Recorded live in May 2018 in the small church at Casola near Bologna, Italy, Solo for Bandoneon and Flute is Maver’s fourth musical project. It is the transformation of a special feeling in which the act of listening to oneself both inside and out becomes an experience that allows both listener and performer to come together in a complete way.
Volver is music that comes from silence and which silcence attracts. Solo music does not entertain, it strips bare. The choice to perform solo lets Maver keep the sounds of the instruments sounds pure and thus work on subtraction; it allows him to imbue the pauses in these pieces with a significant role.
It was this poetic approach to the bandoneon espoused by Maver’s guide and mentor, the Argentine Maestro Dino Saluzzi, that first led Maver to seek out other paths beyond the traditions of the Argentine tango with which the instrument is traditionally associated. His solitary trips to remote lands in a quest for encounters, odours, sounds and impressions are the pristine springs from which this music drinks.
Carlo Maver is not just one of Italy’s leading bandoneon players. He is also a a rover, an incessant traveller. Indeed, the Volver album comes out just two years after the release of Maver’s book “Azalai: 1500 kilometres on foot in the desert” (published in 2017 by Pendragon). This is the diary of a journey along the Azalai in Africa, the ancient trade route across the Mali desert from Timbuktu to the Taoudeni salt mines. An extreme and solitary experience lived out by by a musician who discovers at his own expense how hard it is to forego old habits, challenge his own beliefs and move around in a totally alien context subject to its own laws. And at the end, after almost two thousand miles on the road he discovers he is a changed man and artist to what he was on his departure.
It is no coincidence then that this time in the desert has helped Maver refine how he relates and listens to music. He can now bring a totally new approach to his performances in which listening to oneself, the notes and the silences, are all an essential and inseparable part of the whole.
Carlo Maver sums up the results of this project in his own words:
This solo project was a profound experience for me. I tested my own limits and fears, in terms of sound and echoes. It was a unique chance to play and listen to myself alone. There were times when I didn’t feel any fear of mistakes. A state of acceptance and abandon in which I realised who I was without anybody judging me. Contemplation of a moment in time for what it is. The act of listening.
The venue in which the album was recorded was deliberate. Maver often prefers ancient historic venues ranging from medieval churches to Roman cisterns in which to perform his concerts. There, sound spreads out to wrap fully around all present, including the musician. He seeks out places which emphasise the dramatic nature of the music and vice-versa. So music takes on a role and meaning closely linked to the space in which it is generated and enjoyed.
In Volver, Maver’s life is laid bare in music. It is all there: from the secular prayer “Solo Lunatica” a “Shardana”, a homage to the Mediterranean Sea. The album starts with “Partenze”, a track that sets the right atmosphere for us to follow these vagabond pieces of music. Along our journey, we also find “Soledad” a tango reinterpreted in a spiritual way, and “Una Llamada”, a tune to evoke the spirits of shamanic rites in some undefined world location. Instead, “C’era una volta” is our journey through time rather than through space; it allows us to reach back to childhood times in a purity of lost nostalgia. And then there is “Fino alla fine” which is a fight, a challenge to life, indeed a hymn to survival.
Born in Bologna Carlo Maver graduated from the Martini Conservatoire in flute honours after studying with Maestro Giorgio Zagnoni. Alongside his first instrument, Maver then took up studying the bandoneon with Daniele Di Bonaventura perfecting his technique with Maestro Dino Saluzzi and undergoing several bandoneon-based trips to Argentina.
Maver also got involved in the jazz world through the musician Teo Ciavarella and this gave him the chance to work with first-rate artists such as Eddie Gomez, Hengel Gualdi, Javer Girotto, Cheryl Porter, Simone Zanchini, Di Bonaventura, Riccardo Tesi and many others. He then went on to form the Maver Quartet with which he recorded “Spaesaggi” and “12 Nodi” participating in festivals and concerts both in Italy and abroad. His music has been used in several RAI and Mediaset TV programmes and he has also written for the stage in projects with the actors Natalino Balasso, Angela Malfitano, Matteo Belli and the theatre director Paolo Billi. Since 2008 he has been the artistic director (together with Marco Tamarri) of ‘Eco della musica’, the ecological music festival held every summer in various locations in the Appenine mountains of Bologna and Modena provinces. 2015 saw the release of his album “Tracce d'Africa”, a cross-over pot pourri of different African styles.
In May 2017 he published his first book:“Azalai: 1500 kilometres on foot in the desert”.
Carlo Maver: bandoneon, transverse flute, bass flute, Moseno flute (Andrean flute)