Erlend Øye & La Comitiva will perform on 12th May at EartH Theatre in London.
La Comitiva is an expression in Italian that describes the people that you regularly hang out with. That you might go on trip with, that you go around town with.
This particular town, Siracusa in Sicily, is not known for its music scene, but in the summer of 2016, something unusual happened. People from several countries, and several parts of Sicily, started meeting in Ortigia (the old town of Siracusa) to jam with the instruments they have, moving from one piazza to the other in day time and night time. Central to this movement is Luigi Orofino, a social glue kind of character. In the autumn the activity moves to Erlend Øye’s countryside house and he tries to record some of what they are doing, mostly covers of Sicilian, Cuban, Colombian, Mexican and Brazilian songs. The results are limited but this new music sows seeds for future song writing.
A year and half later Erlend has planned a short solo-acoustic tour of South America to get a break from the making of the surprisingly difficult 4th Kings of Convenience record. He extends an invitation to his new Siracusa crew before leaving: if you come and find me down there, we can do something together as a part of one of the planned shows. Of the several piazza players its finally Luigi, Stefano and Marco that makes the decision to join him, and they do some intense rehearsals before 4 shows in Argentina and Chile. Chilean promoter Roberto Parra sees a band in the making and starts making calls. The initial week grows into a month with shows added in Peru, Colombia and Mexico. La Comitiva is born.
Luigi plays the Brazilian samba instrument Cavaquinho, but rarely in the traditional way. Curiously, he started playing music only at age 37. Stefano plays bass on a particularly bassy steel string acoustic guitar. Erlend plays a ukulele that he was gifted for his 40th birthday (tuned 2 steps lower than standard, as he didn’t know how it was supposed to be tuned). Marco Castello plays classical guitar in a rhytmic way and his voice is central for the choir parts of La Comitiva.
In 2016 Erlend was part of the seminal event in Berlin called People. A collaborative festival organized by Michelberger Hotel. There he got to know Stargaze, a group of symphonic instrument players specialised in playing outside of the classical world. And also Nils Frahm’s studio at Funkhaus, operated by Antonio Pulli. Most of the full-length album «La Comitiva» is a result of this Trinity.
For most of the dates in April/May La Comitiva will be extended with flute, trumpet and trombone played by Stargaze members Maaike Van Der Linde, Romain Bly and Kobi Arditi, all based in the Netherlands.
The record comes out on the label Bubbles, run by Marcin Oz from the Whitest Boy Alive.
Tickets £25 + bf + £1 venue levy
11-17 Stoke Newington Road, London, N16 8BH