Deep brown eyes covered by a black fringe, a cup of tea in her hands, that’s how we met for the first time the folk singer-songwriter Emma Tricca, before her gig in Florence, Italy.
When she arrived at 5.00pm she sat down and ordered a cup of tea with milk as a proper english lady. Even if Emma was born in Italy she has been living out of her native country for so long that she has lost all the typical aspects of an ordinary italian, for instance: the loudness and the accent. On the opposite she has acquired a british attitude: she is quite and private which are features that characterize her songs too.
She is in a bit of a rush because her gig will start at 7.30 pm in Palazzo Strozzi. Emma has been touring for almost two years now to promote her debut album Minor White, which has been defined by Time Out: “Strong contender for folk album of the year”. After the Manchester Apollo and the Royal Albert Hall Emma Tricca finally brings her new folk in Palazzo Strozzi.
Hi Emma, how are you?
Good thanks, a little bit late. (she smiles)
How do you like Florence?
I already played in Florence twice and I really like it, it’s always nice to be back.
So you live in London but you are originally from Italy, are you!?
Well I grew up more or less everywhere. I am originally from Abruzzo but my father is from Rome so I always considered myself a Roman.
When did you start to play guitar and compose your first lyrics?
I can’t really remember exactly when I started but it was something like middle school.
How old were you when you decided to make a career out of music?
Still I am not really sure because I guess things just happened. I have never been very confident but I have always been really interested in folk music. I guess I have never really planned anything, I have been always led by events.
Why Folk music?
I have never been supported in this choice it was like a calling to me but I don’t know why I have felt like I had to follow this path.
When did you move to London?
I think I moved to London around 15 years ago although before I used to go there every now and then. Anyway London always felt like home to me because I was always used to that kind of artistic environment.
Do you like any italian artists in particular?
In the current international music scene which artist do you like?
Zeus who are a canadian indie rock band and one of my favorite pop band at the moment is Colorama led by Welsh singer Carwyn Ellis.
Any artist that inspired you?
The usual suspects of the folk music-scene between the 60s-70s in america. I love canadians songwriters too: my favorite are Gordon Lightfoot and as female voice Linda Perhacs. And obviously guitar’s idols, like Davey Graham, have been great teachers for my musical growth.
How do you describe your music?
I think it’s a crossover between old and new folk and pop which I really like also. My music is a continuos evolution, it depends on the people I work with, music I listen to, projects I am involved.
Tell me about your creative writing process. Where do you take the inspiration to write your songs?
Well I know of some singers who take months to compose a song, for me it depends: sometimes it’s a stream of consciousness and it takes me two seconds to write a song down, some others I start a song and I leave it for a while then i come back there in two years and I finish it.
Can you tell us about your next album?
Unfortunately I cannot disclose any information about my next album but it’s coming out soon in Autumn and it’s going to be very different although the themes of travel will always be present but it is going to be treated in a different way but I can’t tell you in which way. (she chuckles)
Why the name Minor White?
At the beginning I wanted to call it “Lilly white” like the flower because it was going to come out in Spring but then I thought that naming the album as a flower would have sounded too lame; so talking with a friend she suggested Minor to me instead of Lilly because the tones are minor.
What’s this album about?
I wrote Minor White while I was going back and forth from New York, which feels like home to me almost as London but different. They are like two sides of the same coin. Brooklyn is my favorite neighborhood in New York, it has got that kind of italian charm that enchants you and makes you smile: it still maintains a naivety which nowadays it’s really attractive in a place. Meanwhile London is grown-up and less naive.
One thing you love about: London? And Italy?
London lets you be more than anywhere else in the world. I love absolutely everything about Italy but this intrinsic need to judge everyone which is the bad seed that raises jealousy and envy in people and it poisons this beautiful country.
Last question: British or italian men?
Sweet question… (she hesitates for a little while)… Brit-italian!
Palazzo Strozzi launched a new cultural event every second thursday of the month named “Thursday Squared”, which gathers music together with creative activities to do.
On Thursday, the 13th of June the courtyard of Palazzo Strozzi hosted at 7.30 Emma Tricca’s folk performance which enchanted the audience who gathered around the unrooted floating tree in the middle of the courtyard. Emma’s delicate voice accompanied by an emotional strings’ flow felt like drops of a summer rain. Her gig was like escaping somewhere far and secret; in her minor tones you could count the miles of her travels, see the many places she’s been to, shelter yourself into a sweet memory or a candid dream.
Emma’s songs reflect her personality: a wandering minstrel who feels like home only when she travels.
After the gig, Photomania was the creative activity of last night where a photographer was taking pictures of people who could choose from various different costumes and objects in order to get a funny picture of themselves and take a break from ordinary life.
Text by: Chiara Pizzi