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Harmonia Ensemble 1989-2013

Orio Odori, Clarinet  - Damiano Puliti, Cello - Alessandra Garosi, Piano - Paolo Corsi, Drums and Percussion

Harmonia was founded in 1991 by musicians coming from classical backgrounds who accepted Giampiero Bigazzi's proposal from Materiali Sonori to create an open and innovative group dealing with the musical forms most sensitive to the changes of our time (minimalism, for example, and jazz).

The trio formed by Orio Odori, Alessandra Garosi and Damiano Puliti made their recording debut with a CD dedicated to Nino Rota, which was released in 1992 in Italy by Materiali Sonori and in 1993 in France by IMP. From 1996 to 2000 the project was resumed with the performance for video and orchestra L'Uomo dei Sogni - Omaggio a Federico Fellini.

 

In 1993 the second CD was released, In A Room, which collected all the compositions made for the group by English composer Roger Eno.

In 1994, also by the same composer, the mini-CD Classic Music For Those With No Memory was released. The group gave many concerts with Eno and those two records were a considerable international success (In A Room was also released in Japan), establishing Harmonia as one of the most interesting ensembles of new European music.

 

In 1995 Harmonia began to collaborate with the English composer Gavin Bryars and in 1999 The North Shore/Intermezzo/Allegrasco was released for the New Classics series, re-elaborations and new compositions created especially for this project.

 

In 1994, the CD Harmonia Meets Zappa was released. With an instrumentation far removed from that used by Frank Zappa and with a spirit free from simple celebration, Harmonia revisits his corrosive and often provocative music, demonstrating how barriers and limiting patterns can be overcome. The CD includes arrangements of fundamental pages of Zappa's production, and some of the group's compositions are dedicated to the great Baltimore guitarist. The concert with music by Zappa (The Zappa Concert) was repeated between 1994 and 1999 in seventy cities in Italy, Holland, Belgium and Switzerland.

At the end of 1996, with an introduction by Enrico Ghezzi, a courageous new CD was released, Events Line, entirely dedicated to the group's own compositions and the sounds and sensitivities that cross the planet. With this concert, Harmonia and Materiali Sonori became promoters of solidarity initiatives for the reconstruction of the Sarajevo Conservatory Library and in favour of the Muzicki Centar Pavarotti in Mostar.

 

In 1997, with music by Orio Odori for trio and a varying number of brass instruments (from one to five), Harmonia created a new soundtrack to be performed live for Ejsenstein's masterpiece La Corazzata Potemkin and participated, with Giancarlo Cardini, Arturo Stalteri, Paolo Carlini and Mauro Castellano, in Paolo Lotti's latest album Hendrix, dedicated to the American guitarist Jimi Hendrix.

 

This record marked the beginning of Harmonia´s collaboration with percussionist Paolo Corsi, who would play an important role in renewing the group.

From 1999 to 2000 they worked on the album Fellini - L'Uomo Dei Sogni, which included new songs and new arrangements for a large ensemble of Nino Rota's music. The album was released in April 2001.

In the same year, they collaborated with guitarist Giorgio Albiani and the vocal group Viulan, playing on their album La Notte di Valentina, and began collaborating with the Macedonian Kocani Orkestar for the project Ulixes, which was released on disc in 2002. The following year, organist Riccardo Tesi invited Harmonia to perform a recital at the Stazione Leopolda in Florence, on the occasion of the cultural activities organised by Fabbrica Europa. In addition, the show Antigone, with music by Orio Odori, performed by Harmonia, and the programme Fra Sacro e Profano, premiered at the Pomposa Music Festival in Florence, came out at the Teatro Verdi.

 

After a couple of years in which the group did not produce any new projects, they resumed intense activity in 2005. In fact, they began a collaboration with Francesca Breschi, a wonderful vocalist from Giovanna Marini's legendary quartet, with whom they put on a programme on the music of Area.

In 2005, a new Harmonia Ensemble recording was released: D.D.E. Dieci Danze Erotiche Eretiche with music composed entirely by Orio Odori.

From the production with Independent Recording in Mexico comes the collaboration with Kafka Ensemble directed by Steven Brown, which will be followed by a final record work The Yellow Penguin with music by Frank Zappa Orio Odori and Paolo Corsi.

Dieci Danze Erotiche e Eretiche

offers ten new compositions by Orio Odori, freely inspired by the ancient culture and sense of freedom and independence of the Etruscans, written especially for this group: very characteristic themes, steeped in popular moods, sensual and at the same time disruptive, and without apparent stylistic truths. A work that expresses all the rhythmic energy and melodic force of Orio Odori's compositions, as well as the great performing skills of the four musicians, including Odori himself, who make up the ensemble.

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