A Platform for Ethnically and Culturally Inspired Music
Multi-instrumentalist, singer, composer, producer, video artist, and cultural activist, Al-Maranca has been part of the London music scene for the last 17 years, involved in many projects and working with many artists like Buddy Miles (Jimi Hendrix/Santana), Alex Pascall (BBC), Ken Nelson (Paolo Nutini, Coldplay), and many more. Born in the south of Italy near the volcano Vesuvius, at the age of eight, he was rejected at his first piano lesson by a teacher as "not suitable" for playing music. As a consequence, he started quite late, at the age of 17, on bass. In two years' time, he was already playing professionally in an orchestra and some local gigging bands. Soon he moved to the capital, and after 5 years of living and working as a musician in Rome, Al-Maranca decided to move to London, beginning a new life. In 2004, he founded Round Coloured Note, a multi-coloured band-collective, the name was inspired by the Sufi teachings of Hazrat Inayat Khan, a master who made a big impact on Al's visions and ideas about music and spirituality. The band managed to play various gigs in town, getting noticed by Chris Squire, bass player from Yes, and also receiving some interest from One Little Indian Records (Björk). But the debut album took four long years to finish with several starts and stops, due to life events, and Al being lost in production and busy working with other artists in order to survive. So in the end, there was no motivation left, as the band had vanished in the tough surviving music business world of London. The debut album "From Poison to Medicine" got out during the summer of 2008 without promotion or a band to tour with, although it is still loved and discovered nowadays by many. In 2010, Al-Maranca signed a deal with a well-known UK publisher as a composer of soundtracks and moved back to South Italy, reconnecting with his roots, playing more of the Turkish lute called saz (Bağlama), which lately has become one of his main instruments, and eventually recording and producing an instrumental album of world fusion completely by himself, "Another Way Home," exploring Middle Eastern, West African, and South Italian folk music. Some of the tracks from that album have been broadcast on BBC, French National TV, Japan, Spain, etc. In 2012, some work eventually brought him back to London to the point of moving for good to the UK in 2013 and re-forming Round Coloured Note again, with most of the original members. After quite a few encouraging festivals and gigs, the band is back full-on, with Al mainly on saz this time. Finally, the third album is done, finished, and will be out on the 28th of January!