CD Review: Maddalena Ghezzi, Dolomite

Dolomite is the 5th EP release of the Italian born and London based singer and composer Maddalena Ghezzi, part of the series Minerals (2020). The series is an experiment in storytelling that aims to “let go of the obsession with single protagonism” (Violet Magazine, 2023) and be a continuous story, a tale of a community facing climate change.

The album was released on the 17th of May, in collaboration with the bassist, vocalist, composer and environmentalist Ruth Goller (International Anthem). Ghezzi was born in Milan, but she is connected with Seiser Alm (Alpe di Siusi) where she spent her summer. After the death of her father, she has been going back for the past ten years, on what she describes as a “secular pilgrimage” in memory of her father, whose ashes were scattered on Plattkofel (Sasso Piatto).

Ghezzi explains how the contact with the mountains and nature helped her to heal and reflects on what will happen once nature is destroyed through climate change, and water reduced to scarcity. She is joined in this reflection by Goller, who is also linked to the Dolomites Mountain range where she grew up. Both are sensitive to themes around climate change, nature, and healing spaces.

Their EP Dolomite is about a water journey through a changing landscape from the perspective of a particle of water embarking into the water cycle, each time witnessing changes in the environment that it passes through. Ghezzi and Goller were inspired by the transient element within nature and its constant motion, like the Dolomites that were once at the bottom of the ocean and now constitute some of the highest mountains in Europe. With this EP, they wanted to put the full human experience into perspective, and reflect on the balance between stability and instability.

The four tracks in the EP are in English, Italian, German and Ladino, all based on one poem that Ghezzi wrote and translated into the four languages: ‘Volo’, ‘Flex and Float’, ‘I Fliag’ and ‘Jole’. The first track ‘Jole’ (in Ladino) introduces a beautiful harmony between the two voices that are so different in timbre. The listener can really feel the presence of the water element in the sacred immensity of the mountains. The song ends with the bass playing harmonics, reminiscent of the Jaco Pastorius standard “Continuum”. The second track Flex and Float (in English) relates to the motion and constant changeable aspect of water. It contains the original version of the poem that Ghezzi wrote. ‘I Fliag’ (in German dialect) has the echoes of a punk track, with the bass line that plays an ostinato. The vocal line leaps into lines that sound decidedly instrumental, and the sounds that it creates, blend into a potent mix with the bass. The last track ‘Volo’ (in Italian) feels like a prayer, a conclusion to the artist’s pilgrimage, which rests on a bed of harmonics played by the bass.

The voices of Ghezzi and Goller have different overtones depending on the language that the song is in, and they follow each other like water particles follow each other in this emotional journey. It is easy to feel the presence of the water element. The listener can picture the journey of this little water particle in silence, reflecting on how nature is so important for us and how we can all be more sensitive to climate change. If you want to hear their story and be part of this journey, don’t miss the album launch on 14th June 2024 at the Green Note (London).

To purchase Dolomite click here

Tickets to EP launch on June 14th at Green Note, London, click here

Maddalena Ghezzi website

Ruth Goller website

Photo by Sara Polonghini

Last modified: May 31, 2024