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Claudio Milano

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Claudio Milano ManifestAzioni Live 2011-2023 album cover
4.49 | 11 ratings | 8 reviews | 36% 5 stars

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Live, released in 2023

Songs / Tracks Listing

CD 1 (55:52)
1. Per causa - nostra (7:58)
2. Dite (2:13)
3. Che il piacere � peccato? (2:11)
4. E se aprissi quella porta? (4:55)
5. Conta chi tenta! (3:08)
6. Amanti in guerra (4:41)
7. Secca in festa (2:58)
8. Gallia#4 (4:13)
9. Cerniere (7:27)
10. Aghe aghe benedete (12:37)
11. Nostro padre ci aspetta - A Claudio Rocchi (3:31)

CD 2 (68:39)
1. Madre pagana (2:55)
2. Per causa - nostra -II (6:29)
3. Incontro - Medley (8:09)
4. Cramars Marochins PT II (5:12)
5. Surabaya Johnny (6:02)
6. Il serpente e il bastone (3:11)
7. Nella torre delle aquile (4:02)
8. Da La leggenda di Zlatarog: Identit�/Claps (19:38)
9. Pan's pot (5:58)
10. SenseNonSex - Vocal Workshow (7:03)

Total Time 124:31

Line-up / Musicians

Claudio Milano: voice/theatre


Francesca Badalini: piano, synth, zither (CD 1 track 02-03-04-05; CD 2 06-07)

Walter Calloni: drums and percussion (CD 1 track 1)

Luca Casiraghi: drums and percussion (CD 1 tracks 02-03-04-05; CD2 06-07)

Evaristo Casonato: flutes, oboe, bagpipes (CD 1 track 06-07; CD 2 track 02-03)

Arrington De Dionyso: vocals (CD 2 track 09)

Gerardo Ferrara: theatre (CD 2 track 02)

Giovanni 'Vanni' Floreani: cister, flutes, bagpipes, electronics, electric guitar (CD 1 tracks 08-09; CD 2 tracks 02-03-04-05-08), vocals (CD 1 track 10; CD 2 tracks o4, 08)

Ermes Ghirardini: drums and percussion (CD 1 track 09; CD 2 track 08)

Andrea Grumelli: fretless bass, electronics (CD 1 track 02-03-04-05; CD 2 track 06-07)

Raoul Moretti: electrified harp (CD 1 track 06-07; CD 2 track 05)

Eugenioprimo Saragoni: vocals (CD 2 track 10)

Cristina Sybell Spadotto: electric guitar (CD 2 track 04)

Ares Tavolazzi: electric bass (CD 1 track 01)

Paolo Tofani: Trikanta Veena, electronics, Ipad, vocals (CD 1 track 01-10-11; CD 2 track 02-03-08)

Marco Tuppo: electronics (CD 1 track 08)

Paolo Viezzi: double bass (CD 2 track 04)

Giulia Zaniboni: vocals (CD 2 track 10)

Vincenzo Zitello: Celtic harp (CD 1 track 08-11)

Releases information

Author/Composer: Claudio Milano
Publisher: Music Force
Label: Music Force
Catalogue: MF 117

To listen album "ManifestAzioni Live 2011-2023"

Thanks to milanoclaudio for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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CLAUDIO MILANO ManifestAzioni Live 2011-2023 ratings distribution

(11 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(36%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(64%)
Good, but non-essential (0%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

CLAUDIO MILANO ManifestAzioni Live 2011-2023 reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars This new double album by Claudio MILANO is a collection of live performances recorded between 2011 and 2023 as the title says. This means also that there is a huge number of guests musicians: three former AREA (Tofani, Calloni and Tavolazzi) and a lot of famous and less famous names. Just read the list on the album's page.

"Per causa nostra (Because of Us)" is tendentially a rock/fusion jam with an excellent guitar and Claudio's voice as additional instrument. I don't have the CD yet so I can't say who is playing. Interesting the unexpected remind to "Apache" by the Shadows which helps to guess the age of the players. A good start.

