Cape Ann Song: A Ballad for my Salty Hometown

Ahoy!

It’s a new month, so it’s time for another new song – and this one hits (quite) close to home. Please enjoy my love song to Cape Ann, written while far from home…

Click to listen to Cape Ann Song!

Adventure at sunset 2016

As many of you know, in recent years I have spent a lot of time far from my home port. During one of the longer sojourns abroad, I made the mistake of re-reading the beautiful book Lone Voyager, by Gloucester author Joseph Garland. It tells the extraordinary story of Howard Blackburn, a dory fisherman out of Gloucester who, after losing his mother ship in a snow squall, ended up also losing his dory mate and both of his hands while rowing for his life through the storm. He eventually made it to shore, and slowly made his way back to Gloucester.

Incredibly enough, this was just the beginning of his illustrious career on the high seas: despite having lost his hands, Blackburn went on to sail solo across the Atlantic (multiple times); he sailed down the U.S. east coast, around the tip of South America, and back up the west coast to Alaska for an ill-fated stint in the gold rush (though that time he had a crew); and he also sailed solo up the Hudson River, across the Great Lakes, and as far down the Mississippi as he could – until his hull got stuck in the mud. An inspiring, salty soul, to say the least.

I say that reading Lone Voyager while traveling was a mistake because, well, it made me incredibly homesick. Images of that stunning, uniquely-New England light over the Atlantic peppered my dreams; I would wake up to imaginary gull cries, or fog horns echoing over invisible harbors. Beyond the rich maritime history of the place, its rich artistic history haunted me as well: the poems of T.S. Eliot drifted through my mind, and mingled with the dreamy Luminism of Fitz Henry Lane and Winslow Homer, or the stark realism of Edward Hopper. So many have passed through this port, and have been inspired to work, to dream, to create. This is more than an island, I thought.

And so, around that phrase, a song was born: my humble tribute to a place I am honored to call home. Nel mio piccolo (in my little way), I hope it does the place some semblance of justice.

As ever, I am so grateful to my fellow musicians and collaborators in realizing this song – and grateful to you for listening, for reading, for writing, for showing your support in so many ways. Thank you.

I will be headed home again in August (!), and will be booking/posting gigs around New England soon. I cannot wait to see & sing to you. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this little taste of home, sent from afar.

Wistfully,
Marina

Back in the Studio for New Album “Tide and Stars”!

donny drums_tide and stars 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Big news, everybody: I’m back in the studio again working on a brand new original album entitled Tide and Stars! As with my two most recent records, Unbound and The Tuscan Sessions, I am working with Italian producer (and my husband & musical partner, incidentally) Bernardo Baglioni. Unlike our past two records — both recorded here in Italy, with our Italian band — this time we’ll be recording with a mix of Italian and American musicians, and we’ll be doing so on both sides of the pond.

We hit the studio this week in Florence, Italy with Florentine drummer Donald Renda (pictured above), who is also featured on both Unbound and The Tuscan Sessions. And as usual, he nailed it! Next up are the basses, followed by guitars, mandolins, and possibly dobro & banjo — and finally, we’ll wrap things up with the vocal tracks.

This record takes a decidedly more acoustic, folk/americana turn than my last two projects, and I’m looking forward to realizing these songs in a more pared-down context. The songs are direct, to the point, and hark back to traditional song forms & structures. It’s raw, it’s true, and it’s me — so it’s thrilling, and more than a little scary, to bring this music to life and to share it with the world. That said — I can’t wait! Stay tuned for more news & updates as the project moves forward. Onwards!

Spring Gigs in Italia

marina berna sketch by aleksey nelipa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sketch by Aleksey Nelipa

Spring is finally here and Bernardo and I are excited to get back on stage! We’ve got two gigs coming up in beautiful Florence, Italy. We are looking forward to debuting new material from our forthcoming album, Tide and Stars, and Berna will be trying out some new harmonies & instrumentation — now we’ve got guitar, dobro, and mandolin in our set!

May 6, 2016: Michael Collins Signoria, 10pm

Located in historic Piazza Signoria in Florence, the Michael Collins pub’s underground cantina will bring you back in time. Located within an imposing palazzo with views of the Uffizi Gallery & Palazzo Vecchio (home to the famous Salone del Cinquecento, the seat of Florentine government, as well as stunning de’ Medici apartments), this promises to be an intimate show in an unusual setting. Join us, amici Italiani!

https://www.facebook.com/collinspubfirenze

May 18, 2016: Circolo Arci il Progresso, 10pm

On the other side of town, this community-run events center and concert hall has housed concerts by many local and international artists. We’ll be performing an acoustic concert on this beautiful stage, beneath old wooden beams and suspended above a marble floor. This concert is part of Bob Dylan Week, a weeklong celebration of the famous troubadour. Throughout Florence, there will be poetry readings, art installations, concerts, and more – and we’re thrilled to be part of the lineup! We’ll be paying homage to Dylan along with other links in the songwriter chain, such as Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, and more.

http://www.circoloilprogresso.it/