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DRUMAVOX: Manuel Cossu (bass) Matteo Siddi (Tenor) Eva Pagella (Alto) Alice Madeddu (soprano) Sean Noonan (drums/composer)
Though voice and percussion have a long history in human musical development, the concept of a modern music ensemble using only four voices and percussion has been rarely explored.
Drumavox fuses the New York drummer, composer Sean Noonan with a Sardinian a cappella choir that features soprano Alice Madeddu, mezzo-soprano Eva Pagella, tenor Matteo Siddi, and bass Manuel Cossu. This relationship began in 2016 at the Sant’Anna Arresi Jazz Festival in the premiere of Noonan’s rock opera Zappanation, a dedication to Frank Zappa and Edgar Varese.
Noonan coins himself as a rhythmic storyteller and conducts with a pair of drum sticks multi-stylistic music, fusing his discoveries from jazz-rock to modern classical chamber music. As a drummer, his compositions serve as an extension of his four limbs, mapping out polyrhythmic language on the drum set which is arranged for choir.
The eight compositions on Drumavox’s debut album are in part discoveries from his "wandering folk" theory where he gathers and adapts from a modern perspective stories, legends, and folklore from America, Europe, Africa and beyond.
For the next Drumavox release, Noonan will compose Otherworld: Book of Motets Volume 1, inspired by Medieval Celtic Druids, 13th Century isorhythmic motets and 21st Century classical and improvisational music from the New York scene. The libretto will be modern adaptations of Celtic Druids rituals, their magical incantations and mental powers of prophecy.
DRUMAVOX BIOGRAPHY ITALIAN
Voce e percussioni costituiscono un elemento fondamentale della storia della musica sin dagli albori, eppure le potenzialità di un ensemble moderno composto esclusivamente da voci e percussioni sono state esplorate di rado.
Drumavox rappresenta l’ incontro tra le sonorità sperimentali del batterista/compositore Sean Noonan e le voci di un quartetto vocale a cappella composto da Alice Madeddu (soprano), Eva Pagella (mezzo-soprano), Matteo Siddi (tenore) e Manuel Cossu (basso), un sodalizio nato in occasione della Rock Opera Zappanation nel 2016, un tributo a Frank Zappa e Edgar Varese.
Noonan ama definirsi un “cantastorie ritmico” che, con l’ausilio delle sole bacchette, racconta un immaginario musicale stilisticamente trasversale, che spazia dal jazz-rock alla musica classica e da camera. Come batterista, le sue composizioni rappresentano una naturale estensione degli arti superiori e inferiori, intese a creare un linguaggio poliritmico enfatizzato dalle quattro voci del coro.
Le otto tracce dell’album di debutto di Drumavox derivano in parte da un concetto di “folk errante”, che mette insieme leggende e miti provenienti dall’ America, l’Europa, l’ Africa e altre culture riadattandoli e rileggendoli da una diversa prospettiva. Le prossime pubblicazioni di Drumavox vedranno Noonan impegnato nel progetto “Otherworld: Libro di Mottetti vol 1”, ispirato ai Druidi Celti, ai mottetti del tredicesimo secolo, e alla musica classica e d’improvvisazione della scena newyorchese del ventunesimo secolo. Il libretto sarà un moderno adattamento dei rituali dei Druidi Celti, dei loro incantesimi e del loro potere profetico.
Matteo Siddi, Tenor, was by age 5 an actor and in his teenage years became a Metal singer. In 2014 he created the character "Gesù di Cagliari" (literally Jesus of Cagliari) singing, dancing and acting in comical videos based on a parallel figure of Jesus Christ. It is widely popular throughout Sardinia and with more than 100,000 fans worldwide. Matteo is a former member of Blood in Venice and Sibilya and collaborated with Eric Martin and Mary Setrakyan. He is the lead singer in the power metal project "Ancient Knights" that feature Goran Edman, Fabio Lione and other prominent international singers from Heavy Metal scene.
Manuel Cossu, Baritenor, composer and arranger, was born in Mirano (Venice) in 1978. His musical career started at the music school Giovanni P. da Palestrina, where he had piano lessons with Ludovica Pane Costa and then with Maria Teresa Nano. Luca Jurman, Michele Fischietti and Mary Setrakian (Nicole Kidman's vocal coach in Moulin Rouge and The Lion King in Broadway) has been among his vocal coaches. In January 2008 he founded the Echos Vocal Ensemble and released his first original EP, Mille Maree, in August 2009. He performs both as soloist and chorist on many concerts on regional, national and international scale (Poland, Spain, France, China). Among the shows he sang in: the unedited Musical Stradivari by Matteo Martis as Antonio Stradivari, Leggeri come l'acqua, Caramore (Cada Die Teatro), La mia vera arte (with Cavaliere Azzurro theatrical company). In January 2013 he released his second original EP with the band Serendip, a group of musicians and singers who work on a project of unedited music. In 2013 worked on the first album of the Echos Vocal Ensemble, Prologue, released in may 2013.