Starting from "Dite", a devils city in Dante's Inferno, we enter Dante's comedy, even though the episodes are not in sequence respect to the poem. Dite is a short track full of electronics and is a sort of intro to "Che il piacere peccato?" (Is Pleasure a Sin?) which is inspired to the famous episode of Paolo and Francesca and quotes also sentences from Dante's poem. Piano and vocals for another short but intense track.

My favorite view of the Inferno comes with "E se aprissi quella porta?" (What If I opened That Door?). Very dark and full of sufference, it's the anti-inferno door, the entrance to Hell from where nobody can come back. When Claudio stops singing on the famous "Lasciate Ogni Speranza..." (Give up to every hope), a Fender piano remains the only accompainment to Claudio's voice. One note: even if the whole poem is written in endecasillabes, Claudio refuses to adopt a fixed metric. There's also a spoken part that's very theatrical. Well, it's something to listen to, not to describe.

"Conta Chi Tenta" is even darker, but we are in the "Malebolge" with Barbariccia the Devil.

"Amanti In guerra" (Lovers in War) follows. We are now in Dante's Paradise where two spirits who were sinners under the influence of Venus redeemed and were given the Heaven. The electric harp, likely played by Raoul Morelli, is the only accompainment to the vocals. The song moves from minor chords, initially, to major. Maybe it's just my interpretation, but thinking to the story, the minor chords may represent the luxurious past of the two spirits which turns into major chords after the redemption. Or it is just a coincidence, I don't know.

With "Secca in Festa" we are out of Dante's world. The song is from Nichelodeon's "Bath Salts", and sounds very close to the studio version. Just the harp sounds a little more "medieval" on this version.

Claudio has sent me years ago Gallia#4 by INSONAR and Vincenzo ZITELLO. Very different from what we have heard until now, it's probably the lightest track of this live compilation despite mentioning "Moonlight" and "Stars shining in the night". Its oriental flavor reminds a bit to Vangelis' "China", but only a bit, due to the instruments used. Vangelis never sung like Claudio. Probably never sung at all.

"Cerniere" (Hinges) starts with a gentle acoustic guitar and what I think is an alto-clarinet, but I can be wrong. The guitar is replaced by percussion and the clarinet by voice of a child. In few seconds we are in a strange world between Druids and medieval monks, at least this is what the music creates in my mind. Maybe it's only me, but I hear some Canterbury influence: Soft Machine and Gong, mainly.

I should search for mor info about "Aghe Aghe Benedete". This is in "Furlan"; a dialet from the northwest of Italy, close to Slovenja. I'm aware of a version of this song from Alvise Nodale, a local folksinger, but it sounds very different even if the lyrics are the same. It may even be a traditional song. I'm Italian and I think I've spent less than one day in that region in my whole life. I don't know anything about traditionals from there. Anyway, the jazzy part of Claudio's version is very good.

The first CD is closed by a song dedicated to the former STORMY SIX Claudio ROCCHI, recently passed away after a life in search of spiritual illumination, moving to Nepal and joining Krshna's religion.

CD2 is opened by "Madre Pagana" sung acapella by Claudio alone. An opportunity to show his impressive vocal extension. The last note lasts very long and is kept perfectly on its tone. Then we have "Per Causa Nostra II". The song title on both the parts has a "-" between "causa" and "nostra". It surely means something. I don't think ther has ever be any superflous thing in Claudio Milano albums. If there's a dash it has a meaning. I don't know which one, but there's one for sure. The song is built around a guitar riff and what seems chaos is only apparent. It sounds like a contemporary classic piece and unexpectedly ends into a sort of gothic choir.

"Incontro - Medley" has a psychedelic opening. Between the instruments I hear maybe a cello, pipes, keyboard and several background voices. It lasts about 2 minutes and half, the Claudio's voice enters. The first part reminded me to the experimental side of Battiato. The second sounds like a sort of pagan missa. Should I suggest a track to get into this album, this is the one. It also quotes a traditional British song. The melody has been used by Blackmore's Night on "One For All" and by Angelo Branduardi" on "Ballo in Fa Diesis Minore".

