Alfio Antico

Alfio Antico is undoubtedly a living legend. His artistic story is intrinsically tied to his personal journey; in him, there is no division between his life and his identity as an artist. His lyrics, his voice, his hand on the drum form a unique musical instrument. There are no virtuosities for their own sake; his performance is the faithful representation of himself and his ancestral world, never a bygone era. Alfio Antico goes to the essence without chasing after virtuosities or sophisticated arrangements; his narratives take center stage, and the sound of his drum is the alphabet with which he constructs his storytelling. He owns more than 200 drums, all rigorously built and inlaid by hand. Each drum represents a moment in his life, and each drum is present on stage with its personality and its unique sound.

Born in Lentini, Sicily, Alfio Antico has managed to build a unique musical style thanks to his knowledge and deep connections with tradition and his great creativity, becoming the world’s greatest spokesperson for his instrument. Until the age of 18, he lived working as a shepherd, surrounded by nature and in deep connection with it, absorbing stories and legends told by his grandmother, as well as instrumental techniques that later became his trademark and often imitated. The voice of the wind, the sound of animals, bells, the tales of the elderly, and a land populated for millennia, with deep ties to ancient Greece, are just some elements of his style. However, Alfio is not only the man who preserves tradition but also the craftsman projecting it into modernity. His choice to become a professional musician was exactly what he aspired to. A single encounter, a jam in Piazza Della Signoria in Florence, led Eugenio Bennato to “discover” Alfio and choose him as a member of his group Musicanova with Teresa De Sio. This contact was made at a time when social media did not exist; Eugenio Bennato reached out to Alfio by writing a letter to the municipality of Lentini to get his contact information. Since then, Alfio Antico has become a professional musician, working in the studio and touring with some of the greatest Italian musicians, from Lucio Dalla to Fabrizio De Andrè, not to mention Vinicio Capossela, Carmen Consoli, Peppe Barra, and Nuova Compagnia Di Canto Popolare, as well as theatrical works alongside names like Giorgio Albertazzi. His incredible rhythms serve as a backdrop for poetic lyrics, with a pastoral vein where words also become sound. Even his instruments have a soul, and he builds them from scratch, using old sieves and cymbals that are present on the drums, decorations that take up zoomorphic themes, almost tribal patterns, and the author’s imaginative images.

Europe, Italy, Sicily