Singer, writer and actor (he is in the cast of the series Mare Fuori in the role of Don Salvatore Ricci, now in its third season and on air from 1 February exclusively on Raiplay and from 15 February also visible on Rai 2) after a career spanning more than 30 years as the voice of Almamegretta, four solo works, a Targa Tenco win in 2014 in the "Best Performer" category for the album "Dago Red" made with Fausto Mesolella and the EP "Napoli C. le / Dusserdorf" (2021) in collaboration with rapper Lucariello from which was extracted "Aria", a song that opened the final season of the TV series Gomorra, Raiz publishes "Si ll'ammore è 'occuntrario d''a morte", an intimate and respectful homage to one of the most popular Neapolitan singers of the last century and who most influenced him throughout his career. An impassioned work, between narration and sound, which presents ten songs by Bruni performed together with the members of Radicanto: Giuseppe De Trizio and Adolfo La Volpe on lutes, Francesco De Palma on percussion, Giovanni Chiapparino on accordion and Giorgio Vendola on double bass.
Often remembered as 'A voce 'e Napule' for having been able to represent all the city's inhabitants with his songs, from the better-off to the more popular classes, Sergio Bruni, stage name of Guglielmo Chianese, participated 12 times in the Naples Festival, achieving two successes with the songs 'Marechiaro marechiaro' and 'Bella', and debuted in 1960 at the Sanremo Festival together with Joe Sentieri with 'È mezzanotte' and Giorgio Consolini with 'Il mare', finishing 5th and 6th respectively. His meeting with the poet Salvatore Palomba was fundamental, from whose association some of the most famous songs of his discography were born, including 'Carmela' in 1976 and the album 'Una voce una città' in 1980, in which Sergio Bruni set to music Eduardo De Filippo's 'È asciuto pazzo 'o patrone'.
Raiz speaks of the album as follows: I have always sung Sergio Bruni, or rather he has always sung inside me. His music passed through my childhood, accompanying my family's joys and sorrows; his songs belong to the Neapolitan community. My tribute therefore goes beyond that due to the immense artist: this album is a tribute to the world that generated me and gave me all the means of expression. I recorded these tracks with an almost religious respect, a thanksgiving to my city through the work of one of its most representative artists. It has not always been an easy journey, as the emotions that these compositions evoke are strong: just lingering over a few notes has taken me back to the time of my childhood and possibly even further back, to the heart of the generations that preceded me. Today, I feel more complete and at peace, like one who fulfils a long-delayed duty. Thanks therefore to Sergio Bruni and thanks to Naples: mother, lover, goddess. This album is dedicated to the memory of my mother Anna Esposito, without whom I would not have been able to sing a single word, and to the life of my daughter Lea, to whom I hope to be able to pass on my love for this music.
LISTENING GUIDE TO THE ALBUM 'SI LL'AMMORE E' 'O CCUNTRARIO D''A MORTE' (LOVE IS THE OPPOSITE OF DEATH)
NAPULE DOCEAMARA (Bruni - Palomba)
Naples is indeed beautiful, not an invention of poets, just as it is not a journalistic plot that it has many, too many problems.
Yet amidst all these contradictions, one still breathes a love of life far removed from cynicism.
CARMELA (Bruni - Palomba)
The stripped, abused city comes in the form of a young woman in need of protection, with whom the author is madly in love.
AMARO È 'O BENE (Bruni - Palomba)
The end of a love that can have no future, kisses stolen and bitter because there is no tomorrow.
CHE LLE CONTO? (Bruni - Palomba)
From tomorrow what will I tell my eyes, my hands, my heart, since our story ended without appeal?
Perhaps it was a written destiny, but rationality is not needed when one loses a great love.
Almost a story from 'A Thousand and One Nights' told in Naples: consciously or unconsciously, Salvatore Palomba, the author of the verses of many of these songs, seems to be walking the imaginary bridge that unites various souls of the Mediterranean: thus also the verse that entitles the entire album, which seems to be a translation of a verse from the Song of Songs where it is said (8-6) 'For love is as strong as death'.
