An explorer of the soul and emotions. This is Chiara Civello, an Italian pride, which with its restless and nomadic spirit has made us familiar with many distant worlds, for kilometers and culture. Chansons: International French Standards (Kwaidan Records) is the new album by Chiara Civello dedicated to the great French songwriter which also sees the extraordinary collaboration of the producer Marc Collin of the Nouvelle Vague. Friday 17 and Saturday 18 will return in concert at the Blue Note in Milan with a unique and harmonious live that will have a sequel on 20 December at the Dentro Le Grotte in Castellana Grotte in the province of Bari.
Chiara when was the idea of the record born? You have chosen the simplest but also the most evocative title.
Recall my double step from songs to chansons and who knows what canciones will not arrive. I make a record as an interpreter and one as an author. I always want to devote myself to a repertoire that excites me at a precise moment because we are changing beings. The alternation makes me feel complete, as in life you inhale and exhale and I find myself in this rhythm.
How did the project develop?
My producer has a penchant for re-reading songs and he proposed the standards that not everyone knows are by French authors, like My Way or The Good Life. I started to be interested in the Italian versions and I dressed them on my skin, it reflected my idea. On the other hand, an idea that was born before the covid and is an album entirely recorded live, there is no overlapping of instruments. My version of Over time you know I never sang it again, the first was good. Chansons touched deep chords in me, Marc then did some post production, he put in reverberations and rustles, it’s almost cinematic. We have embraced common idols with more intense sounds.
In fact, every listening has a different flavor.
As a listener, too, I hear things several times and each one offers me new sensations. It really depends on when you listen to it.
Let’s talk about Let’s get lost: what is the story of the piece made with Emanuele Trevi?
It was a request from the production of Imma Tataranni’s television series: a group of friends with empathy and synergy created something that was very successful. I also made a cameo, they called me to be myself and gave me carte blanche as happened to Caetano Veloso with his cameo in Almodovar’s film. They hum the theme on the phone, I, who was in Brazil, harmonize with the guitar and develop it in song form.
I know that you have been friends with Emanuele Trevi for a long time: do you remember the first meeting?
At the home of Patrizia Cavalli, the poet, woe to call her a poet, she doesn’t want to decline, and from that day we started dating. He came to my concerts, we met every now and then we met again in Puglia. One day I suddenly called him and asked him if he had ever written a song. He said no and then we worked on it the same afternoon. First of all for us it is being together. I played him the melody many times, he took note of septenary and octonary notes. And it was born Let’s get lost.
What is the value of the word let’s get lost today?
For me it is abandonment, for him we blur our bond. For me it is seize the moment, let us abandon ourselves now, time passes and then inevitably moves us away.
For Trevi it was the first song: does he have a future as an author?
When you are dealing with a new composer, the birth of a piece is purer, by myself I have the tricks to surprise me in the purity of the idea. There is empathy between us, there is a mental connection that can lead us to do many things.
Is it true that there is a second one that is practically ready?
It is ready and you will soon know where it will be placed.
Did you enjoy making the cameo in the series?
I found a great consideration of music, of how music can be the protagonist. Songs have evocative power: in One man, one woman by Claude Lelouch there are whole songs, I think of that Vinicius, and the film goes on without dialogue, with the song coming straight to the heart. The song awakens the protagonist who sends a message: it is the evocative power of music.
Will you return musically to Brazil or are you headed to other sound worlds?
They are in other places. I have an album that was pretty much ready before Chansons was outdated. But I will surprise you.
What will happen at the Blue Note and in the upcoming concerts? How will you found your many souls?
At the center of the live is Chansons and then there will be Chiara’s songs closest to the project, all proposed in a very delicate and light form.
What gift would you like for Christmas and will you give one to the fans?
I’ll think about the fans, maybe as you say I could think of something unplugged. I would like humanity to come out of this situation, to breathe free again. And if it has to be practical … I would like a pair of space goggles to swim!