Emilia d’Hercole is an album inspired by the sea, written in September 2017 while the band was enjoying an artistic retreat on the Isle of Elba. During their stay there was a fruitful exchange of experiences and emotions between Collettivo Decanter and the island, its folklore, tales and traditions. The scent of the sea and a fascination for the old mines went into the creation of the songs which make up the heart of the album. They are tales of sea voyages, pirates, devils and witches, heavily influenced by the narrative folklore of the Tuscan archipelago and with distant echoes of Collettivo Decanter's first album (Aria con da capo, 2012).
The title of the new album comes from the song, Emilia d’Hercole (feat. Folkestra&Folkoro), a tale better known as "Redbeard And The Child”, which tells the story of a woman from the Rio area of the island who was kidnapped by pirates in the 16th Century. Local legends also inspired two more tracks on the album: Malopescio (feat. Riccardo Ruggeri) is the tale of a fisherman from Capoliveri, tormented by demons and witches while Mago Chiò was an extraordinary character who lived in Portoferraio in the 1800s and became legendary even outside the island due to his passion for writing his name on the highest bell towers, walls and lighthouses and who in the end died for love.
The orchestration and arrangements steer the album in the direction of world music, as can be heard in the songs Meu Navio (feat. Silvia Donati e Gabriella Beccari), sung in Portuguese with a strong Brazilian flavour and Chiudo le finestre, where the guitar intertwines with the notes of the kalimba and nostalgic sound of the low whistle.
More within the boundaries of the traditional Italian song are the tracks CO2, a rhythmic 5 time waltz, and Vola più in alto (feat. Luisa Cottifogli), dedicated to children, while the only instrumental piece on the album, Plancton, has a recognisable flamenco sound reminiscent of the group's first album. The album ends with a tribute to Piedmont, in particular the Lanzo Valleys. Polenta e biòrro (feat. Folkestra&Folkoro) is a reinterpretation of a traditional nursery rhyme from the Viù Valley, an invitation to eat polenta with butter.
Collettivo Decanter was formed in Turin in 2012 by Marta Caldara (Syndone, Estremìa), arco Perona (Misticanza Trio), singer Alessia Galeotti (Jazz Art Orchestra, Gipsy Soul, Organic Quartet) and musician and composer Vincent Boniface (L’Orage, TocTocToc, Pitularita, Estremìa) to write and perform its own songs and instrumental pieces, cleverly combining a strong traditional transalpine folk matrix with a flamenco heart and a jazz voice. The result is a kaleidoscopic world music project which explores the rhythmic and melodic boundaries between popular songs and folk, between bulerias and bourrée. The first album, Aria con da capo (2012) is distributed by Dodici Lune.
In Emilia d’Hercole, Collettivo Decanter's second album (Visage Music 2018), the quartet without doubt sounds more consolidated and mature, free from superfluous stylistic frills, with greater cohesion as they tend towards a sound that is even more Mediterranean, intense and passionate.