Porto Sonoro (Sounding Harbor) is the ancient harbor of Genoa, home of ECHO ART.
This year ECHO ART celebrate 15 years of musical activity with a new recording that is enriched by the presence of many prestigious guests.
Over the years the band has been involved in projects in both the avant-garde and world music scenes. Their previous CD, Coreografie (Newtone Records 6712) released in 1992, was recorded with the help of several important artists of the New York downtown scene: Peter Gordon, Ben Neill, Blue Gene Tyranny and David Behrman. On Porto Sonoro their collaborators come from the Traditional & World Music field.
The numerous collaborations between ECHO ART and various Traditional Music artists and bands - collaborations that led to tours and shows during various Festivals – have led to an exchange of ideas that represents more that simply meeting in the studio before the recording. Porto Sonoro aims to be more than a mere jam session between Western and exotic musicians.
One thing all the guests on this recording share is an interest intrance and ritual music.
The CD begins with ECHO ART and GNAWA “SIDI MIMOUN”, a Moroccan Sufi Brotherhood, who have in the past worked with such artists as Pharoah Sanders. Randy Weston and Bill Laswell.
In the honor of this meeting of cultures, the various tracks of the CD are designed to resemble the various movements of the Lila, an important Gnawa Ceremony, based on the colors of the spectrum.
Other important guests are EGSCHIGLEN, from Mongolia, masters of khoomi, a singing technique that enables the singer to produce two or more notes at the same time.
Also highly significant is the presence of Zimbabwe’s STELLA RAMBISAI CHIWESHE, a singer and player of the mbira, a plucked instrument closely related to trance that is usually played by men.
One track recorded live during the Festival Musicale del Mediterraneo, in the summer of 1998, features the GALATA MEVLEVI MUSIC AND SEMA ENSEMBLE from Istanbul. A Turkish Sufi Brotherhood founded more than six hundred years ago by Mevlana Gialal ad-Din Rumi, Mevlevi represent one of the most typical spiritual and artistic forms of expression in the Middle East. With their characteristic white dresses and long hats they are more commonly known as Whirling Dervishes.
Porto Sonoro is thus a musical trip through multiple spirit worlds, through cultures who continue to resist assimilation to the West, maintaining a rare depth of expression and thought. Yet as its name suggests Porto Sonoro is also a port of call in an endlessly shifting world where musical languages from far off lands can meet to trade off their differences, differences which belie a great spiritual affinity.