A CLOSER LISTEN - In Conversation #1
Lino Capra Vaccina
Lino Capra Vaccina is one of the greats of Italian minimalism. In the early 1970s he was a founding member of the ethno-jazz group Aktuala, who pioneered a distinctly Mediterranean form of contemporary music more than a decade before industry suits coined the term “World Music.” After his departure, he joined Franco Battiato (with whom he would continue to work with throughout the 1980s) and other luminaries to form the short lived supergroup Telaio Magnetico for a 1975 tour of the south of Italy in support of the legalization of cannabis. His magnum opus, Antico Adagio, meaning “ancient adage,” was released in 1978, and remains one of the high water marks of Italian minimalism. Re-released on CD in the 1990s, it found wider acclaim with an international audience after being reissued on vinyl by the venerable Die Schachtel label in 2017. Since then, Vaccina has released several new works for Dark Companion, including Arcaico Armonico (2015) and most notably Metafisiche Del Suono (2017). He joined Area’s Paolo Tofani and Keith & Julie Tippett for 2019’s A Mid Autumn's Night Dream, and has also joined Toni Cutrone’s Mai Mai Mai for several collaborative performances, following appearances on Phi (2016) and Rimorso (2022).
I met maestro Vaccina at the Jazz is Dead festival in Torino, on 24 May 2019, where we spoke briefly about his concert and recent collaborations with Paolo Tofani (of the great Milanese band Area). We had previously been in touch via email, where we have carried out a gradual email correspondence in Italian. I was interested in asking him about his works from the 1970s as part of research contributing to my doctoral dissertation. Now that that’s behind me, I’d like to share that interview with paid subscribers here via Substack, and will make sharing such archival interviews a regular feature. What follows after the paywall is some additional context from me, and a version of our correspondence, translated and lightly edited for clarity.
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial