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Higher Octave Records 2001
|It started with two brothers in a small
village of 50 inhabitants in Northern Corsica learning to sing from their
father, a poet, writer, and singer. The Bernardinis traveled around Corsica
singing in their native language on small stages in small villages.
After their father's death, the two brothers, Jean-François and
Alain formed I Muvrini and began to sing songs that Jean-François
composed. His father had given him the passion to write, to sing,
and to spread the word of peace and the struggle against injustice in the
They have recorded numerous albums and have performed not only in the small villages and larger cities of Corsica every summer; but have traveled to Europe to perform in major festivals as well as large stadiums and concert halls. In June/July of 2001, they completed their first U.S./Canada tour.
Recently, they released a new compilation of some of their best work (or at least some of their most popular!) on an American label--Higher Octave. Although if I were choosing what I considered to be the best of I Muvrini, I would have chosen a somewhat different mix. There are, nonetheless, enough great songs (including 2 new ones) on here to qualify this as my current favorite recording in the stack of new ones on my desk.
The song Vogliu sung with the Andalucian singer Josefina Fernandez in itself is worth buying the album for. Like the version of Un So Micca Venuti included on this album (and on A Strada), Josefina and Jean-François trade leads. Their voices are perfectly matched in power and emotion. Josefina is not only a great singer but a fine flamenco style guitar player. As with all of Jean-François's songs, this is a message vibrant with his feelings and communicating his love for his homeland and its people, but also his love for everyone throughout the world. The song translates as "I want".
I want a people that laugh
I am not excited by their much publicized duo with Sting on Terra D'Oru (Fields of Gold) nor do I really like remix versions of tunes (A Voce Rivolta); but everything else on the album is absolutely incredible so I forgive them for these two! I also wish that they would have included at least one traditional polyphonic song. I believe that I Muvrini are some of the best interpreters of the traditional polyphonic songs in Corsica (especially after seeing them perform an exclusively polyphonic set at the French Festival in Santa Barbara on July 14). There is one traditional song on this current c.d.--Lamentu Di Filicone sung by Alain with Gilles Chabenat on vielle à roux and Alain Bonnin on synthesizer that is of course wonderful.
Hopefully, I Muvrini will return to the U.S. soon so that more people can become familiar with their astounding live performances. This is where they absolutely excel. They are all excellent musicians and singers and Jean-François is one of the most charismatic performers that I have ever seen.
Two additional websites on Corsican music and I Muvrini are: