Genre: World, Instrumental, Ambient
Is it still possible in this technocratic age to rediscover your own roots? Do we still conserve something of our natural essence, or is all lost? “Happiness is a tree” comes the answer from Max Maffia (ma-féar) and his Empty Daybox. And an answer like that, coming from an information technology expert hailing musically from the areas of rock and new wave and from artists such as Hendrix and Syd Barrett, really says it all. It is even more surprising if we look back over this artist’s distant origins.
It all started in Salerno (southern Italy) with a funky-rock band called the Peanuts, on the Italian music scene from the end of the 80’s to the mid-90’s, and then continued with brief appearances in the ska group Appesi A Un Filo (Hanging from a Thread) and Delirio (Delirium). It was during this period, with the inauguration of his own independent label “Daybox Records”, that Max unplugged his electric guitar for the first time and the first branch of the tree began to bud with a series of surprising in-house productions such as “An Afternoon Like This”, the improvised “Seasons” series, and two original soundtracks. Then, from 2000 to 2004 back to some more electric shock treatment with the Irish folk, dub, and space-rock band “Il Pozzo di San Patrizio” (Saint Patrick’s Well), followed by a brief period from 2005 to 2006 with the electronica band “Nicodemo” (Nicodemus).
Meanwhile Max was also busy founding and acting as first president of the cultural association “Anima Mundi” one of whose initial projects, in the spring of 2007, was the courageous production “The Right Compilation”, supported by the FAO. It was not, however, until after the production of a number of young independent bands that it first became evident that the tree had actually taken root and was growing up big and solid and that it carried a name bequeathed to it by Daybox Records which shut up shop in 2009.
Suddenly, everything becomes crystal clear. All the traces of an intense and courageous choice of direction, both on an artistic and a personal level, become visible, and the deeper reasons that led Max to choose such a direction become comprehensible.
And so the first fruits have begun to ripen on the tree, holding within them small jewels that seek a reconciliation with the world and ask for total abandonment on the part of the listener’s ear. Each one has a story to tell, like “Arabia” for example, which speaks of a fascinating and at the same time dangerous world and attempts to redesign it more as it ought to be, or “Rain” which, with the notes of its arpeggio, lets us feel every falling drop like a purification. Then there is “In volo” (On the wing) with the sound of the cello that is the air beneath us and the rest that is us ourselves, poised at the window, surprised to catch ourselves dreaming. “Sunday will be five” with its lopsided rhythm lets us know that something is not right but also searches for a solution and, notwithstanding everything, manages to find one. There is also “Dancing on a gray day”, of course, that dances to the cycle of life and, on closing the circle, waits for another one to open.
This is the Empty Daybox now, and this is what Max Maffia has become today at the opening of a new circle.