Tuesday, 26 February 2013


E le castagne d’India hanno un buon sapore
e nascono quando il sole e caldo e vuole fare l’amore.
E cascano sul prato e rotolano a valle
dove i bambini giocano tra i papaveri o nelle stalle.
E la Provenza è gialla e fredda come il sole del Nord
che riscalda il baleniere e Moby Dick.
E mi hai parlato di vecchi marinai che bevono tè di cipolle
e che stanno tutto il giorno in mare come i contadini tra le zolle.
E il vento fuori era forte e ho bussato alla porta della Ircia
che mi ha offerto un liquore d’erbe e un castello.
E abbiamo acceso il disco delle stelle
e mi e scivolato di mano il suo profumo
e le barchette della mia mente
erano belle, erano belle, erano belle...


The horse-chestnuts taste good
and they arise when the sun is warm and wants to make love.
They fall on the meadow and roll downstream
where children play among the poppies or in the stables.
And Provence is yellow and cold like the northern sun
that warms up the whalers and Moby Dick.
You've talked to me about old sailors who drink onion tea
who spend all day afloat just like farmers among the clods.
There was a strong wind outside and I knocked on Ircia's door
who offered me an herbal liqueur and a castle.
We have spinned the long-play record of the stars
and her perfume has slipped out of my hands
and the little boats of my mind
were beautiful, beautiful, beautiful...

[from the lyrics of "Erbe" / "Herb"]

Well-known Italian musician, composer and director Andrea Liberovici was born in 1962 in Venice, where he spent his youth before moving to Genoa.

Son of Sergio Liberovici (one of the most active musicians in the Italian music scene after World War II and founder - along with Michele Straniero - of the Cantacronache group, prime movers of the folk music revival and important representatives of the new political song movement in Italy) and of Margherita Galante Garrone (better known as Margot, singer-songwriter and also part of the Cantacronache), Andrea grew up in a stimulating environment and easily followed his parents' footsteps.

Liberovici studied composition, violin and viola at the Venice and Turin conservatories, acting at the Scuola del Teatro Stabile in Genoa and singing with Cathy Berberian at the International Festival in Montalcino.

Anyway, legend has it that he discovered rock music when he was twelve years old, while on holydays in London, after attending a Rolling Stones concert. So, feverish of rock, he didn't hesitate a moment to join a few groups that used to play in pubs in the city. Back in his home town, Liberovici bought the whole Stones discography and spent the winter listening to the records inside and out. During his next holydays he flew again to London for three months and, like all artists on the road, he earned a living playing violin in the London Underground and found a roof occupying houses with other youngsters like him... [1]

Years later, as composer and director, he co-founded the Teatro del suono (Theatre of sound) in 1996, with the poet Edoardo Sanguinetti and Ottavia Fusco. Over the last decade Liberovici created a lot of projects which explored the relationship between music, poetry, theatre and technology, in collaboration with such renowned artists as Peter Greenaway, Claudia Cardinale, Aldo Nove, Judith Malina, Vittorio Gassman, Giorgio Albertazzi, Enrico Ghezzi, Ivry Gitlis, Regina Carter.

More recently, his music has been performed by Nouvel Ensemble Moderne (Montreal), Toscanini Orchestra, Teatro Carlo Felice Orchestra and others. These works have also been presented and produced by landmark cultural institutions such as Teatro di Roma, La Fenice in Venice and Salle Olivier Messiaen in Grenoble.

He has also worked in residence at INA-GRM and France Culture in Paris, STEIM Center for research and development in Amsterdam and GMEM National Centre of Musical Creation in Marseille. His music and shows have been presented in Italy and in international cities such as New York, Paris, Athens and Montreal.

«I was born in Giudecca (...one of the islands in the Venetian Lagoon...) and I spent my entire youth in the city, studying at the Conservatory. I was a curious and restless spirit, before my 16th birthday I released my first album, "Oro" ("Gold", 1978), which included songs of a transgressive nature, entirely composed by me, which were born from precocious musical experiences I had along with friends of mine when I used to play in the streets. The venetian producer Ermanno Velludo, also a great engineer, took care of production. A milanese producer passing by Venice produced the following album "Liberovici" (1980), but from that moment I decided to change direction, in controversy with the power of the record labels that often constrain the creativity of an artist.» [2]

«Our home, in Venice, was populated by artists; the full Living Theatre lineup used to pay a visit. My playmate and buddy-buddy, both as a child and as an adolescent, was Serena Nono - daughter of Luigi - now a painter. She was my next-door neighbor and her home, as you would easily guess, was just as full of music and of meetings. Let's say that I was very lucky! My anarchist-creative spirit was not censored, but indeed profoundly encouraged by the people around me (friends, relatives and strangers).   [...]   I always played a bit of everything, before and during the Conservatory: from guitar to piano and flutes. I started the Conservatory when I was in junior high school and attended it, more or less, up to when I was sixteen-year-old.   [...]   My true icons were Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones and then Patti Smith. I was fascinated by their singing style.» [3]

