INTERVIEW WITH ENRICO ROSA, FROM PROG ROCK BAND “CAMPO DI MARTE”
CARLOS VAZ – At first, I would like to thank you to take time to answer this interview. Well, I would like to know, who was in the past and who is “Campo Di Marte” today. Could you tell us some interesting history about the band and Is there something special in the choice of the Title “Campo di Marte”?
ENRICO ROSA – The past “Campo di Marte” as the new one was done by Mauro Sarti and Enrico Rosa.
Mauro found the musicians in Florence (Italy) who I have to write music for and so it started, I was not from Florence and I didn’t know anybody in town apart from Mauro. We had Mauro on drums and some flute parts than another Drummer Marcovecchio from Califfi then en American bass player Richard Ursillo (called Paul Richard on the cover) a classical French horn player Alfredo Barducci who played organ/piano and flute and myself on acoustic and electric guitar and some piano and mellotron so we used two drums a part of the time and when Mauro had to play the flute we still have a drummer working.
I did write and arranged the music completely and it was an interesting task because at that time I was mostly in Jazz and Classical so I knew Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock and so on but I didn’t know anything of the Progressive Rock and rock in general just what I could listen to passing by some music place, in a way that was good because with no models to follow I wrote the music for the instruments I had and for the story to be told, all done in a way to be performed Live combining the acoustic and the electric sounds in a kind of Symphonic way.
It seems like it worked, the most amazing thing is that the band, which existed under many different names before the recording in January 1973 where the name was found, disappeared after the recording, the only performance with that constellation was at Mestre 6 months later where I played a solo part on the guitar and a couple of tunes that we could put together in the morning before the festival because we haven’t played together since the recording, I in my extreme stupidity had done another band under the same name which played completely different music already since January and while working in studios in Milano I was performing with Ares Tavolazzi and Giulio Capiozzo from Area and we did something with Demetrio Stratos too.
So the possibilities for the band to exist were taken right at the beginning from the guy who did the whole thing.
Sometimes I keep asking myself if someone can be that stupid.
For the name “Campo di Marte,” it is to make a link to the field of war and the absurdity of War as the cover of the record shows mercenary soldiers who asking for more money for their services boast their strength stabbing themselves with any kind of weapon.
About the new “Campo di Marte” it is: Mauro Sarti on drums, Maurilio Rossi on Bas, a very creative musician of the prog scene since the late 70s with a great heart, Alexandr Matin Sass on piano/Keyboards, a great pianist from Estonia who I work together also on other projects, Eva Rosa, my wife, who is a trained classical recorder player and she loves rock and jazz and with “Campo di Marte” she plays on different recorders and a digital wind controller (a flute/sax digital wind instrument with the same possibilities like a synth), finally I play the acoustic & electric guitar and write the music in the same manner as in the old days writing for the story in music and using all the colors of the electric and acoustic instruments on a rock heart of bass and drums.
CARLOS VAZ – Many listeners of the Progressive Rock from Japan and South America, became in a lover from Campo di Marte´s music. What about in Italy? Do you have any idea about, how many copies from the first work were sold in Italy and also around the world?
ENRICO ROSA – I actually don’t know how much it is sold off the old record in Italy, I haven’t had the opportunity of following the prog scene in Italy because I moved to Denmark in 1974 and I am still here, so I have been living here the most of my life.
The same about the rest of the world but it seems like both the record and the CD reissue have sold a lot but unfortunately, I haven’t been able to see how much even if I have done the Whole work.
CARLOS VAZ – Who did have the initial idea to put together again the musicians from “Campo Di Marte”, and which was the main reason for the return of the band to the world-wide Progressive Rock musical scene?
ENRICO ROSA – I realized that my old work was surrounded by a lot of interest and at first thanks to Augusto Croce of the Italian prog site I started thinking to how good I felt when I played prog and how incomplete I have been ever since because the progressive rock is the only music art that gives me the possibilities to play with no restriction being the musician I am: on a Heavy Rock electric as well as on an acoustic classical mood or a more jazz-rock feeling all coloring this great music that Progressive rock is.
So I met my old friend Mauro who also missed me and the music we could play together and that was it, we had to be born again.
CARLOS VAZ – We can hear lots of different musical styles in the Band´s music, from progressive rock to jazz, and even a classic music. What is your opinion about the band´s musical style, and can we consider “Campo di Marte” a Progressive Rock Band still today?
ENRICO ROSA – “Campo di Marte” is Progressive Rock and Progressive Rock is progressive because is done by more than rock, to limit a music art is to take away the heart of the music and the musician which is always in search of itself and of the universal language.
Music has no limits, I use to say to my students: music has no limits, but musicians have.
CARLOS VAZ – Reading some reviews around the internet, we found someone that wrote: – “Campo di Marte album was the most obscure Italian albums, probably the reason that it doesn’t have the same “sort” of others bands as PFM, Le Orme, Banco del Mutuo Soccorso, etc.” Do you believe in “sort”? Why “Campo di Marte” wouldn´t have the same “sort” of others?
ENRICO ROSA – The band did not have a chance to be on the road as “Campo di Marte” after the record was released, so how could anybody know our music and the band have another sort.
As I said the band vanished after the recording thanks to my idiocy.
By the way, before leaving Italy I was asked by Francesco of the Banco to join their band but I was disappointed with my homeland and I wanted to expatriate that’s why I turned also that offer down.
CARLOS VAZ – I’m sure there are new songs already waiting to be recorded. If so, what can we expect from “Campo di Marte” in the present day and also to the near future?
ENRICO ROSA – On the new CD there will be already some new tunes and I have a lot of material ready for a completely new album all in the spirit of “Campo di Marte”.
The band is back and we will be at any Concert where people would like to experience “Campo di Marte” Live to give our best and with all our hearts in the spirit of music.
CARLOS VAZ – Tell us something about the new band musicians, with special attention for Eva Rosa. Could you introduce Eva to our readers?
ENRICO ROSA – Eva, she is a great musician with no limits who studied with the greatest recorders performer in the world and she is the reason why I could find the strength to start the band again and with her, during the last three years in which we have been living together, I have explored the crossover to rock and classical and Jazz with our project ROSÆ where we play a concert traveling in time by music from the 12th century until today reaching to great contrast from totally acoustic tunes until progressive tunes with a bass recorder and a heavy rock guitar.
So she is perfect for the “Campo di Marte” spirit.
A new double CD including a live performance from 1972 at the Space Electronic (Firenze- Italy) and the live performance of 2003 will be released in October 2003.
CARLOS VAZ – Would you like to comment on something interesting about this work and, what can all Progressive Rock fans expect about it?
ENRICO ROSA – A live recording at the Space Electronic, actually the recording we used in 72 as a demo to UA that had shown interest into releasing my work, the recording was done at the Space Electronic in Florence where we use to perform our concert most days of the week and we play the tunes we later recorded some of them in a different way and with English lyrics on some of the themes that became instrumental later on.
The recording was copied on a test record (in Italian called “Lacca”) that I got at that time and that I left it to my old good friend Nello in Italy for 30 years; he kept it well and when I asked if he still had it he said: “of course here is it waiting for you”!!! The recording was called Concerto Zero and so it will be named again.
The new recording is a Live studio session done the day after the Festival On the Road of Pelago (July 12th, 2003) where unfortunately it was impossible to do a recording with a mobile studio.
So we recorded all in one take like a Live concert at La Terrazza (Ronta -Firenze) where the mobile studio from “Larione 10” with Sergio Salaorni moved to do the recording.
We did a Live studio session to keep the authenticity of the music so the music you will listen to, will be real and will include some old tunes rearranged for more live performance and three new titles.
CARLOS VAZ – Recently PFM, Le Orme, and other famous Italian bands come back on the stages with fantastic live performances. Which is your main expectation in coming back to the stages after 30 years?
ENRICO ROSA – I would love to perform with “Campo di Marte” and give the Audience the best performance every time.
CARLOS VAZ – “Campo di Marte for the first time together after 30 years, has performed a concert on July the 12th 2003”. Are there differences between play alive in the’70’s, and play alive for a new generation of progressive rock listeners in the present days? For you and to all band members, is there the same feeling from the past?
ENRICO ROSA – It is a great feeling, I feel even better than in 72-73. The public is fantastic and from 18 years old to 60. I don’t believe that something like that could be done before. Young people write to me asking me about the guitar sound and others thanks for having given them such a great musical experience, young radio station wants to send the old and the forthcoming work of “Campo di Marte” this is fantastic. (Photo by Augusto Croce on July the 12th 2003 at “On the Road” Pelago (Italy) From the left: Eva Rosa, Enrico Rosa, Mauro Sarti, Alexandr Matin Sass, and Maurilio Rossi).
CARLOS VAZ – I´d like to hear your opinion about the current Progressive Rock scene around the world, where many new bands are appearing day after day. How do you see the scene of the Progressive Rock today, in relation to the same movement 30 years later?
ENRICO ROSA – I am afraid that I can’t give an answer to this one, as a musician I work a lot with music every day but I can’t have the time to listen to so much as you do or the public so my opinion would not be right if given in general.
I can say something about a piece of music presented to me which I will listen to carefully and then say what I feel but not say something about a very large amount of recordings that I haven’t heard or heard too little of it and so be superficial.
CARLOS VAZ – Would you like to say something special to the Progressive Rock fans in South America and also to all Prog friends around the world?
ENRICO ROSA – Thanks a lot for keeping the music alive, “Campo di Marte” would have never existed if you did not discover it.
A great thank to all the Latin America that with its Great Heart can feel the deepest meaning of the Progressive Rock of “Campo di Marte”.