Also the following track has a folky/medieval start with Claudio's high pitches and Cello or maybe Contrabass. I don't have the lyrics here, but it sounds as Vulgar Latin or archaic Italian. It's a long intro, then it turns into a rhytmic rock track with electric guitar on a 4 major chords progression and a sung melody still folky. A stop and a fuitar riff in AREA style closes the song.

"Surabaya Johnny" comes from Nichelodeon's "Bath Salts". It's a theatrical song written by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill. Translated into Italian and made even more theatrical.

"Il Serpente e Il Bastone" (The snake and the stick) may refer to Aesculapius or to Moses. It has a nice piano base and keyboards layout. Dark but melodic.

"Nella Torre delle Aquile" (Inside the Tower of the Eagles" has a piano opening. There are several towers in Italy with this name. I don't know if the title is referred to an existing one. It sounds like a lament. It might be Rapunzel, the Beauty or Pia de' Tolomei from Dante's comedy. I can't guess it from the lyrics.

The following track is about 20 minutes long. The initial base is a percussion background. There's some spoken German, I can't get all the lyrics, but it's interesting. It's a bit jazzy but the percussion have also a tribal feel. Very nice. The next section makes me think of Soft Machine. A lazy ongoing on a suspended chord, tendentially major and continued acapella by Claudio who uses very low and very high pitches smoothly replaced by a percussion solo. Then it's again percussion and vocals on a fixed rhythm and accompanied by highly tuned acoustic guitar. It proceeds in this way until the end when the acoustic guitar gets into a sort of celtic riff. A very intriguing track.

"Pan's Pot" is another vocal experimental track. There are overdubbed voices, being live it's possible that a loop device has been used. Anyway, the recording is so clean that it coould even have been recorded in studio.

The closing track "SenseNonSex" features what I think is the highest pitch taken by Claudio in the whole album. The voice is overdubbed also on this track and I don't hear looping things, but it's live. I think that the best way to enjoy it consists in letting the various voices enter your mind without paying attention at the single voice. Get it as a whole. Syd Barrett would have likeed it.

Honestly, as almost all the releases by Claudio Milano, this is not for everybody. It's not an album to put in the background while you are driving. It requires attention and can be enjoyed by putting not only your ears on it. As all the challenging things, it can be rewarding.

Review by Mellotron Storm
5 stars Right from the first spin I knew this was a special recording. Claudio Milano is one of the greatest singers on the planet and while his inspiration at first seemed to come from AREA's Demetrio Stratos this man has his own style and there is no one like him. This is a double live recording of over 2 hours of music going back to 2011 and right up to 2023. I know this man's music. I am in double digits when it comes to albums that feature Claudio and to be honest I have had great difficulty with some of it, several 3 star ratings in fact but many 4 star ratings. This is my first 5 star rating for him and it's well deserved. Not perfect by any means but on each disc I have 8 songs(16 total) that are incredible and a total of 5 that leave me bewildered(haha).

The liner notes are amazing, very detailed at who is playing and singing and where each performance happened and when. Lots of pictures too. Claudio has a cool relationship with AREA's Paolo Tofani who he leaves to last in the "thankyou" section saying "And... finally, thank you Paolo Tofani for everything you have given me, this record is also yours." Paolo adds electronics, vocals and more and hey we also get the AREA drummer and bass player and all three AREA guys on that opening track. And Franco Battiato is on here! But man this is really all about Claudio and his vocal gymnastics. I do have a top three but would like to touch briefly on all of the 16 tracks that thrill me.

"Per Causa-Nostra" the opening track with the AREA boys is a top three for me. The opening bass and drums sound great as Claudio joins in. Check out the guitar after 2 minutes and later. This track is as much about the instrumental work as it is with the vocals. "Dite" is short but with depth as Claudio, bass, electronics and piano lead the way. "Che Il Piacere E' Peccato?" is another short 2 minute piece that opens in a haunting way before piano and fragile vocals take over.

