The Orchestra Bottoni is a musical archipelago that thrives on constant movement and cross-fertilisation. Their first album – self-released in 2014 – is titled simply Live, with a tracklist which brings together traditional folk songs and singer-songwriter material, reinterpreted through the choral use of eight accordions, including an accordion soloist and a bass accordion. In the background is a rhythm section made up of bass, drums and percussion, over which weave the vocals of Antonella Costanzo, the group's founder and frontwoman. Listeners of their music are confronted with a melodic power which comes from afar, and in which proletarian, ethnic and folk elements converge towards a soundscape of great freshness and modernity. One need only think of two songs as diverse as the Tarantella del Gargano or Nesci Maria, both on Live, to see the ability of these musicians to bring the echoes of a past life into the deepest, most introspective folds of the present.
Don't be fooled by the date of their debut release, though: behind the Orchestra Bottoni is a transformation that led the original Piccola Orchestra La Viola, formed in the mid-nineties and with several albums to its name, to reinvent itself with a new name and a new goal. A metamorphosis which is part of the itinerant nature of the ensemble, who have previously worked with artists such as Branduardi, Battiato, Barba and Di Buduo, and who continue to lend themselves to exchanges and collaborations, as befits the best tradition of Italian world music.
A group that offers the listener the flavour of a universe in perpetual motion - Mediterranean aromas, the celebratory atmosphere of some hot summer evening, the furtive glances of men and women from countries which no longer exist. A music where everything is possible: co-existence, joy, melancholy, pleasure, the splendour of the culture of the south, and the uncontrollable urge to dance.
The story has been written by Giorgio Nisini, writer.
Active since 1994 is considered one of the most interesting in the landscape of Italian world-music.