Hi all! So the Dutch Album is finally out! You can listen to it on SoundCloud (http://soundcloud.com/angeloromano) or Bandcamp (http://angeloromano.bandcamp.com – from the latter you can also download it for free if you want). Widgets are below, by the way, so you can listen to it from here as well. Cheers!
So, the time has come: The Dutch Album will be available for streaming on April 29 via SoundCloud here, and probably also on Bandcamp here, and – obviously – the official music website www.angeloromano.net.
Eight tracks, more than 36 minutes of good fuss. Tracklist follows:
- Into the Sea
- Stuck in a Place with No Name
- Human Resource Blues
- Song #8
- A List of Things
I will also provide a few physical copies handmade here in Berlin later in May. Feel free to get in touch with me in case you are interested. I am also planning to play the Dutch Album live in Berlin at some point after the first half of May (I am going to Romania, then Sicily, for some time now). Dates can be found on the official website too.
So to make it short: Palermo going to Serie B, an unmanageable Italy, Berlin still under the snow in mid-March, recording sessions for the new album still very difficult after three years, a few random personal issues, people around me I really can’t fully understand, a job that is becoming more and more unsatisfying, me getting older, my hair disappearing and, last but not least, I don’t really understand where the heck I want to be like.
Sometimes I’m tempted to go to some small bar with an open mic, scream three or four of those heavy songs of mine and smash the guitar onstage. Or, more simply, to just scream at the moon and reveal to the world how difficult it is for me to be in a situation I struggle to fully keep under control due to a number of reasons. There’s a few things happening over your head which make you think about how life could have been otherwise. Some decisions, some friendships, some events, some small situations that eventually ended up in drastically changing my life (good or bad it might be), situations I can’t get out of, because they’re simply the heart and soul of life itself.
These are all things I have been trying to get rid of for quite a while, since it is the only way I know to control my so-called “inner ghosts”. Because, after a few years of breakaways and troubles I kept hiding under my personal carpet, I feel like having no more alternatives. But then I realize it is not so easy, and that perfectly explains the path of my life, made of so many temporary stops and no single final arrival so far. So now here I am, in waiting, sitting along a river before the flood, but waiting for the spring to hopefully bring good news.
It is the time to write something before the End of the World. There are two chances: either it is everything just foolishness – in that case feel free to read this as my End of Year post – or it is all true, in that case read it as my personal sequence of bits to be left for future generations.
The 2012 year was a quite particular one: I do have a job (and also with an acceptable salary) so I should not complain, however there is a huge part of Europe that is not as fortunate as me, and I feel a bit guilty for that. Well, why? There are a few reasons, actually: firstly, because I am leaving in the one country who is to be blamed the most for all of this, that is, Germany; secondly, because I feel like I am not really offering any contribution whatsoever to improve things. I am here, in a country I effectively dislike, to collect my money by the end of each month without even doing anything to help Italy and Sicily to reclaim their dignity. And this is something that makes me feel really bad.
You might ask: even if I decide to leave everything behind and come back, it might look like a step backwards… Well, perhaps, but perhaps not, who knows? I personally feel like having acquired enough experience and bravery to survive Italy in 2013; there is only one thing I am still missing, and it is money, and without that I am still unable to “make a step in the unknown” as I would like to. So well, I do not know yet. My ideas are still unclear (as they have always been, actually), I have only a tangle of possibilities into my mind, a lot of temptations (but I need at least three or four more lives to realize them, I think) and no long-term plan.
For now I am just going back to Sicily coming Saturday, and then back to the Netherlands (the usual Groningen, a city that – frankly speaking – I miss a bit) from January 9th to 13th, attending the Eurosonic Festival. And then in February back to my island to cast my vote at the elections, to offer my very small voice to change the European economic policies that are threatening the “anonymous” masses more and more. A left-wing vote, a non-populist vote, driven by issues to be handled and solutions to be found, commitments to be taken on power rather than plain criticisms from an opposition perspective, and concreteness and modesty rather than insults to be screamed and musty proclamations to be thawed at the right moment. A vote for Nichi Vendola and SEL – Left Ecology Freedom, to make it simple. (So now you even have my endorsement, you see…)
So, expect some changes from me in 2013. I do not know if I will actually go back to Italy, I do not know if I will leave Berlin, I do not know if I will move back to the Netherlands or just go to Belgium, Spain or wherever else in Europe. I only know I am feeling like a fiery beast tied up against an office chair, who would like to be free to let his whole creativity out and take decisions without having to explain them to anybody but his own dignity. I hope to be able to do all this in Italy if I can have the chance, for sure I will do it in Europe – because I have always believed in a united Europe and still do.
Sorry for the long break. No special reason for that, really; I did not think to make it like that, but it happened.
So, what happened in the meantime? Well, I (sadly) turned 30, started discovering Eastern Europe (must say I had a really good time, especially in Poland), finally made the long awaited journey to Iceland and thought carefully about my future. For now I am still in Berlin: the city is nice, but sometimes I really feel like being totally incompatible with the German culture and lifestyle. Honestly I cannot see a future for me in this country for the long term, but that is no news to me – I always said I wanted to go back home at some point my life. This doesn’t mean I am departing now, obviously; for now I am staying here, even though I can’t see myself being still here “in 5 years” (citing a song of mine).
About music, for now I am kinda blocked by a number of reason I don’t want to get into; I have some plans, and I still hope I can complete my prior recordings at some point. Please refer to http://soundcloud.com/angeloromano for newest stuff (I am hopefully about to release a small EP with new songs soon). Cheers!
