exotic journey into the jungles of Africa, into another culture, into an beautiful, untamed land. Birds sang, wild animals stalked, and water lapped onto the shore. If you closed your eyes and used your imagination, you were actually there in the jungle.


Dudu Kouate (Africa)
Liesl Odenweller is a classically trained soprano from the United States who lives in Venice. I've heard Liesl sing before, but not like this. With a wink and a smile, she transformed herself into a femme fatale and slunk around the piano, chortling clear, sweet notes of delight.

Liesl Odenweller (U.S.A.)
The show wrapped up with variations on Erik Satie's Vexations, the performers -- many of whom had never worked together before -- feeling each other's vibes and improvising their way into an euphonic ensemble. 

From Wikipedia:

Vexations is a noted musical work by Erik Satie. Apparently conceived for keyboard (though the single page of manuscript does not specify an instrument), it consists of a short theme in the bass whose four presentations are alternatively heard unaccompanied and played with chords above. The theme and its accompanying chords are written using strikingly eccentric and impractical enharmonic notation. The piece is undated, but scholars usually assign a date around 1893 on the basis of musical and biographical evidence.


Judging by the appreciative applause of the audience, Sofia Taliana's Soul Kitchen Music Feast was a banquet for the ears and eyes. After the show, the Fortunato family offered up a typical Venetian menu to the line of people flowing out the door.

All the images you see were taken by Stefania Gallucio. Here is a YouTube clip from Sofia Taliana's Soul Kitchen Music Feast back in June. Enjoy!


Ciao from Venice,
Cat
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog

1 comment:

  1. The dynamo known as Sofia Taliani has brought together musical friends from all parts of the globe and combined them into a smorgasbord of sound. Sofia Taliani's Soul Kitchen Music Feast is an ongoing project that last took place on October 31, 2011 at 11:30 AM, just before lunch. The setting was the Toffolo shipyard canteen, run by Piero Fortunato, on the island of Giudecca, giving the performance a unique Venetian flavor. Combining classical, opera, world-music, jazz and contemporary music, Sofia initiated a bunch of Venetians, local residents and visitors from all over Europe, children and grownups, into her multicultural world. The place was packed, so full that it was standing-room only.

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