Carol Forsloff — About 15 years ago a Honolulu newspaper featured separate stories about Neil Diamond and Joan Baez, referring to Diamond, 56 years old at the time, as a youthful entertainer and Baez, also 56, as an aging folk singer. Ageism remains one of the barriers in the music and entertainment industry overall, but some folks, like Angelo Marinosci, are stepping out to make a difference on a site called Fandalism that describes itself as one that features the world’s greatest musicians.
Angelo Marinosci Jr. is a singer – composer , age 65+, with a magnetic personality, resonant voice, and clever acoustic guitar style that brings both men and women to acclaim the talents brought about by the seasoning of time, talent and practice that puts Marinosci front and center on a site of more than half a million musicians. The site was created by Philip Kaplan, aka Pud, a drummer and entrepreneur.
Marinosci tells us, on his Fandalism page, that he was ” self taught as a boy… play some guitar and like to sing a bit and enjoy writing… never fancied myself much of a guitarist but use it to accompany my vocals to get my songs heard a bit.” Most of his fans would take that self deprecation as hardly defining the maestro of music who is able to take a simple life event and wrap a song around it in a package worthy of gifting anyone who loves good tunes.
A man of numerous talents, that include painting and public performances, Marinosci has performed in such big and small venues as the North Port Folk Festival of about 4,000 plus people and in small coffee houses with a small, family-friendly atmosphere. Marinosci writes most of his own music and when asked what inspires him in his writing, he said,
“Everything drives me. I have a burning need to express myself, in all media… I’ve often said that my photography is about the outside world… my painting is about my inside world… and my music is the glue that holds my universe together.”Life experience is also one of the benefits for finding themes, according to Marinosci. He explains, “I cannot imagine a life, my life , without music. I like writing and performing my own stuff and drawing from my own life experiences and perceptions and conclusions … the things I know about: bad times, friendship … love failed or made right again (“I PROMISE”). .. both joy and sorrow and the human condition in general … emotions are often in the forefront of what I write, but I also try to see things from above the fray… philosophically, sometimes historically (“PARA TIKAL”). There’s also the world view that I like to share or make known… telling a story can be in the most obvious form or the more metaphoric or onto the purely symbolic (“SILENCE AT THE BOW”)…
I use a mixed bag. I may start with the sounds that trigger something, a note, a chord… a guitar speaking to me about something important. Or maybe a particular key word(s) or an idea may cling to the roof of my mind and work its way out. When “creatives” work they should think more like a cat running through the forest … alert, sensitive, curious, in tune with everything …running wild …filled with contradiction and fears and daring the mysterious to take them on. What write, sing and express is all real to me on some level..about my life, your life or life in general… but it has to be about what i know, where I’ve been.
Much of what Marinosci performs is in the folk music genre, as he has, and continues to, perform in the folk music venues of the Northeast where he lives. He was asked to define the value of folk music and his interest in it. He responded,
“There are real layers (not media hype) of musical notions that withstand the big tests of musical time. We can still hear an old Irish Shanty tune and relate to it … or chanting… or a blues piece from 100 years ago and be impacted by it in it’s most unfiltered form.”
That music that stands the test of time is further explained by Marinosci as reflecting “sincere traditions and values , not right or left, those things that are important …even important enough to disagree about … folk music is certainly a real vehicle for us to keep that “debate” alive and well …. “This Land Is Your Land” was not originally intended as a national anthem of sorts … it was a reaction to the hard times at a particular junction in our history…”The Times They Are a Changing” was almost a call to arms against war and poverty and corruption.”
Finding in folk music a favorable vehicle for expression of human values and needs, Marinosci tells us more of how experience and perception continue to drive his music,
”I’m a real believer in aesthetics… the principles of beauty… design… reason… and I’m no exemption. I drank from every well I came to… listened to what intrigued me… struggled like everyone else to find where I belonged and as i became more comfortable, mature… the music began to roll out of me almost on its own.”
New music sites, like Fandalism, have recently been developed that are driven by social media. Marinosci finds it in some ways a barrier, since many people, he says, might rather look at a pretty or handsome face while listening to the music. And furthermore the sites are often driven by the whims of the owners mixed with people with their own biases. Still, it has its benefits as well, as he maintains,
“The advantage of a Music Social Network: it offers a wide range of musicians a safe-haven to perform in a pluralistic environment that is receptive to what they are doing… there is always that social component there … but it’s about the music… and the feedback… and being appreciated in ways that the rest of the world may be negligent about.”
Marinosci is saddened for the lack of opportunities for live music performances. In that “ocean of people” he describes as the community of wannabes and professionals, things can be difficult. But he emphasizes being creative and paying attention to what people want and also new ways of delivering music that has wide appeal. His advice?
” I try to encourage people along the lines of attainable goals, believable expectations, and redefining what they think success really is. There’s loads and loads of people who demonstrate talent in many forms… they have to make themselves marketable in some way if they really want to make a go of it.
Some of those creative ventures for Marinosci have included collaborations with young musicians, which he enjoys. He explains,
“Collaboration is maybe the best form of validation there is… that another artist would share their talent sand their feelings from such an inside place…wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.”
With an eye to growing with young musicians and yet continuing to use life experiences and maturity to express ideas, Marinosci demonstrates that age may be a barrier but not one that is insurmountable. His advice for himself and others is this,
“ It’s more important for young folks to believe in themselves and not to expect those around them to carry their burden or to be constantly reinforcing what they want to do. Pick your direction, make the sacrifices and do what you can do…. but most important , keep writing, singing, playing, practicing, learning and growing.
Music, mathematics of the universe, the nectar of the gods and the water that runs through our audible fingers… drink from the fountain as often as you can and begin making your contribution as soon as you can so you can receive the torch, carry the torch and then in time pass the torch on; it’s all part of the human experience.
So as media sites continue to grow, and the sheer numbers of musicians continue to increase, Marinosci has found his niche by using the experience gained from time and the new tricks that a wise person can use from the vigor and vision of the young, a great combination for continuing success in music.