"Conta Chi Tenta!" opens with pounding piano and drums as theatrical vocals join in. "Gallia #4" sounds incredible with those instrumental sounds and atmosphere. Intense before 2 minutes when Claudio steps aside briefly. "Aghe Aghe" is the longest track on disc one at almost 12 1/2 minutes and is an amazing ride. The closer of disc one is a tribute to STORMY SIX member Claudio Rocchi who had just recently passed. Spacey and beautiful, a nice change of pace although vocally this is pretty cool with those vocal arrangements.

Disc two and that second track ""Per Causa-Nostra II" has Battaito on it and is avant all the way instrumentally. Some abrasive guitar. Lots of depth 4 minutes in and deep vocals end it. "Incontro-Medley" is such a unique piece with bag pipes and dark vocal expressions. My second top three is "Cramars Marochins Pt II" as it just hits the spot with the intensity, the vocals and guitar all standing out. "Il Serpente E Il Bastone" is all about the sound, the atmosphere, just gorgeous as the vocals soar.

"Nella Torre Delle Aquile" is piano and atmosphere early with Claudio arriving around 1 1/2 minutes in. So much atmosphere early on. The eighth track is the longest on the double release at almost 20 minutes and it's almost catchy(haha). "Pan's Pot" is all about the vocals while the closer my final top three is also all about the vocals. It's called "SenseNonSex-Vocal Workshow" and it is a show of Claudio's incredible talents along with this soprano female singer Giulia Zaniboni who sings in Claudio's style and the results are outstanding.

This will sit with my all time favourite Avant albums, it's that good.

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Vocalist/voice artist Claudio Milano is a stand-alone figure on Italian music scene. Singer with wide-range operatic vocals, Claudio works on a fragile soil mixing classical music, free improvisation, Italian tradition and progressive rock aesthetics. Knowing Claudio almost for two decades, I still can't stop wondering his ability to disappear for years and return on scenes as Phenix back again.

Newest Claudio release - double-CD album "ManifestAzioni live 2011​-​2023" contains previously unreleased live music from last twelve years, recorded by Claudio's different projects and collaborations.

Double set opens with very eloquent music - true rock song, recorded by legendary Rock Progressivo Italiano band Area descendants Area Open Project, with Claudio responsible for vocals. In early 70s Area was very popular band led by Greek-Egyptian vocalist Demetrio Stratos, renown by theatrical vocals and unusual voice improvisations. Claudio obviously pays respect to Stratos, one of his big influence. An excellent piece for fans of progressive rock with original Area's bassist Ares Tavolazzi on board.

Six set's tracks come from I Sincopatici - Milanese keys/bass/drums trio, accompanying to Claudio singing the songs based on Dante Alighieri poetry. Six more tracks are recorded with "border music" band Strepitz, with feel-able folklore influences and rock arrangements (Area's original guitarist Paolo Tofani's three-necks guitar soloing on "Aghe Aghe benedete" is impressive).

There are pieces on this set, coming from some Milano's own projects from previous decade (multimedia NichelOdeon and duo with sounds artist Marco Tuppo InSonar) as well.

Second set's disc opens with vocal-only composition, based on controversial Bulgarian author Nikolay Rainov (who studies Theology in Russia) work "Il Diavolo Creatore". "Pan's pot" is a duet with voice artist Arrington De Dionyso and "SenseNonSex" is a vocal duet with Giulia Zaniboni.

Being of very eclectic origin, album's material fits together quite well, especially on CD 1. With great recording quality as for collection of different periods archival recordings, and feel-able Italian progressive rock tradition, this release is probably a bit more framed than many of Claudio previous works. It with no doubt will enjoy those already familiar with Claudio Milano art, and probably will attract some new listeners as well.

Review by Kempokid
5 stars Claudio Milano does it yet again, crafting something truly incredible that is able to feel so cohesive despite how eclectic and utterly out there it will often get. Despite being a collection of live recordings from different projects and collaborations over the course of 12 years, it all fits together pretty cleanly while also being extremely bold in the directions things go. This is most clear when comparing the opening track Per Causa - Nostra with stuff like Madre pagana. The former of these is this dense avant-prog masterpiece featuring members from the band Area, with the song going in all kinds of directions and keeping this constant sense of intensity that only ever seems to escalate, packed with this theatrical flair to further elevate the density of everything going on.

