The Venetian Book of the Dead: song-by-song notes by Kevin Hewick. 2.
Then Alessandro told me the next album was going to be music inspired by the tragedy of the workers in the vinyl factories of Mestre who had been exposed to deadly chemicals and contracted cancers as a result. Though it had been known by 1973 that they were working in lethal conditions their employers did nothing to alert them and it was effectively covered up until the 1990's.
This wasn't just something from the TV or a newspaper article - within the Unfolk collective (including Alessandro himself) fathers, mothers and other relatives and friends had died or were seriously ill as a result of this needless disaster, one that could have been prevented with actions finally taken too late for so many..
At first I didn't know how I could do justice to such a difficult subject matter, one that was so personal to the people there in Mestre - but I had my own recent raw grief over the loss of my mother in 2007 and the devastating impact that her death had on my own family - so I got to thinking I could project some of that into this idea and merge our collective sorrows into something real and convincing.
I did say this is so close to all of you can't you or somebody write Italian lyrics about it but Alessandro said they wanted English words for the meaning and message to reach a wider international audience, and so in August 2008 he sent me a lot of versions and mixes for the album. It was a stunning progression from his first collection and a vast body of work.