Gruppo Folk Internazionale

Mara Cantoni
Mariuccia Colegni
Moni Ovadia
Enrico Sassoon

Fame is recent but the group has worked together for many years; four young people involved in a cultured and exact research of the most authentic popular roots of traditional tunes both old and new.
From the ballads of Anglo-Saxon mariners, to the songs of Slav farmers and Jews in the Tsarist ghettoes, to South American people's dances, all this and more makes up the GFI's repertoire. (...)

(from a concert program,
19 december 1973)

Words are important...
To the supposed rigour of the "stylistic remake", mandatory badge in those days (a few still follow that path ), the participants opposed a joyously anarchistic idea of leftovers, minuscule but eloquent signs of the divide between idea and reality...

The folk song: A long song...

For a week, fifteen years later, space and time took a kind of break, and in an eerie snow-clad Milan some old friends and many instruments were seen gathering in a place on Viale Monza....

The "Zelig" hosted a revival of those times and those excellent musicians. (...) They play a bit of everything, mostly guitars, and, above all, they sing, with the wonderful harmonies that have given them fame. They have once more taken in hand the songs of their old repertoire and they immediately find one and other again, even though some have by now taken other paths. (...)
Naturally, such whimsical characters are not interested in a nostalgic revival of the past and, in fact, all consider this get-together as an amusing parenthesis. (...)

(Claudio Sessa, Corriere della Sera,
14 january 1987)

Mario Arcari
Mara Cantoni
Mariuccia Colegni
Maurizio Dehň
Piero Milesi
Moni Ovadia
Silvia Paggi

Roberta Zanuso

To play, to sing... Unghie rosse!

We sang. Of work, of struggle, of love.
We sang in many different tongues.
We sang of Internationalism,
unaware of the globalization to come (see).
We sang at school, in the basement, at table after dinner.
We were in good company. We discussed.
We planned a co-operative.
We played guitars and mandolins,
the banduria and the concertina,
block-flutes and Irish whistles and spoons.
We believed. We had fun.

For three of us it all started at our school-desks. Several concerts later, after having been called with our own names and then Gruppo Folk Milano (Circolo De Amicis, 18 april 1972), we became the Gruppo Folk Internazionale, a name which described both our repertoire and the Utopia it represented far more adequately.

For me, it lasted yet a few seasons. Singing and song-writing on the one hand, and the Opera on the other, took me towards my research for a new musical theatre. I do owe to the knowledge of the popular repertoire and its relative facility of execution, the idea of music played “in movement”.