«I think that "Oro" is a small declaration of absolute candour and amazement. I wrote it, lyrics and music, at the age of 14, but this wouldn't mean much. Indeed, generally speaking, the more you're young and the more you're inclined to refer to models. Instead I think that this album was, although born of many influences, very personal and, therefore, inevitably sincere. I love it very much. It's one of my creations that I love the most.» [3]

«I've been very lucky about my parents. All three. My mother Margot, an author, singer and puppeteer, my father Sergio, a composer and teacher with whom I lived for just a short time, and Giovanni Morelli, a musicologist who passed away some years ago, with whom I grew up. It was a wonderful family that deliberately throwed me into a magic potion cauldron, just like Obelix, filled with music and theatre. I came out from that pot (...at one point I was about to drown...) with many efforts and also with a great indigestion. Once digested, I found myself in the cauldron again, but with a joyful gratitude for those wonderful flowers who have placed me in the world and that have chosen art literacy from the world for me.» [4]


This four-pages insert with lyrics and detailed credits was included in the early copies of "Oro"


[1] translated from a short feature/interview published on "Albo Varietà Motori" magazine, 1980

[2] translated from a feature/interview by Riccardo Petito published in "Il Gazzettino", n. 174, 25th July 2004

[3] translated from the book "Officine Liberovici" published by Marsilio Editori, Venice, October 2006

[4] translated from an interview conducted by Filippo Bordignon, 2012

"Oro" contains the following tracks:

01. Erbe [Herb] (4:25)
02. Risotto [Risotto - Italian rice dish] (5:28)
03. Tibet [Tibet] (5:29)
04. Giovane artista da ritratto [A Young Artist For a Portrait] (4:55)
05. L'uomo, il brigante, l'assassino [The Man, the Bandit, the Assassin] (2:57)
06. Indicazioni [Indications] (3:44)
07. La balena, il mare e Joe nel suo cuore [The Whale, the Sea and Joe in Her Heart] (7:57)

All tracks were remastered from the original vinyl in February 2013, they include complete artwork reconstruction and printable PDF files.

24.11.2018 Update: sorry guys, no downloads and no audio previews are available for this release...

Andrea Liberovici, 1978

According to my archives, I purchased a second-hand copy of "Oro" sometimes in 1988, so this record has stayed with me for some 25 years, wow...! When I bought it, I already owned a copy of his next album "Liberovici", which was included in a stock of LPs given to me the previous year by my older brother, who in turn had got them as a gift from someone else who was not interested into them...

In 1987 I was 17 years old, just the same age that Andrea Liberovici was in 1979 when he recorded his provocative second album (...which, reissued some years ago in a rare CD edition, will surely be the subject of a post here on Stereo Candies sometimes in the future...) and I couldn't help but identify with many of the verses of the songs included there.

Given the young age of the musician, and aware that the LP was simply entitled with the author's surname, I thought that "Liberovici" was his first and only album... Since I had enjoyed that record so much, a great joy filled me as I discovered that the author had already released another LP a couple of years before.

The difference between the two records is clear right from the cover: while on "Liberovici" Andrea appears almost emaciated, gazing at us with a mixture of challenge and resignation, "Oro" shows him offering a beautiful smile under a huge pair of glasses, a guitar over his shoulder and a nice "No Nukes" button.

Regarding the difference of the music contained on these albums, I would like to quote what has been written here by someone else: "Liberovici" «summarized 70s' Glam, Funk-Rock, New Wave, "cantautore style" (singer-songwriter) in a way that was already pure 80s' postmodernism. The lyrics as well were a collection of the past decade's alternative culture slogan and clichés: drugs, sex, new social and family relations, spirituality. Everything's fluorescent and overilluminated; exaggerated and yet stylized.» while "Oro" is «sort of an end-of-course essay for a precocious, brilliant child musician, the work of a teenager trying to impress the world, attempting to be profound and provocative, while he mostly sounded naive, and eventually innocuous. The music is a mash up of Canterbury-like pop with rockish rushes and some avant tricks. The whole album is actually interesting, but the one track that stands out is "Risotto", which is also a strong link, both musically and lirically, to his incredible second record.»

"Erbe" (Herb) begins with a synthesized ambience that leads to a children's choir coupled with a toy mallet instrument, before a saxophone introduces the real song structure which features organ and slide guitar among the other instruments. Andrea's voice is gentle and somehow clumsy; the lyrics to this song are very descriptive and seems to be infused with literary references. The choir and soprano voice that appear during the second half of the song definitely help to build a fairytale atmosphere, top stuff in my humble opinion!

"Risotto" (Risotto - Italian rice dish) is the most rockin track of the album. During this number Andrea screams all the time his incredible lyrics filled with quotes, puns and rhymes, a complete nonsense that has an absurd charm as it is supported by a continuous alternation of solos played on guitar, violin and saxophone. The reason why the song bears this title escapes me, maybe the author wanted to convey the idea of ​​a potpourri, or at least that could be an explanation. As pointed before, this song is a strong link to Liberovici's second album that was released two years later.

"Tibet" (...well, Tibet...) commits its arrangement solely to the acoustic guitar and proposes a singer-songwriter dimension where the author's voice is accompanied by recordings of distant radio broadcasts, some occasional synthesizer lines, a few other "special effects" and nothing else. The lyrics begin with the tale of an imaginary journey and then develope in a less understandable way. At the end of the song you can listen to the recording of a phone call made ​​by a certain Ermanno (... probably Ermanno Velludo, producer of the album...) who tries to speak to a lawyer. The reason for the call will be made known on the second side of the LP...

"Giovane artista da ritratto" (A Young Artist For a Portrait) closes the first side of the album. Musically speaking it could be seen as a kind of megaloop with a vertical structure that slowly builds up with the various instruments overlapping each other gradually as the song proceed. The lyrics describe a sort of black fable, a sick nursery rhyme which has a Medieval quality and reminds me about another famous Italian singer-songwriter which was especially inspired by such themes: Angelo Branduardi. Most of the instruments on this track are played by Paolo Donnarumma, also co-producer of the album, who is an appreciated bassist/guitarist and session man.

Side B begins with "L'uomo, il brigante, l'assassino" (The Man, the Bandit, the Assassin); clocking under the three minutes mark this is the shortest track on the album. The first part of the song leans just on acoustic guitar and is stuffed with weird backwards effects before the other instruments join the arrangement. The lyrics are completely nonsense, a series of rhymes whose only reason for existence is purely phonetic, but that's exactly why they contribute to define the eccentricity and the uniqueness that characterize an album which, we should remember, was completely written by its author before the age of 15.

"Indicazioni" (Indications) is another lively track that can be considered a forerunner of the songs that will appear two years later on "Liberovici". In this short number Andrea twists and shouts about a piece of paper found in an old pair of trousers, whose content leads him to take a walk during which he meets various wacky characters and finally reach "the star he has always seen vanishing"... At the end of this song we finally learn the reason why Ermanno Velludo was trying to speak to a certain Mr. Valente, a lawyer: an elderly woman who probably lives nearby the studio is impeding the sessions complaining about the noise!

"La balena, il mare e Joe nel suo cuore" (The Whale, the Sea and Joe in Her Heart) seems to be clearly inspired by the great modern adventure novels, like Herman Melville's "Moby Dick" and Emilio Salgari's "The Black Corsair", which were probably already digested by the author at this point. Musically speaking, the song is pretty simple, with a sober arrangement that despite the length of the song has no way to grow and emerge from its linearity. Once again, the lyrics tell about a journey, and encompass the end of the album in a sweet naiveté, an alternative fable for children of all ages.

Andrea Liberovici with Patti Smiith, 1978

Here's the credits and personnel list of "Oro":

Andrea Liberovici: voice, acoustic guitar
Nino Smeraldi: slide guitar
Stefano Zabeo: bass
Michele Troncon: drums
Gianni Ancorato: saxophone
Paolo Donnarumma: organ
Choir: Paolo Poniz, Stefano Zabeo, Nino Smeraldi, Franco Costa, Giorgio Alzetta, Alberto Bevilacqua
Soprano: Linda Trevisin
Children playing in S. Vio: Sabrina Bressan, Rossella Pitteri, Laura Peschiutta, Susanna Damato

Andrea Liberovici: voice, banjo, violin
Nino Smeraldi: solo guitar
Paolo Poniz: bass
Stefano Zabeo: rhythm guitar
Michele Troncon: drums
Gianni Ancorato: contralto saxophone

Andrea Liberovici: voice, acoustic guitar
Ermanno Velludo: special effects

Giovane artista da ritratto
Andrea Liberovici: voice, acoustic guitar
Paolo Donnarumma: acoustic guitar, bass and treated bass, electric guitar, voice, percussions
Ermanno Velludo: harmonica

L'uomo, il brigante, l'assassino
Andrea Liberovici: voice, acoustic guitar
Paolo Poniz: bass
Massimo Poli: drums
Gianni Ancorato: contralto saxophone
Piero Tonolo: saxophone
Marcello Tonolo: piano
Angelo Fodde: percussions

Andrea Liberovici: voice
Paolo Poniz: bass
Massimo Poli: drums
Silvano Bertaggia: electric guitars
Gianni Ancorato: contralto saxophone
Piero Tonolo: saxophone

La balena, il mare e Joe nel suo cuore
Andrea Liberovici: voice, acoustic guitar
Stefano Caprioli: piano, organ
Paolo Poniz: percussions

More information about Andrea Liberovici is available here:













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