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Three composers – one instrument: their voice. Poetry from the past 3000 years in song. Contemporary compositions for the human voice, electronically transformed. Trinovox is a recipient of the “Premio Quartetto Cetra”, the renowned Italian prize for vocal music.
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INCANTO, the title of Trinovox‘ debut album, is particularly meaningful to the members of this vocal ensemble. Coming from the Latin incantare, “to enchant”, the Italian word incanto means “incantation” («Use of magical words for enchantment»). But, at the same time, in-canto in Latin means inside singing. Nothing more appropriate, when referred to such a group of radical vocal experimentalists!
Three Voices Only
All songs contained in Trinovox’ Incanto CD, are entirely performed by three voices; only three voices. Despite the fullness of Trinovox’ sound, and the enormous variety of colours and atmospheres this trio can create through the evocative power of its voices, there is in fact no instrumental accompaniment; and, more significantly, there is no resorting to any double-tracking. What is recorded here is, therefore, exactly what Trinovox is able to perform live.
Famous Poems and Original compositions
Great poetry from every age and every source, untranslated; almost 3,000 years of history; seven different languages, from French to Japanese, and even a couple of dialects. All this is set to music by Trinovox, arranged by Trinovox, and then performed by the trio’s unaccompanied voices. It is a really unusual operation, which has probably never been pursued on a systematic basis before now.
International and Multicultural Character
The Trinovox project springs, as we have just seen, from the roots of internationalism and transculturalism; this last, in particular, is strengthened by the fact that the musical styles which Trinovox adopts are not necessarily tied to the epoch or geographical origin of the poem upon which the trio’s composition is based, but rather emerge from what the poetry has aroused in the composers on a purely emotive and sensorial level.
The audience can thus experience an unusual and stimulating blend of medievalesque and rock music, of music with a classical and ethnic flavour, along with a delicate madrigal-type atmosphere and daring experi- mentation of timbre from a clearly contemporary matrix.
Experimentation at the Service of Communication
Timbre is the real protagonist of Trinovox’ musical research: onomato- poetic sounds, vocal gestures, feminine voices, mock-instrumental sounds, voice transformations of every type, are indeed among the most important particularities of the trio.
Such a specific interest in timbre leads Trinovox along the path of the most advanced investigation of contemporary and avantgarde music; and this is accomplished without succumbing to the seductions of technology, a feature not to be understimated. As a matter of fact, Trinovox uses the most ancient instrument of all, the most natural and “ecological” that exists.
Trinovox’ experimentation is never however an end in itself, since meaningful communication is its ultimate goal. This is why, as previously said, Trinovox finds in the song form its most appropriate means of expression; the song is indeed seen by the trio as an irreplaceable moment of synthesis between high artistic research and popular impact. This explains the special attention Trinovox pays to the “singability” of the solo melody.
Trinovox was founded 1991 in Florence. In 1993 they recorded their first CD, Incanto, which was released by JARO, Germany, the following year. In 1994 Trinovox won the prestigious prize for vocal music “Premio Quartetto Cetra”. They were praised for their achievements in the “fusion of world music with classic polyphony, for their choice of texts and the brilliance of their performance”. In 1995 the Bavarian Radio commissioned Trinovox to write and perform the music for the radio play Earborn (on CD: JARO 4190-2). Since 1994 Trinovox has performed in many European cities and made various radio and TV productions. Co-productions with artists and groups as diverse as Luciano Berio (classical music), Orazio Costa-Giovangigli (theater), Laura Eastman (fashion), Giorgio Gasuni (jazz) and “Momix” (dance).
The name TRINOVOX has Latin roots and in itself contains the artistic philosophy of this original Italian ensemble. TRINO: from trinus, “triple”; VOX, as is well-known, means “voice”; NOVO (Trinovox): from novus, to emphasize the fundamental commitment to the idea of “new”.
Trinovox is a trio made up exclusively of voices. The three artists are skilled vocalists as well as composers and arrangers. They are bound by their common desire to research and experiment new ways in the use of the voice. This includes the most varied and unusual forms of vocal composition.
Voice as one of the most direct and involving means of human communication: an awareness which results in being the actual core of the Trinovox concept. This explains why each member of the group has always focused his personal research on the problem of either vocal or physical expression, by firmly realizing that – when it comes to expressiveness – voice and body are inseparably related. Such a specific interest has brought our three singers to study in depth the techniques and practice of mime and acting.
Riccardo PUCCI-RIVOLA, descendant of an old Florentine family, was educated as a singer and sound technician. He has worked as vocalist in various groups and as a soloist; since 1991 he has been teaching modern singing at the “Laboratorio Musicale” in Florence; with TRINOVOX he composes, arranges and sings.
Francesco RONCHETTI received his Ph.D. in musicology from the University of Bologna and has worked as a teacher in Los Angeles, USA. He has published on vocal pedagogy and teaches in Florence; with Trinovox he composes, arranges and sings.
Julian SPIZZ, educated as dancer and singer (among others with Bobby McFerrin), works as a music teacher, composer and singer in Florence; he sings, composes and arranges.