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Paolo Angeli

Whatever you want to call it, nobody else is doing it quite like this. Paolo Angeli, the Sardinian sorcerer, manually magics beautiful, multi-layered music from his unique prepared guitar: a hybrid orchestra of an instrument with strings going in all directions, foot-pedal-controlled motorised propellers and hammers to create shimmering drones and bass-lines as he bows, strikes, plucks and strums while producing rhythmic atmospherics by treading on a plastic bag and adjusting tunings on the fly. Electronic effects are utilized but no loops. With this singular instrument he improvises and composes unclassifiable music, suspended between traditional music of Sardinia, free jazz, flamenco, arabic suggestions, post-folk and pre-everything else, and came back in Sardinia with his voice in to the furrows of tradition. He has collaborated with Pat Metheny - he uses Angeli's guitar in Orchestrion - Fred Frith, Hamid Drake, Iva Bittova, Butch Morris, Ned Rothemberg, Jon Rose, Antonello Salis, Evan Parker, Takumi Fukushima, Louis Sclavis, Paolo Fresu, etc. Paolo Angeli, Guitar and Vocals

Born in 1970 in an extremely stimulating musical environment, Paolo Angeli grew up in Palau, a small port in northern Sardinia that looks out on the 12 islands of the Maddalena archipelago, a rugged scenic area of turquoise lagoons, national parks, and pristine beaches. He started to play guitar when he was nine. The guitar and the voice of his father (his first mentor), the rock bands of the village, his experience at concerts in village squares, and carnival evenings all pointed him in a direction that eschewed stylistic barriers in music. In 1989, he moved to Bologna and started to play with various contemporary music ensembles, practicing collective composition and improvisation, breaking down the borders between musical genres, and playing in the main European festivals of innovative music. In 1993, he met Giovanni Scanu, a legendary Sardinian guitar player who died at the age of 95. Scanu taught him the forms and the components of the canto a chitarra gallurese e logudorese, old songs in the Sardinian dialects of Gallurese and Logudorese, traditionally accompanied by guitar.

From this clash between avant-garde and popular tradition came Angeli’s Sardinian prepared-guitar: an instrument with 18 strings—a hybrid between baritone guitar, cello, and drums, replete with hammers, pedals, and variable pitch propellers. Since 1997, he has played concerts with his modified guitar all over the world at some of the most important festivals and theaters of Europe, Japan, Australia, North and South America, Russia, and Africa.

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In Pictures

Gleno Dam Disaster Benefit at Vilminore di Scalve

Read "Gleno Dam Disaster Benefit at Vilminore di Scalve" reviewed by Luciano Rossetti

A collection of photos from two benefit concerts for the Gleno Dam Disaster in Vilminore di Scalve on August 18, 2023, produced by Filippo Sala and Davide Albrici. The concerts featured Cristiano Calcagnile and Paolo Angeli with solo performances. ...

In Pictures

Estensioni Jazz Club Diffuso 2022

Read "Estensioni Jazz Club Diffuso 2022" reviewed by Luca A. d'Agostino

A collection of photos from the Estensioni Jazz Club Diffuso in Italy from April 8, 2022 to December 23, 2022 featuring Paolo Angeli, Matteo Mancuso, Marco Colonna, New Ethic Society, Satoyama, Anais Drago, Romano Todesco, Sebastiano Zorza, Nicola Tirelli, Wicked Dub Division, North East Ska Jazz Orchestra and Roberto Gatto. ...

Album Review

Paolo Angeli: Rade

Read "Rade" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Sardinia is never far from Paolo Angeli's heart and mind. In a storied career, the Italian guitarist has often drawn inspiration from his island's landscapes, soundscapes, culture and history, notably on albums such as S'û (ReR Megacorp, 2015) and Jar'a (ReR Megacorp, 2021). Even on 22.22 Free Radiohead (ReR Megacorp, 2019), his highly original tribute to the English alt-rock band, the sounds of Sardinian folk music ghosted through the music. On Rade, Angeli's Sardinian immersion is deeper still.

Radio & Podcasts

Paolo Angeli, Mark Lockheart, Red Kite, Ed Palermo & More New Releases

Read "Paolo Angeli, Mark Lockheart, Red Kite, Ed Palermo & More New Releases" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

Paolo Angeli's Grammy nominated multi-stringed solo adventures, the many sides of French cellist Vincent Courtois and much more in this playlist.Happy listening!PlaylistBen Allison “Mondo Jazz Theme (feat. Ted Nash & Pyeng Threadgill)" 0:00 The Ed Palermo Big Band “Peace Pipe" I've Got News For You: The Music of Edgar Winter (Sky Cat) 0:16 Host talks 5:45 H ZETTRIO “Spacewalk" Spacewalk -Single (apart) 6:49 Host talks 10:43 Red Kite “Apophenia" Apophenian Bliss (RareNoise) 11:38 Michael Feinberg “Janky ...

Album Review

Paolo Angeli: Jar'a

Read "Jar'a" reviewed by Ian Patterson

In a recording career that began in 1995, prepared guitarist Paolo Agneli's has toggled between solo albums and collaborations with the likes of Fred Frith, Hamid Drake, Evan Parker, Takumi Fukushima and Iva Bittova. But whether in partnership or solo, the Sardinian's music stubbornly resists categorization. Elements of free-jazz, post-rock, folk, noise and electronic soundscaping are all in the mix, while Agneli's prepared guitar has more bells and whistles than your average one-man band. Suffice it to say, Jar'a, a ...

In Pictures

Isole Che Parlano 2020

Read "Isole Che Parlano 2020" reviewed by Luciano Rossetti

A collection of photos from the Isole che parlano Festival in Palau, Arzachena and Lugosanto, Sardinia, Italy, from September 10th to 13th featuring among others Flavia Massimo and Irida Gjergji Duo, Jabel Kanuteh, Marco Zanotti, Riccardo Pittau, Stefano Pilia, Francesco Guerri, Kalifa Kone, Pasquale Mirra, Tenore Murales di Orgosolo, and a photo exhibition by Monika Bulaj. ...

In Pictures

Paolo Angeli concert at the Labirinto della Masone

Read "Paolo Angeli concert at the Labirinto della Masone" reviewed by Danilo Codazzi

Photos of the Paolo Angeli concert at the Labirinto della Masone in Fontanellato, Italy, on July 31, 2020. ...

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Pat Metheny on Paolo Angeli

Pat Metheny on Paolo Angeli

Source: Voll-Damm Festival Internacional De Jazz De Barcelona

By Pat Metheny In my opinion, Paolo Angeli has developed a significant new direction for the guitar with his innovations in design for our instrument. When I first heard him play his guitar, it was clear to me that the implications of what he and his instrument were offering were challenging and important. His solo concert was impressive not only for the unique sounds that he was manifesting, but also for the raw creative energy that it invoked. I admire ...



Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson


ReR Megacorp / Anma Productions



AnMa ReR Megacorp



AnMa ReR PA13


22.22 Free Radiohead

ReR Megacorp



ReR Megacorp



ReR Megacorp



From: Rade
By Paolo Angeli


From: Jar'a
By Paolo Angeli



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