Maria Rago provides us with the key to being elected to Auriga of our lives.
To find the safest way to follow
as we enter into her
that no man’s land that is today’s world
Maria Grazia Rago is an Italian pianist and composer who studied piano with Lea Cumbo and Eliodoro Sollima at the Istituto Superiore di Studi Musicali V. Bellini in Caltanissetta, Italy, where she graduated.
After continuing her studies to deepen the compositional art under the aegis of the renowned Italian Maestros Eliodoro Sollima in Palermo, Bruno Canino in Rome, and with Marcello Abbado in Milan, Rago brought her works to various stages even beyond the borders of the Italic peninsula.
Her previous compositional studies have come at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Danse et de Musique de Lyon, France, while her works of hers have been performed in festivals and theaters throughout Europe and the USA.
From Italy, at the Massimo Bellini Theater in Catania and at the International Festival of Spoleto, to France, at the Theater du Rond Point des Champs Elysees in Paris, and at the Theater Les Ateliers in Lyon.
From Germany, to the Kleiner Konzertsaal-Gasteig in Munich, to Turkey, on the occasion of the Selcuk Ephesus Festival.
From The Living Theater in New York, even in Russia, to the St. Petersburg International New Music Festival “reMusik.”
Maria Rago’s music has already been around the world, with wide acclaim from both critics and the public.
With a curriculum of such depth, the extensive list of awards and recognitions obtained by Rago is not surprising:
Best Music Score at American Tracks Music Award International Contest (Los Angeles, USA), Aphrodite Film Awards (New York, USA), Global Music Awards (La Jolla, USA), Lady Filmmakers Festival (Beverly Hills, USA), Chi-Town Multicultural Film Festival (Chicago, USA), and last but not least, the prize she received for the music score “Burnt streets” at New York Movie Awards 2020.
Today Rago has taken root in the States, more precisely in Chicago. But although she is now an artist of international scope, she has certainly not abandoned or forgotten her genetically indissoluble bond with that sacred fire that forged her.
In her music, we find a masterly combination of sensitivity and ardor, which finds its point of maximum splendor in a vivid red sun that scrutinizes, poring over a chained Prometheus and his song to freedom.
Here the boiling blood superimposed is that of a fight between physical and intellectual slavery. So what could be the mightiest steed and the strongest war chariot for our Auriga, if not the fiery riotousness of electric guitars and the epic grandeur of orchestral symphonies?
In no uncertain terms, the aesthetic caliber of this album is titanic. At the first listening, one is overwhelmed with joy by the “eructivity” of the pinnacles piled up by Rago layer by layer, staggering upward scales that never seem to have an end or a maximum limit.
After the thrill of the first assault, a more careful examination reveals how this primordial, ancestral matrix has connotations that we can refer to the great masters of the classical: we could say, Bach and Stravinsky, Prokofiev, or Ravel, searching among more well-known names, but also Scriabin, Rachmaninoff, up to Arvö Part.
Driven by the lead assigned to the flaming guitars played by guitarists Martin Szorad, Milan Polak, Dmitri Alperovic, and Carlos Martinez, and embellished by the touch of Dutch musicians, Ives Ensemble “Red Land” takes off like a lava drop descending from scorching sun that kisses Sicily, the island that gave birth to Maria.
The tracks of the album unfold like pages of a book you leaf through, along a journey into the soul of a world that, like a tightrope, is pulled from opposite sides. The narrative dynamic is lively, biting, and does not fail to show caustic jabs and lashes.
The gameplay of contrasts between the sting of the guitar and the orchestral mass is deterministic in rendering the epic-epochal theme, imbued with an intensity that craves rebellion.
But in the midst of all these streams and lapilli, there is also a small voice, which with poetic intention gives voice to a wandering singer, who, while undergoing and enjoying the power of the fascination of nature, continues to follow his mysterious path.
Thus Maria Rago provides us with the key to being elected to Auriga of our lives, to find the safest way to follow, as we enter that “Red Land,” that no man’s land that is today’s world. It is up to us to grasp it, in all its essence.
Maria Rago's album "Red Land" will be released on February 7, 2021, available both as a physical CD on mariarago.com and as a digital stream on all major platforms. You can also find it in preview on mariarago11.hearnow.com
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