We are 1750 metres above sea level in the Swiss alpine valley of Cavaglia, Val Poschiavo. Is this where we can hide from this era’s war atrocities? Is this where we can rediscover our kinship with nature and move away from the nebule of technologically mediated living? For contemporary violinist, vocalist and composer Violeta Vicci, this is where inner beauty and empathy toward our environment finds its voice. “Highlighting the fragility of the environment and the beauty and the devastation created by climate change”, Vicci’s Cavaglia takes the listener through a journey to different places on the map, creating a series of evocative compositions that seek to bring solace, light and harmony as in “Lacrymosa”, the opening track “Caralin,” as well as in “Orbital”, the beautiful, slow and heart-warming closing track.
Through titles that include “Abstract Sky” and “Elegy to a Glacier”, Vicci sonically portrays the immensity of her beloved places, using a carefully composed tapestry of “violin, viola, cello and vocals in combination with electronics made out of field recordings passed through modular synths.” This unique instrumentation is particular to Vicci’s genre-crossing style and the album is produced by London-based collaborator Roger Goula. Ethereal vocalisations are intertwined with bells, and modern classical string arrangements, reminiscent of Richter’s reworkings of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. At times we find ourselves covered by immense shadows, behind the sun, across Vicci’s valley as in “Ombra” or “Diavolezza”, only to be reminded of our own human scale against our surrounding environments.
Cavaglia should be listened as a whole rather than in parts and pieces, as it carries a message that cannot be transcribed into sentences and words. It speaks a universal language, a call to action to find our own Cavaglia. (Maria Papadomanolaki)