On the other hand, you have a fair few tracks that are entirely acapella, feeling rather sparse, but no less impressive, really letting Milano's voice shine through in all its powerful, operatic glory. My favourite of this style of track has to be the closing track SenseNonSex however, being a borderline harrowing duet with Giulia Zaniboni that reaches some utterly ridiculous heights with how the two of them play off one another. It's hard to pinpoint too many specific moments in this that grab me beyond this, but that's not really a complaint in this case either, instead contributing to a rather unique listening experience where moments will begin blending together, but in those moments where much closer attention is paid, you'll almost always be hearing something a bit different, all tied together by the common thread of it being so constantly intense, whether it's influenced by fusion, classical or even a bit of canterbury from time to time, making for a truly special listening experience from start to finish.

Even the occasional lulls in my personal interest that occur from time to time don't detract from the album as a whole, as these still will often strive to feel very fresh and continue contributing to the kaleidoscopic flurry of ideas on display. Heavily recommended, as while this might not be as tightly constructed as Nichelodeon's Incidenti - Lo Schianto, it's arguably even more full of ambitious ideas, being this maximalist 2 hour journey that rarely lets up.

Review by kev rowland
5 stars When I first came across Claudio Milano and his Nichelodeon project I was truly taken aback by what I was hearing, as I had not previously heard such a singular approach to music. It was more about musical theatre than it was pure music, with Claudio mixing together multiple forms to create his own genre, truly progressive. I said that was music for people who appreciated the likes of Art Zoyd and Can and was only for those who truly felt they could open their minds to something which was very different indeed. That release encompassed four different bands, all with Claudio at their heart, and while this is credited to Claudio, it has been taken from multiple performances over more than a decade and involves different musicians here and there, but for me this is always about the voice.

When I was speaking to Claudio about his approach he said, "mine is no longer pop music, not even has become something that brings together the performing arts and, while rigorously researching the geometric organisation that characterises it, tells of the incredible multitude of stimuli we receive in reality, but also an altered perception of things that might belong to those who have chosen self-analysis as the only way to evolve as an individual?It is modern classical linked to performative action that interests me now, but I don't reject melodies, following crazy harmonisations". While this is challenging, in multiple ways, it is also incredibly enthralling as one never knows what is going to come next, and where Claudio is going to take us with his amazing vocals. He can switch into falsetto incredibly easily, and holding long notes is never an issue, yet many times it feels as if we are listening to some strange and warped modern opera where Claudio is taking on all the roles. For the most part I have no idea what he is singing about as much is in Italian, but that does not matter as there is an almost hypnotic quality which keeps the listener entranced. Often there is little in the way of accompaniment, but what there is directs us to his voice.

There is more than two hours of music here, a double CD containing 21 songs, and Claudio somehow manages to create his own world, one where we are captured and somewhat hypnotised by what is taking place in front of our ears. Even for those with open minds there is a lot here to take in, but do not worry if it all feels rather strange the first time it is played as a) it is, and b) the more it is listened to the more one is compelled to play it again. That this is a masterpiece is never in doubt, nor is the fact that most people will find this just too far out there and something they are unable to comprehend. Without knowing Italian I know I am missing out on a major part of this, but even as it is I know I have been greatly enriched by having heard it. Not for the fainthearted, but the musically adventurous will find much here to discover.

Review by LearsFool
5 stars Claudio Milano, the vocal and lyrical mastermind behind such vanguardist projects as NichelOdeon and InSonar, as well as collaborations thereof, has returned with a look at his past. This sprawling double-LP collects a cornucopia of different performances by a variety of different artists - Milano's End Friends in the album's title - that he sang with over a clearly fruitful 12 year period. The cuts chosen for this LP are never before released and represent music that won't be returned to in the studio if anywhere. It's honestly a record that floored me in multiple ways, chiefly the range Milano continues to show both vocally and in the number of fellow travelers he took the stage with. NichelOdeon and Not Me (who came to dominate his excellent studio LP Incidenti) are represented here, but he focuses more on his alternative friends I Sincopatici and Strepitz among others in this bumper crop, delivering new angles to his talent and illuminating more of the oft neglected greats of modern Italian prog.

