Through the Generations an in-depth analysis of emilia-romagna by Julia freet

Lorenzo Immovili

Lorenzo ImmoviliBackground: Mr. Immovili is an Emilia-Romagna resident and has worked as a radiophone speaker for over 30 years. In 1976 He started working as a DJ for one of Italy's first ever radio stations, called "Mondo Radio Rock Station." This alternative radio station broadcast a variety of musical genres: rock, new wave, punk rock, American, English, country, etc. with absolutely no commercials! Throughout the 1980s-1990s, Mr. Immovili worked as a radio director. I interviewed him because he has extensive experience in the Emilia-Romagna music industry and he has observed multiple decades of musical trends and patterns throughout the years.

Emilia-Romagna Music of the Past

In the 1960s-1970s, "beat music" became a popular phenomenon in this region, especially in Modena. According to Mr. Immovili, popular music artists in this decade oftentimes played a mixture of original songs and American songs translated into Italian. Furthermore, starting in the 1970s and continuing through the 1990s, Emilia-Romagna had the biggest disco scenes, with discothèques everywhere! Emilia-Romagna has a long history of dance, and this history was celebrated and honoured throughout these three decades.

In the 1980s-1990s, Emilia-Romagna was one of the most popular destinations for emerging artists, especially those in the Rock music genre. Mr. Immovili reported that there were a lot of singer-songwriters in Emilia-Romagna, "like Bob Dylan," as well as rock bands. * One of the most popular artists was Francesco Baccini, an Italian singer-songwriter who came on the scene in 1988. He released 13 albums throughout his career, with the most recent being in 2011.

The Music of Today

When asked to describe the musical scene in Emilia-Romagna in today's day and age, Mr. Immovili talked about the rising popularity of DJ's and electronic music in this region. He stated that the younger generation are the primary listeners to this type of music. In addition to electronic music, rock and a little bit of hip-hop are the primary kinds of music produced in the Emilia-Romagna region. The production of rock and hip-hop, though, has been drastically reduced on account of the DJ's new notoriety. One popular DJ from Modena has the stage name Myway, with over 200 "plays" on each of his tracks on Sound Cloud.

In this province and throughout Italy, he said, music isn't made in the big cities, but more in the small towns in the countryside. "Young people are always bored; always saying there's nothing to do." There used to be much more of a creative border so people made and listened to music to escape their boredom in the smaller/less populated regions. This is why smaller cities became so important for music production. "Now with social media & the internet, people always talk to each other and can share different music styles."

Concerts in Emilia-Romagna

As we all know, one of the best ways to promote music and musicians is by holding a concert or a musical festival. Mr. Immovili told me that concerts in Reggio Emilia are either very small with less than 500 people or very large with over 20,000. The most recent musical event in Emilia-Romagna was the "Ligabue" concert in Reggio Emilia in 2015, when there were approximately 200,000 people in Reggio Emilia. Emilia-Romagna is also known for its wide variety of music festivals during the summer months of May-September, featuring classical, rock, pop, and folk artists at a wide range of venues. Recently, a large concert arena called "Campovolo" was built and opened in Reggio Emilia. Mr. Immovili said, "We want to bring Coachella here to Reggio Emilia."

The Problem With DJ's

As wonderful as electronic music is, its rise to notoriety has created a problem within this region: the decline of bands. Mr. Immovili said that there are far fewer venues for bands to play in, and therefore bands do not have the same chance to become popular that DJ's do. As a result, there haven't been ANY bands emerging onto the music scene from Emilia-Romagna at all in the last 10 years. Public administrations try to provide places for bands to perform but unfortunately, people aren't interested anymore. "Live music with bands doesn't work anymore."

American Inspiration

According to Mr. Immovili, Italian musicians have been looking for inspiration from American musicians for decades. When asked why that was, he replied with "America has always had a strong music market and a strong musical image. This influences European music a lot because lots of peoples' imaginations are stimulated by these images and ideas of American music." There is also an economic element present to the idolisation of American music. People who make music usually want to be "stars" and America is where the "stars" are.

Drawing Parallels

While on the subject of American influence over Italian music, Mr. Immovili talked about some similarities between a few of the two countries' prevalent styles of music. First he compared the musical styles of the towns surrounding the Mississippi River in America with that of the cities around the Po River in northern Italy. Secondly, he compared the musical tendencies of Route 66 in the U.S. to Via Emilia in Italy, but on a smaller scale. Francesco Baccini, the artist mentioned earlier, described the Via Emilia as "the route to the West."

Conclusion

In general, the musical scene of Emilia-Romagna has shifted dramatically from singer-songwriters, rock bands, folk musicians, and now to electronic DJ's with American inspiration present in all decades. At the end of the interview, Mr. Immovili said, "There is a crisis in the music of Emilia-Romagna because we can't go back to the previous musical situation so we are waiting to see what comes in the next 20 years."

Credits:

Created with images by Unsplash - "microphone boy studio" • PublicDomainPictures - "cassette tape plastic tape" • ragdezemog96 - "apple products photography" • beeki-thecoffeedrinker - "woman festival meadow" • MasterMataz-BPM - "dj serato pioneer" • Professionell-Pflegende - "usa flag american flag" • FirmBee - "guitar classical guitar acoustic guitar"

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