It is the time to update this electronic paper thing. I am still alive, strange but true. I still can’t speak German (such a horrible language, it sounds even worse than Dutch) and my job is still here at last. There have been a few messy months, among a number of random journeys (Sicily, Pisa, Prague, Bratislava and Iceland – Iceland is great, by the way), bad-quality and missed guitar jams, a difficult but ultimately completed relocation and the never-ending approach to the 30-year old threshold of mine. Nothing more to say.
I have still not so many plans for the summer: Bon Iver in concert in Hamburg next July, a week in Sicily next June (and probably also a few days in August, still to be confirmed), the Berlin Festival and, most importantly, the legendary Leonard Cohen on the first half of September. No more journeys probably, except maybe for a short visit to Spain or Eastern Europe, but it’s still nothing more than an idea.
Music projects go on slowly as well. The Dutch Album seems destined to become some sort of Chinese Democracy thing, and I can’t rule out the chance to release something else before as things stand: regarding that, SoundCloud seems like leading me to an alternative direction, you can find some work of mine here: http://soundcloud.com/aromano-music.
And well, nothing else indeed. Hear from you for another post, within a few months, or who knows?!?
So I am about to relocate to a new apartment here in Berlin. I will stay in the Prenzlauer Berg neighbourhood (I must admit, it smells like middle-class but I like it) and I can finally get an apartment that really belongs to me, plus I will also be able to save ~100 EUR for the rent, which is not that bad.
All of this will obviously slow down the development process for the new album. Plus, after several listenings of my demos and following my acquisition of a handful of percussions (including a pedal-based cajón), I am less and less convinced about the quality of what I have recorded in the last few months (the first sessions started in July 2011!) and I am seriously considering the possibility to throw away everything and start again from scratch. This would naturally mean a longer time to see the new album. In such case I might also decide to release only eight songs instead of twelve (should this happen, I already know what songs to put off the list). I don’t know really, but for sure nothing will be released on February.
By the way, just to inform you, there is a chance I might perform live in Berlin; I am looking forward to play at some “open mic” event, performing with a guitar and percussion based set…
Here’s an update regarding the new album. Recording sessions for “The Dutch Album” are almost over, I am currently busy with mixing the songs and cleaning up the arrangements a bit. The whole thing should be out for February, so it is just a matter of weeks. I can announce the tracklist, it is made of twelve songs:
- Toxic People
- Human Resource Blues
- Into the Sea
- The Stage Song
- Stuck in a Place with No Name
- Song #8
- 200 Reasons
- Sankt Pauli
- Ombra Latina
- A List of Things
From these songs, Slivers is the only instrumental piece, whereas Ombra Latina is sung in both Italian, Sicilian and English; the remaining ten songs are all in English instead.
And, for you people, here are two anticipations: two demo versions of Human Resource Blues and Slivers. Be aware: these are not definitive versions, so they might change a bit when released. You are obviously encouraged to leave your opinion: I am actually trying to get as much feedback as possible so that I can fix the songs up before they will be published. Enjoy.
So here is my end of year considerations. Never easy to do them, as my life is not really that trivial.
The 2011 year is going to end, and so I am about to fly back to Sicily for Christmas as I have always done. I will be back in Berlin for the night of the 27th, due to reasons not completely dependent from my own desire, and I will spend New Year’s Eve in Germany (I am not that excited about it, I have to admit). Then, on the 11th of January I will go back to the Netherlands after almost four months in order to attend the Eurosonic Festival in the city of Groningen, where I spent two and a half years and, despite all, remains the city closest to my own way of living. I mean, Berlin has its own peculiar, interesting style: but the relaxed, quiet life of the Netherlands is probably much fitting to the kind of profile I am.
As usual I have no plans for my future. After years of wandering around, I am just hoping to be able to move back to Italy one day, given the circumstances. The crazy (but appealing) idea to move to Barcelona has basically become impossible following the outcome of the latest Spanish general elections and the huge economic crisis of Europe, so a comeback to the Netherlands is presumably the only viable alternative to Berlin, should I theoretically decide to leave Berlin tomorrow morning. However, I have never moved backwards in my 29 years life, mostly because of a personal stubbornness, so this option is quite unlikely as well. Regarding my music, I have sort of stopped recording my new album due to lack of motivation, however I am currently seeking for potential collaborations aimed to enter into the huge Berlin music scene. And, lastly, I am also searching for a new home from March 2012, when I will be forced to leave my current apartament, at the 4th floor of a building not far from a minor S-Bahn train station, located in a dead residential area of the city.
So time to say goodbye. Enjoy your holidays, here is the song for you, This time I want to surprise you with “Salato parte uno” from Jovanotti, 2002. Totally unrelated with rap despite the musician’s past: a piece the sounds kind of South American, and that phrase about a “word inside a book in the Babel library“, a quite classy piece of lyrics and a clear homage to Jorge Luis Borges. And also a good metaphore for my occasional feelings, after 11 years spent around Italy and the world without a real goal.
All that you taste, all you feel.
All that you love, all that you hate
All you distrust, all you save.
All that you give, all that you deal
All that you buy, beg, borrow or steal.
All you create, all you destroy
All that you do, all that you say.
All that you eat and everyone you meet
All that you slight and everyone you fight.
All that is now, all that is gone
All that's to come and everything
under the sun is in tune
but the sun is eclipsed by the moon.