Milano's singing and lyricism naturally define this collection, rolling through a variety of languages and dialects both contemporary and medieval. For instance he pulls out old Friulian and Sicilian tongues alongside Latin, Hellenic, and some uniquely antiquated French on top of both medieval and modern standard Italian. The lyrics furthermore speak to the wide variety of literary and musical influences he and his collaborators have drawn from. I remain astounded by the heights he achieved on Incidenti but these tracks prove that his recent triumphs are rooted in a long term growth in his vocal power and stylings. One of the zeniths collected here is his singing with the AreA successor named Area Open Project that opens this record, where he proves himself a worthy successor and beyond for Demetrio Stratos. Due praise must also be given to the Bandcamp only bonus cut "Tributo a Claudio Rocchi" in honor of Stormy Six's late great bassist/singer-songwriter which crashes different vocals and spoken words together to help eulogize him. The otherwise closing cut "SenseNonSex" provides an astounding vocal tapestry not only to Milano but Eugenioprimo Saragoni and most of all the immaculate Giulia Zaniboni in my personal favorite sequence on this record.

The instrumentation here is also excellent to say the least. There's clearly some through-lines as two bands are primarily represented and both the avant-prog scene in Italy and Milano's musical preferences are clearly apparent across the entire album. Bear in mind, however, that the ultimate cohesion in this release is a fractal that carves a myriad of stylings across the sonic landscape collected here. AOP's opener is a rhythmic opus that hardly limits itself in its jagged guitar flashes to Milano's practically echoing, mountainous rhapsodizing. NichelOdeon's representatives here are defined by acoustic guitars that beautifully set their scenes. I Sincopatici's cuts are piano driven in tasty and mind expanding ways. The final result, after all the entrancing notes and solos, is a sort of musical panopticon that takes a variety of instruments and stylings and reifies them into a sort of whole within and around the mighty Milano, who sees and sings all in his many wondrous idioms.

This double-LP is one of the hardest releases for me to describe fully - I heartily recommend the wise analysis of my fellow reviewers here to round out any understanding what Claudio Milano has given us here. But this is nothing short of wondrous and groundbreaking, masterful cutting edge music collected from a once potentially lost past and reshaped into a vessel of raw artistic power that speaks to the past, present, and future of some of prog's greatest and most vanguardist artists, and therefore of prog rock and beyond in general.

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars If vocal prog was a bonafide musical category which would signify a greater emphasis on vocal explorations rather than musical virtuosity, then perhaps only a scant few artists could be included. In the world of progressive rock vocalists are more often than not mere second thought with vocalists who are competent but more often than not lack the charisma and sauce that breathes extra life in the act. There have been a few vocalists over the last half century that have really stood above and beyond the competition. Of course there was Area's Demetrio Stratos who showcased that the Italian prog scene could be much more than a mere imitation of your favorite opera set to rock music. Likewise Slovenia's Devil Doll showcased the wild and imaginative vocal prowess of Mr. Doctor who still stands out for his wide range and innovative approaches. Add to that Mike Patton of Faith No More, Mr Bungle and a never-ending list of other acts has seemingly rose to the top ranks of experimental vocals.

Well in the modern era we would have to include Italy's CLAUDIO MILANO in this small but impressive roster of hyper-talented vocalists who goes above and beyond the duty by far surpassing the mere role of singer and goes for the Olympic gold for vocal gymnastics. While remaining firmly in the avant-underground of experimental progressive music, MILANO has become somewhat of a cult legend for his tireless approach of taking the voice to hitherto unthinkable levels sounding as much as a modern avant-opera star as a leader in the nerdy time signature-rich world of avant-prog. His contributions with his 'ber-experimental band Nichelodeon as well as Insonar, MILANO has carved out a unique career as a solo artist as well and with his latest release the double live album MANIFESTAZIONI LIVE 2011-2023, MILANO sums up the last decade or so with a masterful collection of his works that will guarantee to induce goosebumps for all the lovers of everything avant-garde.