Alice Madeddu, soprano, was born in Cagliari in 1983. On July 2006 she graduated in opera singing at the Conservatory Pierluigi da Palestrina in Cagliari, under guidance of Elisabetta Scano and Gianluca Belfiori Doro. She attended Master Classes by international musicians such as: Giusy Devinu, Mary Setrakian (vocal coach Nicole Kidman and The Lion King), Michele Fischetti (SLS), Swingle Singers, Gary Graden, Peder Karlsson and Katarina Henrison (from Real Group) and cooperated with famous artists like: Angelo Romero, Riccardo Leone, Gianluca Belfiori Doro, Enrico Pau, Sandro Sanna, Stefano Genovese, Dorian Wood, Sean Noonan, Tobias Hug (from Swingle Singers), Mario Brunello. She performs on many concerts all year long both as soloist and chorister on international scale (Poland, Spain, France, Slovenia, Finland, China, USA).
Eva Pagella, mezzo-soprano was born in Cagliari in 1978. At the age of five she started studying piano and then cello at the Conservatory Pierluigi da Palestrina in Cagliari. Over the years she studied singing under the guide of Beatrice Murtas, Giusy Devinu, Michele Fischietti and finally Sergio Calafiura. She also studied acting and biomechanics with Nikolaj Karpov, Marco Parodi, Fulvio Fo and Rita Spadola. She collaborated with artists Riccardo Leone, Onofrio Figliola, Gianluca Belfiori Doro, Sandro Sanna, Stefano Genovese, Sean Noonan, Tobias Hug (from Swingle Singers). She performs on many concerts all year long both as soloist and chorister on international scale (Poland, Spain, France, Germany, Slovenia). She is also working as an actress with the Theatre Company “I Menestrelli”. Among the shows she took part: “Pinocchio”, “Stradivari” and “Giovanna D'Arco” unpublished musicals by Matteo Martis; “Leggeri come l'acqua” and “Caramore” with theatrical company Cada Die Teatro; “La mia vera arte” with theatrical company Il Cavaliere Azzurro; “The Phantom of the Opera”; “Ombre e Fantasmi” by Il Palazzo d’Inverno. Currently she is a cast member of the Pop Opera “Il Templare” by Manuel Cossu directed by Mary Setrakian.
Sean Noonan was born in the city of Brockton, Massachusetts and studied Music Education at Boston’s Berklee College of Music and earned his Masters in Music Composition from the Aaron Copland Music School in Queens, NY. He spent part of those years at the Old School House Theater on Sanibel Island, Florida, backing legendary Hollywood songstress Marni Nixon – an unlikely forge for the theatricality he would later bring to his own performances. After Berklee, Noonan settled in New York forming THE HUB, a punk-jazz trio where in 2003 a near-fatal car wreck on tour in Italy became integral to his compositional style. A commission from the American Composers Forum led to discovering the "wandering folk" theory where he collected, adapted folklore from a modern perspective Bardic (Susan McKeown) and Malian Griot traditions Abdoulaye Diabaté, with improvisation (Marc Ribot, Mat Maneri). In the spirit of traveling storytellers, the treasures he finds along the way are filtered through his distinctive vision combining the eloquence of an Irish bard, the narrative rhythms of Samuel Beckett, and the raw physicality of a street-smart boxer.
Combining a love for jazz and African rhythms fueled a 2008 trek to Mali gaining a first-hand experience of West African griot traditions which culminated in the multi-cultural album Boxing Dreams (Songlines Recordings), one manifestation of Noonan’s amorphous Afro-Celtic jazz-rock project Brewed By Noon, which released 5 disparate albums between 2006 and 2011 and was the subject of filmmaker Tom Asma’s documentary Being Brewed By Noon. The wandering theory is later expanded with Pavees Dance, an upcoming release on Rarenoise Records that fuses free funk pre-rap beat poetry by Malcolm Mooney, from CAN. and Jamaaladeen Tacuma (Ornette Coleman). That nomadic muse has led to a wealth of unexpected directions, resulting in the production of over 24 dynamic albums with a diverse portfolio of American, Asian, African, and European artists of all genres. Noonan’s music has been heard by thousands of listeners in over 15 countries, with over 500 performances in diverse venues and international festivals.
Modern Drummer Magazine "Independence might be the ruling concept of Sean Noonan drummer/leader’s career. It defines a common relationship not only among his hands, feet, and voice, but between his art and almost everything else in drumland".
The New York Times “The drummer and composer Sean Noonan approaches postmodern jazz and world music from the same angle of self-discovery ....he manages to make his pieces speak coherently, and in a unified voice."