Stefano Saletti & Banda Ikona (ITA)
Saturday, November 11, 2023 / 8 p.m.
SKCNS Fabrika (Despot Stefan Boulevard 5)
STEFANO SALETTI & BANDA IKONA is an ensemble that sings in Sabir, the language of the Mediterranean Sea. Each of their concerts is a fascinating journey between the sounds and cultures of the Mediterranean Sea, in search of a musical and lyrical language that unites its various populations. It is a journey that rediscovers different types of music that tell stories about the passion of the Mediterranean people.
Many of the Banda Ikona’s original compositions are sung in Sabir, a lingua franca used by sailors, pirates, fishermen, merchants and ship owners in Mediterranean ports for mutual communication: from Genoa to Tangier, from Thessaloniki to Istanbul, from Marseille to Algeria, from Valencia to Palermo. Until the early decades of the 20th century, this form of sea-faring “Esperanto” developed little by little, using words ad expressions from Spanish, Italian, French and Arabic.
The founder of Banda Ikona is Stefano Saletti, multi-instrumentalist and expert in Mediterranean music. Besides him, the band also consists of: Barbara Eramo (vocals), Pasquale Laino (woodwind instruments), Mario Rivera (double bass), and Giovanni Lo Cascio (percussion and drums).
For the group’s latest album, „Mediterraneo ostinato” (Finisterre, 2021), the members of Banda Ikona say: “We sing the stories of the tenacious Mediterranean, and the stories of ancient, resilient and tenacious Mediterranean peoples. Tenacious as the rhythmic repetitions in music that transform us into a ritual and transport us into a trance”. The album was on various world charts, among other things, on the second place of the July 2021 top list of the influental World Music Charts Europe.
In their previous cd „Soundcity: sounds from border towns” (Finisterre, 2016) Stefano Saletti started from the recordings that, in the past few years, he had made around the Mediterranean in cities such as: Lampedusa, Istanbul, Tangier, Lisbon, Jaffa, Sarajevo, Ventotene… Sounds, noises, radio stations, voices, sound spaces, buskers have all inspired his melodies, lyrics and rhythms.
Their previous CD „Folkpolitik” (Finisterre, 2012) contains Saletti’s original compositions and arrangements of tunes by the Mediterranean composers who, through their music, have described the struggle against power, suffering, persecution, arrests and violence.
Stefano Saletti & Banda Ikona have performed a large number of concerts and tours so far, including major festivals in Italy, Canada, Cape Verde, USA, Portugal, Spain, France, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Morocco, Hungary, Switzerland, Greece, Egypt and Germany. They have numerous collaborations with writers and theatre directors.
The concert at the closing of the second Pocket Globe festival will be their premiere performance in Serbia!
In addition to the Banda Ikona concert, Stefano Saletti will hold a lecture “Sabir: The Lost Language of the Mediterranean” on the same day at noon, which is in English, free and open to all those who are interested.