Any recording from MILANO features a veritable who's who of the underground avant-music scene of 21st century Italy and this double whammy CD / digital release is no exception to that rule as it features nearly 20 seasoned musicians including Area's own Paolo Tafani who appears on several tracks. This collection of musical gems basically compiles several live performances of the last 12 years with crystal clear sound production and in all honesty sounds more like a bonafide studio album rather than a secondary live one save the moments of audience participation which primarily consists of the standard applause after a performance. Despite the rotating cast of musicians on board the album exudes a continuity due to the outsider effect musical style that focuses on instrumental excursions as well as MILANO's own extended vocal techniques.

This one is certainly a demanding listening experience with 21 tracks that extend past the 2 hour mark but the aural kaleidoscope effect that mixes everything from folk, rock, electronic, ambient, jazz fusion, classical music and avant-prog all dressed up with an experimental finish is performed impeccably well and evokes a sense of professionalism and perfectionism that is almost totally absent in modern progressive music. MILANO is clearly reaching for the future and not digging up the past to retread. To add to the exotic nature of these recordings, none of these tracks except 'Amanti In Guerra' has appeared in any of the performer's previous recordings and no plans of future releases are in the making either. This is a stand alone anomaly in the vast canon of all involved and it is utterly amazing how tight and interwoven the musicians perform given the extremely complex and avant-garde nature of the music at hand.

While devoid of English lyrics, MILANO wails away in Italian, German, Latin, Greek, ancient French as well as other lesser known tongues and makes each performances his very own with lyrics derived from many writers, poets and other musical artists. While a few tracks are fairly accessible and simplified, the vast majority of the music showcased is dark, brooding and eerily complex with bizarre contrapuntal musical motifs that complement each other in bizarre alien ways. Perhaps the most daunting aspect of MANIFESTAZIONI is its sheer length as two hours of investment in the attention deficit inducting 21st century is a tall order but when the proper time is invested in this avant-garde maestrohood the rewards are manyfold. While i can't say i found this release as compelling as Nichelodeon's 2021 masterpiece 'Incidenti,' this double live release is certainly well worth investigating for those who relish the top tiers of musicality and of course vocal perfection.

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Oh, this man named Claudio Milano!

If we talk about prolific minds from the prog realm in this Millenium, we have tu put the name of Claudio Milano in front, and not only for being prolific, but for being such a talented and unique artist.

I've known his work for around 10 years and every single time I listen to something new of his, I am stunned, surprised, enchanted, because he is one of those musicians who don't focus only on the music, but he cares about performance, theatre, literature, cinema, and of course his voice, which is so histrionic. This time he kindly introduced me to this new release which reunites different live performances which were recorded mainly in Italy and France. The name of the release is Manifestazioni Live 2011-2023, consists of two CDs of over two hours of great avant-prog music.

There is a vast amount of musicians involved in this release, even projects, so the journey will take you through a richness of sounds and manifestations, a roller-coaster of musical genres, emotions, and art. The album opens with an amazing jam by the Area Open Project, which features three former Area members and Claudio Milano, so as you can imagine there is an obvious experimentation here that takes us to a mixture of atmospheres, with some looney sounds, inherent avant-garde, and some fusion essences. The musicians play a great role, all creating amazing rhythms and tunes, as well as the magnificent vocal work.

I Sincopatici is another project of his creativity, and here we can enjoy it from track 2 to 5 of the first album, short songs that share different emotions, because first you can feel some tension but in the next track you hear delicacy and sorrow made by piano and voice. The theatrical element is essential here, so the performance sounds outstanding, touchy and maybe disturbing at the same time, reminding me of Devil Doll in some moments. I assume being in a live concert of any of Milano's project would be quite an experience.

