A Silvery Silence

A Silvery Silence, fragments from Moby Dick

Roberto Bonati composition and conduction
ParmaFrontiere Orchestra
Label: MM Records
Copyright: 2006 Jazzprint Edizioni Musicali
Total Length: 73:48
Release date: 2006

Roberto Bonati composition and conduction

Lucia Minetti vocals

Mario Arcari oboe, english horn, soprano sax

Riccardo Luppi flutes, soprano and tenor sax

Alessandro Benassi clarinets


Benedetto Dallaglio french horn

Michael Gassmann trumpet, flugelhorn

Beppe Caruso trombone, tuba

Paolo Botti viola

Caterina Dell’Agnello violoncello


Alberto Tacchini piano

Salvatore Maiore acoustic bass

Anthony Moreno drums

Fulvio Maras percussions, electronic percussions

Riccardo Joshua Moretti hebrew cantillation

A SILVERY SILENCE, FRAGMENTS FROM MOBY DICK is Roberto Bonati’s new Cd with ParmaFrontiere Orchestra, recorded in 2003 and produced by ParmaJazz Frontiere Festival. The voice is of Lucia Minetti, the chants of Riccardo Joshua Moretti. A fascinating journey in the mystery of the legendary White Whale “ambiguous like nature, like it splendid and horrible to our eyes, benign and wicked, vulnerable and immortal” (Nemi D'Agostino).

A Silvery Silence is a cultured and musically refined piece of work that, as in Roberto Bonati’s style, makes use of a jazz undressed of genre connotations and transformed in contemporary language, and makes also acute use of vocals to probe the expressive possibilities of poetry and culture.

The idea of the album is that of a long journey along Melville’s pages who takes the start from important biblical references in the novel, of which prophecies interweave the narration and inspire the music. Roberto Bonati has in fact gone over the biblical stories of the characters, each marked by his own destiny, building a musical plot strongly prompted by words. Word that, not by coincidence, is for the Jewish culture a creative and primeval element: the letter IOD, in reality a simple dot, is the beginning of everything. Melville narrates the importance of the letter H inside the word “Whale” and so in the passage “Letter H” the names in which the letter is present have been translated into musical phrases.

In the background, magnificent and terrible, the Sea, threatening and fascinating at the same time. Powerful magnet that attracts for its power and terrorizes for its extraordinary force, of which the White Whale is the emblem and obscure queen.

Central is the theme of the journey: the real journey of Ahab and of the Pequod, of the journey across the biblical prophecies and their accomplichment. Also becoming a journey through rythms and melodies near and far: from Hebrew chanting to fragments of music from the island of Polynesia (where Ahab’s destiny takes place). To end into the song of Sicilian fishermen, from the biblical reference to the popular element and as such non-literary, as to say that Giona and Moby Dick are universal icons we can find in all peoples and cultures.

The Hebrew chanting, in particular, is the red thread that weaves in a big picture the panels of the characters’ stories, that, not in a strict narrative order, Bonati proposes again through the charme and the evocative power of music.

A Silvery Silence, fragments from Moby Dick
Roberto Bonati composition and conduction
ParmaFrontiere Orchestra