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Phil Lawrence | Echoes of the Silent Fountain

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Carlo Aonzo Gino DiMichele Matteo Casserino

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United States - California - SF

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Folk: Traditional Folk Folk: Traditional Folk Moods: Type: Instrumental
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Echoes of the Silent Fountain

by Phil Lawrence

Pure traditional Sicilian and Neapolitan instrumental folk music played on two mandolins in perfect harmony with guitar and upright bass accompaniment.
Genre: Folk: Traditional Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Quando tramondo o sole
2:54 $0.99
2. Signora fortuna
2:22 $0.99
3. Se tu sapessi quando ti voglio bene
2:52 $0.99
4. Baciami forte
2:39 $0.99
5. Napuli tutta luce
2:46 $0.99
6. Napuli chi 'na femmine
1:49 $0.99
7. Mezzanotte
2:26 $0.99
8. O detto al sole
2:07 $0.99
9. Creola
2:56 $0.99
10. La Romanina
2:47 $0.99
11. Parlami d'amore Mariu
3:48 $0.99
12. Mazurka per Caterina
2:32 $0.99
13. Campane
3:43 $0.99
14. Tarantella di Micheli
1:59 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Traditional Sicilian and Neapolitan Folk Music/ A Tribute to Matteo Casserino and Gino DiMichele
Phil Lawrence--Mandolins and Guitars/ Eddie Guthman--Bass

"Echoes of the Silent Fountain" is a re-creation of a 1984 LP recording by Matteo Casserino and Gino DiMichele. These two unique musicians were friends of Phil Lawrence. Gino owned a music store in the Inner Sunset neighborhood of San Francisco where Phil used to teach guitar and mandolin; Matteo was born in Sicily but migrated to America in 1936 when he was twenty-three years old. In Sicily he learned to play the music of his homeland and he brought that knowledge with him to the States. He and Gino formed a duo; they used to practice in the music store and Phil was often present as they played. The two older men were always willing and even eager to allow Phil to sit in on their “rehearsals” and that's how Phil learned to the play the music of his own homeland (Phil's grandparents all emigrated from Sicily and his mother had been born there also.)

The 1984 album is titled "The Silent Fountain." It contains twelve traditional southern Italian instrumental tunes and one original by Matteo. Aside from Gino and Matteo, there are two other supporting musicians. Phil's re-creation of this album was recorded in his home studio in Sebastopol between between July and October of 2017. Phil plays the guitar parts and the mandolin parts himself. He began by listening and studying the original vinyl LP; he then used the available sheet music of the melodies to assemble his guitar and mandolin parts track by track until he had perfected Matteo and Gino's music as much as possible Occasionally Phil added his own harmony lines to simulate the parts of the supporting musicians on the original LP. The resulting recording is a very high fidelity, precise rendition of his friends' original recordings, complete with rich harmonies played by twin mandolins. And since the original LPs are nearly impossible to find and their quality of sound preceded the digital era of recording techniques, the public now has a new, cleaner version of these beautiful Italian melodies.

"Echoes of the Silent Fountain" is a tribute CD to Phil's two friends who have long passed away; it is also a tribute to his homeland and his family. The melodies on this recording are rarely-heard, authentic folk tunes. They evoke the enchantment of the Mediterranean Sea, the island of Sicily with its olive groves and citrus trees, the towering volcanoes, Etna and Vesuvius, the color of Italian streets and piazzas, the rhythms of the various dances, and the spirit of the people of southern Italy. There are marches, waltzes, mazurkas, tangos, dramatic ballads, and even an original tarantella by Phil Lawrence. This is folk music played the way it should be played—with loving care and dedication, and a respect for the deep traditions of the elders and the homeland.

"I've listened to the entire preview CD and I must say the arrangements are lovely and enhance the beauty of each dance. My favorites are the mazurkas but I found Phil's composition "Tarantella di Michele" one of the best on the CD. We want to hear more of your compositions, Phil. Didn't I see your book at the slide show? Will you sell these at the Festival? Looking forward your great tribute to Matteo and Gino. Thank you for your heroic efforts in giving their Silent Fountain CD new life! " Sheri Mignano Crawford http://zighibaci.com/

"Not only is it a tribute to our dear, dear friends Matteo & Gino as renowned musicians but you honor and respect the composers and arrangers as well. You have created something with capital B beautiful that can be listened to for a lifetime. Because you were able to provide a preview copy to me, I have played along with each track. Everything is in the right key and 'tempo giusto.'

How many poorly performed versions have I heard in my lifetime? Too many! The Silent Fountain original (cassette tape & LP) set the standard of perfection! I asked myself How could anyone improve on it? That was my initial response to hearing about what you were doing with Silent Fountain. Over the past decade or so Bruce Zweig helped with technical conversion to MP3s, Gus Garelick and his Frittatas contributed great CDs and his group benefited from Gus's arrangements of these classics, and of course, my own ensemble and "Mando Liscio" CD spent much in preparation and rehearsal for our recording at Caffe Trieste studios. But I know that you devoted several months recording, mixing, and perfecting this ensemble of parts.
At first I was doubtful but you won me over. (I can be a stickler but then so are you!) While there are those who incorrectly consider the ballo liscio music genre lacking in complexity, those of us who've devoted a lifetime to it know better. As I've said in numerous posts at Mando Cafe, this music is on the cusp of classical, it deserves to be approached with much care, great attention to detail, and above all with mental concentration, artistic preparation and practice. These are not sight-reading exercises to be inflicted on unsuspecting listeners. These pieces are of such high caliber that a musician must consider how to properly render them.The Maestros exist but for those not lucky enough to learn directly from them, your CD establishes an improved standard. Each track inculcates the true meaning of the ballo liscio tradition. You have raised the cultural curtain and I wholeheartedly salute you on your efforts. Your "Echoes" CD is produced with not only technical expertise but unqualified musicality! Mille Grazie! " Sheri Mignano Crawford http://zighibaci.com/ March 29, 2018 on https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/showthread.php?136773-Italian-Mandolin-music-being-forgotten/page3



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