NichelOdeon was the project that introduced me to Milano's work, so it was obvious that some of its tracks would be featured in this live record. From that endearing 2010 release, Il Gioco dei Silenzio, he shares 'Amanti in guerra' which has a beautiful but sinister sound made by a harp and his voice. 'Secca in festa' keeps the harp, but the sound here is more pastoral, folk, delicate, so one can even close the eyes and take a deep breath.

I like that the album is never lineal, it is always challenging, daring our comfort zone as listeners and music (and art) lovers, and though I know the order of the chosen tracks was carefully chosen, I really love how we find those different projects in an intercalate way, and also how the songs jump in time, so you will be listening to an 2012 performance and later to an 2022 concert, but you will never lose interest of the magic and mystical music you are listening. A clear example is the dark and profound 'Gallia #4' from InSonar project, which is quite a trip through senses and atmospheres.

Strepitz is a project I don't really know, nor have so much info about, but that's also nice because I am sure of one thing: I will be surprised. It features two tracks here, and I was particularly mesmerized by 'Cerniere' because in seven minutes it shows an interesting diversity of sounds, starting softly, then adding some kid's voice and later morphing into a folk-ish / gypsy tune, just to later finish with a vocal experimental sound. so despite being played only in Europe, this music actually takes us to the whole world. And that is confirmed with 'Aghe Aghe Benedete' who is sung in a language I in fact, don't know. This is an ambitious 12-minute track which has the rock element more than the previous ones, despite it starts completely in the avant-garde vein, it morphs when drums enter and we can also tell it by those great guitar solos, it has also a psychedelic sound, reminding me in fact of 'Careful with that Axe, Eugene'.

CD one finishes in a delicate way with 'Nostro padre ci Aspetta', a dedication to Claudio Rocchi from legendary RIO band, Stormy Six.

Now we head to CD two, which is the longest one. It opens with 'Madre Pagana' from Not Me project, which is basically a vocal-only performance, however it is quite colorful, because Milano's voice is quite powerful. Strepitz project returns with the next three tracks (and will comeback later as well). I think these tracks perfectly define what avant- prog is, because of its richness of sounds made by the instruments, the changes in mood and tempo, and of course that theatrical vocal performance that make this music so distinctive. Not a song is like another, not even a minute is the same, it is constantly changing which is why I praise him so much, because it is not easy to find this kind of creativity which always has something new to offer, to surprise.

'Surabaya Johnny' is the latest NichelOdeon track here, and yeah, you might know the title because of that Bette Midler song, and yeah, this composition was originally written by Kurt Weill and Bertold Brecht, and here it is nicely performed by Milano and co. The next two short tracks are from I Sincopatici and both have that sound that blends beauty with mystery, piano taking the lead and creating the textures, while a dark atmosphere is produced.

And now the 20-minute monster entitled 'Da la leggenda di Zlatarog: Identit/Claps' which might not be an easy listen. The first part comes mainly with Milano's voice and percussion, in a kind of improvisation (though I am sure it wasn't), creating a somber sound that reminded me a bit of Area 70' live album. After minute 11 the song changes and the rhythm and mood become friendlier with the sound produced by acoustic guitar, a bit folkish, taking us to a trip to the 70s.

The last two tracks are basically vocal performances that show the range of Milano's voice and how he is capable of delivering a diversity of notes and tones, which at the same time become emotions. Of course, it is evident that one of Claudio's idols must be the one and only, the legend itself, Demetrio Stratos. But wait, if you live this experience via Bandcamp then you will be delighted by an extra 13-minute track entitled 'Tributo a Claudio Rocchi' which is an adventurous journey through avant music, where strings enlighten the sound creating different nuances and textures. Both, the instrumental and the ones with vocals are great. It is great to hear people applauses during the whole album, as well.

And yes, this 12-year journey of live shows finish here, and I would like to thank Claudio and all the people involved, because we, who are far from European lands, can have a taste of those live experiences which are quite immersive, theatrical, unique. The album is wonderful, however I think it is a bit long and knowing Milano's music might not be the easiest to dig, one have to be with the needed time and mood to run it without pauses.

Of course, I recommend it to you! Enjoy it!

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