Sound Impression: Muqataea Reworks by Francesca Guccione

For her 2021 opus Muqataea, Italian composer & violinist Francesca Guccione blended strings with synths, beats, and audio samples to present a vibrant neoclassical vision of her Sicilian hometown of Modica.The title of the album is a word which means county in Arabic, a nod to the region’s history prior to being established as a city while the music drew inspiration from its rich legacy of geography, architecture, and folklore in an effort to capture “the dialectal idiom” of the region. It is an expansive and imaginative work in its own right, but with the release of Muqataea Reworks a year later, her cinematic soundscapes prove to be fertile ground for collaboration as well.

The album ‘Muqataea‘ is dedicated to my homeland and describes it through a point of view between reality and imagination

Francesa Guccione

The album features new interpretations of four tracks from Muqataea from a transatlantic roster of accomplished artists who work across a wide range of electronic, ambient, and neoclassical music, namely Robot Koch, Julien Marchal, Hélène Vogelsinger, Throwing Snow (Ross Tones), Frieder Nagel, Infralyd (Marchel Mørk), Snakes of Russia (Joseph Holiday), Arandel, eeph (Henric Schleiner), and Maury111 (Benjamin Ruby). The choice to narrow the selection here to only four of the original tracks works brilliantly to spotlight the distinctive voice of each of these collaborators while allowing the bold melodic themes of Guccione’s compositions to shine through with even greater resonance. From lush swells and grand emotive sweeps to glowering surges of electronics against a backdrop of propulsive beats and dramatic bass drops, Muqataea Reworks is a coherent work with a narrative arc that stands on its own yet exhibits an exhilarating stylistic range.

Links: Bandcamp (Whales Records) | Francesca Guccione

Muqataea and Muqataea Reworks are both available now for download and streaming via Whales Records. While the reworks album is a digital only, a second pressing of the limited CD edition of Muqataea is available at the time this was published.

Francesa Guccione, Robot Koch, Julien Marchal, Hélène Vogelsinger, Arandel, Frieder Nagel, eeph, Snakes of Russia, Throwing Snow, Infralyd, and Maury111 (top-to-bottom, left-to-right)