Sometimes in life you just strike gold when least expecting it. This last happened to me last week in Palau, Sardinia, where I was on vacation. Palau is a small port town mainly given over to the tourist trade, and hosting the ferry link to the beautiful La Madalenna archipelago. It really isn’t the sort of place you expect to stumble across a free festival of radical, inventive, wonderful music. But the Isole che Parlano (“islands which speak”) arts festival is just that.
One of several acts which really knocked me sideways was Dodó. Dodó is a trio, composed of Ewa Wikström from Sweden, and Ivo Saint and Maru Di Pace from Argentina, and based in Barcelona. It’s easy to say, but their music honestly sounds like practically nothing else I’ve ever heard. Billed as “immaginary folk music suspended between the warm nostalgia of South America and the introversion of Swedish winters” , their songs are bursts intricately arranged of melody, sudden lush orchestration, and as many unexpected twists and turns as old Barcelona. Tying all this together is Eva Wikström’s gorgeous voice, singing sometimes in English, sometimes Swedish, sometimes (I think) Catalan. The only other artist I can think of who Dodó sort of remind me of is Emma Townshend, who released one, solitary, weird and wonderful CD back in the 90s. But that’s just me.
They’ve recently released their first, self-titled CD. And it’s on iTunes. The amazing thing is that live (with two guest musicians) they manage to recreate the same magic as in the recordings.
Dodó deserve to be huge. Or at the very least a cult hit.
I should also add that the fact that such a festival can work, and work very well, in a tourist seaside town in summer, speaks volumes of the open mindedness towards music so often shown by the Italian people. The atmosphere was just magical.