joão orecchia

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improvised music
South Africa X South Florida / Eternal Peasant Remixes
Other Electricities 2013
Eternal Peasant
Motèl Mari
Other Electricities 2012
routes Circuitous Routes 7"
Lukas Ligeti & João Orecchia
Wallace Records 2011
Hunters and Collectors Hunters & Collectors
A tribute to Can

Other Electricities 2009
Hands and Feet
João Orecchia
Other Electricities 2009
It's Only Wasteland, Mum
Blankrecords 2008
Motherless Brooklyn
João Orecchia
Blankrecords 2006
Blankrecords Compilation 2006
Each of Us Is One of Them
João Orecchia & Steffen Martin
Nico and the Navigators 2004
Hier Entsteht
Book with CD/ Various
BBooks 2004
Quality Is Punk
Blankrecords 2004
Capitol Recordings/Involve Records 2004
Where is the Alaska Boy?
Independent CDR 2003
Story of a Journey
João Orecchia
Independent CDR 2003

My father immigrated to New York in his mid twenties, dreaming of becoming a singer. One of his prized possessions was a photo of him as a young man singing with Bing Crosby in the streets of Rome, his hometown. When he was 18 (circa 1959) he begged his mother for a bass guitar so he could play and sing in a band. She eventually pawned a ring and got him an Italian-made Eko bass guitar, covered in plastic and glitter. He played in a band for a few months until he had to do a mandatory military service. After that he moved to New York. Many years later I got my hands on the bass and put it to good use on my new album Hands and Feet.

Around the time I started recording the album, my father passed away and I got these recordings he made when he first went to New York, “When I Fall in Love” and “Arrivederci Roma,” both in a “straight-to-vinyl” kind of thing. I decided to write a duet around “When I Fall in Love,” and then afterwards, “Arrivederci Roma” seemed to fit quite well and I decided to use the tracks as bookends for the album.

The title Hands and Feet refers to a kind of simplicity that I find nearly impossible to explain in words. Like the simplicity of starting over, from nothing, and trying to build something up. Aging, the death of a parent, identity, nationality. When things central to the way you define yourself change, you feel stripped in a way, almost like you have to reapply your skin layer by layer.

The album also developed through playing the songs live. I had been friends with the BLK JKS (Secretly Canadian) and I asked Tshepang Ramoba to play drums with me and Mpumi Mcata to play guitar. It was originally supposed to be just a live thing but I loved their drum and guitar work so much it made it on the album.

There are other incredible contributions to Hands and Feet. Spoek Mathambo (Sweat.X, Playdoe) sings on “Play Pretend”. Serengeti (Anticon, Audio 8, F5) is the MC on “All Opera”. I got in touch with Will Freyman (Polyphonic the Verbose) after Serengeti and Polyphonic’s Don’t Give Up was released. When I was working on “All Opera” I kept hearing Serengeti’s voice over it. I sent the music to Chicago where they recorded vocals. Carlo Mombelli is a South African legend. Highly respected in jazz circles, he also does work with township kids, building instruments out of junk, composing and arranging for all kinds of things. Mario Marchisella is a classically trained percussionist from Zurich. We met when he was in Johannesburg on an artists’ residency and after we played a gig together, I asked him to play drums on a few tracks.