'A FATA D''E SUONNE (Bruni - Marotta)
More prissy and mannerist in tone than the others, here the eyes and mouth of the beloved are imprinted in the town's DNA, so much so that they were sung even before she was born.
'NA BRUNA (Bruni - Visco - Barrucci - Langella)
Making the sign of the cross with seawater seals a pact that cannot be betrayed.
The rich foreigner wants this beautiful 20-year-old girl for himself, but she loves another and dies for that.
What is money before the will of the heart?
WHAT A MIRACOLO STAMMATINA (Bruni - Palomba)
Mystical, cabalistic, Sufi?
The author's awareness of being nothing more than an offshoot of the Absolute and not being able to do anything but his will. My soul has set sails and wings and at this moment from heaven all evil remains far away.
NAPULE IS A THOUSAND Wounds (Bruni - Palomba)
The tone of this song is similar to that of Carmela, but if possible even more dramatic.
This time the key image is that of a small leaf springing up among the uneven stones of a street and trembling in the hands of a little girl: there is hope for change, but the heart of the singer is hardened to the point of no longer being able to perceive it.
BELLA SI TU VENISSE IND'AA 'STI BRACCIA (Bruni - Palomba)
Love for a woman in the form of an ancient song of devotion.
PALCOSCENICO (Bruni - Bonagura)
One could criticise this piece for lingering in various places of Neapolitan folk oleography, but its truths lie there.
Carolina still fights Rosa for love on the city's open-air set.
RAIZ - BIOGRAPHY
Raiz, stage name of Gennaro Della Volpe, is a Neapolitan singer, actor and writer.
Voice of the Italian ethnodub/electronic collective Almamegretta since its foundation, he has recorded ten albums with them, from their debut with 'Anima Migrante' in 1992 to the latest 'Senghe' in 2022.
As a solo artist he released 'WOP' (2004), produced by Roberto Vernetti and Paolo Polcari, 'Uno' (2007), produced by Eraldo Bernocchi with the collaboration of Bill Laswell and 'YA!' (2010), produced by Planet Funk.
In the course of his career, Raiz has also taken part in several works by other artists: from the two albums 'Corpus' (1996) and 'Unisono' (2006) with Ashes, the Eraldo Bernocchi / Bill Laswell project, through the album 'Alphabet Music' (2003) with the 'Laboratorio Novamusica', to collaborations with artists such as Massive Attack, Leftfield, Pino Daniele, Adrian Sherwood, Gaudi, Stewart Copeland, Mauro Pagani, Vittorio Cosma, Ashtech, Teresa De Sio, Luigi Cinque, Zion Train.
In 2011 he released the album 'Casa' with the Bari band Radicanto and in 2014 he won the Premio Tenco for the album 'Dago Red' made with Fausto Mesolella, unforgettable guitarist and producer of Avion Travel.
In 2016, he took part in a workshop in the Airola Juvenile Prison promoted by rapper Lucariello and together with him he made 'Puotame llà fore', a song composed with a group of very young inmates.
As an actor from 2001 to 2005, he toured with Cantieri Teatrali Koreja in their show "Brecht's Dance" (original music by Kurt Weill revisited by Raiz himself and Paolo Polcari).
Between 2008 and 2017, he starred in several films, playing the role of Moreno in Ago Panini's film "Aspettando il Sole" (2008), Salvatore Vitiello in Giuseppe Gagliardi's "Tatanka Scatenato" (2010), himself in John Turturro's docufilm on Neapolitan songs "Passione" (2011) and Rosario 'A Tigre in the Manetti Bros' film "Ammore e Malavita" (2017);
More recently, he has worked on several successful TV series including 'I Bastardi di Pizzofalcone' and 'Mare Fuori', and has published a collection of twenty short stories called 'Il bacio di Brianna' for Mondadori.
On 24 February 2023, he published with the Visage Music label 'Si ll'ammore è 'o ccuntrario d''a morte', a musical monograph on Sergio Bruni.