La Notti Triunfanti
In order to reflect the history and migration of people and their musical traditions from the Old to the New World, singer Michela Musolino, a Sicilian-American, has won recognition on a global scale. She does this by reimagining Sicilian folk and roots music and fusing it with well-known American musical genres. In the recounting of a timeless, global narrative on “La Notti Triunfanti,” Michela Musolino packs up her most cherished Sicilian and Southern Italian Christmas carols and moves to Memphis. The publication date for “La Notti Triunfanti” is December 9, 2022.
The songs on La Notti Triunfanti serve as a kind of oral heritage from a time when many people were unable to read the Bible but could pass along these traditions via music. Sicily was an old crossroads for the interaction of many civilizations, and the songs captured the distinctive traits and sounds of the people and nations who went through it.
“La Notti Triunfanti” was mixed and recorded by Adam Hill at Electrophonic Recording. An eclectic group of Memphis-based musicians, including Mario Monterosso on guitars, T. Jarrod Bonta on piano and organs, Jeremy Barzizza on bass and flute, Alice Hansen on violin, and Tom Lonardo on drums, join Musolino on the album. Mario Monterosso and Adam Hill also contribute supporting vocals.
While embracing the distinctive rhythms and sounds that characterize Memphis traditions, they strove to retain as much of the original tunes as they could. They only wanted to see what would occur if the band’s contribution affected the song’s organic evolution. Folk music actually does this. It keeps changing as each individual who performs or sings that song contributes a piece of themselves and their own particular experience to it.
In the song “Li Tri Re di L’Orienti,” the three kings who came to see the birth of Christ are described, along with the presents that each of them brought. All across Sicily, this song is customary, and each region has its own unique rendition. A well-known song from the Campagne region, “Quanno Nascette Ninno,” narrates the tale from the viewpoint of the shepherds.
This song has reportedly been around for generations, and it is stated that shepherds from all across southern Italy would play music in joy each year, shortly before Christmas, when they descended from the mountains. Songs like “Canzuna Di Natali,” a Nativity song on the night of Christ’s birth, show that Mary is the focus of many songs about Christ’s birth. In this song, Mary offers the shepherds her blessing and urges them to be of good cheer since her Son is all love. The Sicilian ballad “Diu Vi Manna L’Ambasciata,” which is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, also emphasizes Mary and the importance of her involvement in the birth of Jesus.
The Annunciation, when a divine angel arrives and notifies Mary of the imminent birth of her son, Christ, marks the beginning of the carol. Mary’s origins may be traced to the indigenous goddesses of antiquity. It’s only the natural progression of how the mother-goddess traditions of ancient times affected this process of cultural synchronization. especially in Sicily with Demeter, the mother of the earth. Then Mary shows up, and she immediately blends in, particularly given the reverence Sicilians and Italians have for their moms generally.
The album’s lead song, “Nni La Noti Triunfanti,” was made available on November 18, 2022. Two Dog Memphis Productions also created a music video to go with it. Scenes from the music video were filmed in Overton Park, in front of the Memphis Belle statue, and at Sun Studios on Beale Street; these locations all reflect Memphis, and Sun and Belle were chosen expressly because of their historical significance to the song.
The video was created with the simple goal of telling her story: she moved to Memphis to pursue the local musical traditions, but as it turns out, Memphis somehow connects her to the musical traditions she brought with her, much like how we fused Sicilian, Southern Italian musical traditions with American musical traditions. When she moved there, all she knew was that the music would either follow her or lead her; she had no idea what to anticipate. Her house is filled with music and traditions, which make it feel like a home instead of a barren structure. In the song, she explains that Sicilian immigrants arrived in our country with nothing except their customs. History repeats itself again.
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