In summer of 1993 Elena Ledda released one of her most accomplished albums, Incanti, on the French label Silex. Reissued ten years on, now a cornerstone of European folk music recording, it still sounds as fresh and inventive as ever.
Incanti , a record whose polished playing sent it into the higher reaches of the European World Music charts, was fruit of Elena Ledda’s fascination for her native Sardina and its traditions, a territory across which she charted new pathways accompanied both by regular cohorts such as Enrico Frongia, Eugenio Lugliè, Alberto Pisu, Silvano Lobina and especially Mauro Palmas, and prestigious guests the likes of Riccardo Tesi on melodeon and classical trumpeter Giorgio Baggiani.As well as showcasing the expressive qualities of her voice and the intensity of its timbral shadings, the record demonstrates Ledda’s ability to mix old and new, using contemporary sonorities to great effect while never losing sight of Sardinian tradition.
The result is a record of consistently high emotional tension that has stood the test of time, as will be evident even after just a casual listen. Not that Elena Ledda’s gripping voice, at once expressive and highly versatile, permits such distraction on these tracks which envelop the listener in their deeply felt emotion. Elena Ledda is without doubt a unique singer, a voice that Italy can be proud of for the acute sensibility she shows in forging a sound of incomparable beauty. Body and soul, the sensual and the spiritual merge in her excellent interpretations leading the listener through enchanting and surprising soundscapes.
After classical voice training, in the late 70s ELENA LEDDA began working with the Cooperativa Teatro di Sardegna, while an interest in Renaissance music lead to her first album Ammentos in 1979. The same year she joined Mauro Palmas’s group, Suonofficina. Her second record Is Arrosas (1984) enjoyed a certain measure of commercial success, prompting Andreas Vollenweider to invite her to collaborate on his album White Winds. In 1987 again with Mauro Palmas she formed the group Sonos, an open ensemble that mixed ethnic music with jazz. In October 1988 she co-wrote - along with Palmas and Alberto Balia - and performed in the show Far Away Wave which also featured Lester Bowie. Between 1988 and 1992 she toured almost constantly, performing in key theatres and festivals around Europe. The release of Incanti in 1993 was followed by a shower of collaborations witrh among others, Enrico Rava, Lester Bowie, Antonello Salis, Don Moye, Richard Galliano, Maurizio Geri, Gabriele Mirabassi, Silvano Lobina, Alberto Pisu and Serge Desaunay. Further acclaim came with an album dedicated to Fabrizio De Andrè Canti Randagi, especially her reworking of ‘Tre Madri’. Her voice also turned up on Paolo Fresu’s soundtrack to Gianfranco Cabiddu’s documentary Sonos’è Memoria presented at the Venice film festival in 1995. In 2000 the release of Maremannu (Dunya 8029) confirmed her international repuation, garnering awards in France and Germany. Among her most recent collaborations are those with Andrea Parodi on Abacada (2002) and Lino Cannavacciuolo on Segesta (2002).
LEDDA Elena from Felmay Shop