...what are they saying?
Well, they say a lot of things, they chat, they write and in the end it's always nice when someone says something good about you and your work.

BlowUp April 2013.

«This debut album reveals an absolute singer-songwriting talent»; «Bruna's sincerity in his intepretation is so strong that could hurt. »; «This album is a jewel of poetry in music and Toni Bruna has to be put among the new talents of the Italian singer-songwriting scene in a position of absolute prominence. » (Bizarre)

Rumore April 2013.

«A timbre that has therapeutic powers, out of the chorus, that doesn't want to impose and for that reason makes the listener thrill. It's incredible how the Triestin dialect, in which Bruna expresses himself because of his sense of belonging and honesty, could be so familiar and even universal. » (Barbara Santi)

Rockol June 2013.

«To say it straight: Toni Bruna's "Formigole" is probably one of the best things we've listened this year. I cannot say the best because the year isn't over yet but I think it will be hard to find something better from now until the end of December. » (Marco Jeannin)

Nerdsattack April 2013.

«”Formigole” is probabily the most touching and intense [Italian] record I have listened to in the last ten years at least (…) A very notable album. Beyond the shopping mall singer-songwriting, fake beards and banality. I just don't want anything else; I nearly want to cry. » (Emanuele Tamagnini)

Indie Roccia April 2013.

«“Formigole” is probabily one of the most beautiful records of the last twenty years, not only in Italy.» (Alberto Trovato)

Music Magazine June 2013.

«Pure, direct, deep!» (Fortunato Mannino)

RSI-Retedue June 2013.

«(...)Formigole is a little unexpected jewel, one of the most beautiful surprises that has come from Italy in a long time.» (Corrado Antonini)

Genius Online.

Article published in Genius Online, August 20th, 2011:

[Translated from the original Italian]

Toni Bruna takes it all back home and that’s where he starts again. Had he sung in English he would have just been one of many. Had he sung in Italian most likely it would have been the same. On the contrary he goes where nobody else does, where nobody else is brave enough to. One always hears the same things, that you must go out, let people know you as far as possible. He doesn’t. He takes it all back home.

He dives into the heart of his odd town. And it’s not the usual bullshit. The usual hoax that then doesn’t lead to anything. Come look for him in those deserted streets, come look for him amongst the old people, whose coats smell like rain and naphthalene (mothballs). Come on. This is a challenge.

The reality that challenges the imagination of those who write about heroin without having ever seen a syringe. The honesty against the easy lie of being somebody else. Trieste is not Milan is not Bologna is not Berlin is not London is not New York. It’s not the usual pick & mix of Svevo Joyce Austro-Hungarian Mitteleurope Piazza Unità. Trieste is also Borgo and Baiamonti. Abandoned petrol stations. The ants’ empire. Living zombies, undead maybe dead. Telling the untellable through the sounds of a dialect that is so intransigent but so sweet and rich. What you don’t understand, what you lose in the lyrics you get back in your soul.

A new language how it’s never been heard before. The shadows the thorns the dust the night the grass the fears the sweetness. Patron of those who get back home wasted, be merciful. Thaumaturgist. These few things are all we have and they shine like gold. Thaumaturgist perform a miracle. Preserve him as he is, Toni Bruna. Thaumaturgist. In the meantime this album is a milestone, a new start, the masterpiece that redefines the rules of the game. It must be bought. Absolutely. Not downloaded: bought.

Il Piccolo.

Article published in Il Piccolo – Trieste, Italy. November 10th, 2011
[Translated from the original Italian]

Toni Bruna plays the guitar and sings in the Triestine dialect: his debut is extraordinary, one of the most intense, poetic and original albums that has ever got out of Trieste. Imaginary folk. Quite melancholic songs, balanced between divine and wordly. Magic realism and spiky grace. Tales from the outskirts (“Baiamonti” and Borgo in “Santantonio”), about the Istrian origins (the exodus, even an inner one), about the exploited workers (“Una bela casa”), the obsession for the sacred that becomes superstition (“Cristo de geso”, “Tesounasanta”), the everyday life labour and the trouble in communicating with the others (“Formigole”), until the fear for the eternal sleep (“Pai de la luce”).

Such a peculiar album, with so much soul, that it could get anywhere. With the Latin America in his heart (where Toni lived and feels his music) and the Mitteleurope running underneath, like a Carsian river. “This mix generated itself naturally, because of a combination of historical/geographical reasons – explains Toni Bruna-. I am a son of Istrian exiles, I grew up in Opicina, among the Slovenians and I spent a very important part of my life in Latin America. I am a pretty good example of a crossbreed, like the majority of the people from Trieste”.

Who has got an influence on you, from a musical point of view?
I don’t worship anyone in particular. On the other hand there are artists that I appreciate very much: Victor Jara, Fela Kuti, Violeta Parra, Tom Waits, Caetano Veloso, Fabrizio De Andrè during his early years, the Radiohead, Eduardo Mateo, Tom Zè, Tinariwen, but I try not to listen to them too much so I don’t get bored. I don’t own a stereo, just a little battery-operated radio and lately I’ve been favouring music that I know nothing of: I realised that I like baroque music, Mozart and the folklore from the most far-off places.

How about literature, who inspires you?
I like Garcia Marquez’s approach to reality, smoothly transcending it. Another great master at this is Julio Cortàzar, he was a genius. I know very little about writers from Trieste, I like Tomizza but I’m afraid that he didn’t really consider himself from Trieste; for what concerns Svevo and Saba, I can’t really appreciate them as we did them in school. I like Paolo Rumiz and some of Virgilio Giotti’s poems. I never read anything by Magris and cheating a little bit I’d say that Joyce is my favourite writer from Trieste.

Who are the musicians that cooperate with you?
Most of them are friends from a log time ago. In the album: Marco Abbrescia plays the double-bass, Ale Martini the ukulele and Massimo Tunin the trumpet. When live, Andrej Pavatich plays the drums and Raffaele Podgornik the percussions.

You played a gig on the “tram de Opcine”. How was it?
When I was a kid, being from Opicina, I used to take the tram very often. Playing on it, among the people, it’s been a bit like getting my little revenge on all those old ladies who used to boast with us kids! Taking my music out of the usual places it’s been a way to underline the sad situation here in Trieste, concerning the live music. I think that there’s no respect for musicians, even if you fill the pub in with people it feels like they’re doing you a favour by letting you play and they turn up their nose when it’s time to pay. Not everyone, but it’s a common habit.

In your songs, the religion transfigured in superstition is a recurrent theme, obsessive. Where does it come from?
We acknowledge as normal things like being surrounded by churches and crucifixes, having been baptised, having taken the Communion and the Confirmation, because we had to.
I’ve always felt weird about this and I got curious. In Repentabor the priest used to kick us out of the garden behind the church because we were too loud during the night, so I said: “Father, isn’t this the house of the Lord and aren’t we sons of God?”. He replied: “I’m calling the cops!”. No, I am not religious, most definitely not a catholic.

What are your ambitions, your dreams? Where do you think you can get singing in the Triestin dialect?
I dream about an isolated house on the Karst plateau, being as self-sufficient as possible, with a garden to grow vegetables and a “spagher” in the kitchen (a stove, in the Triestine dialect). Living decently with very little and having time to play music, without having to get to a compromise with anybody. To me, it’s more important to follow my way, the destination is less important. Anyway, if you think about how many people listen to music in English without understanding the lyrics, you can’t help but wonder why they shouldn’t do it if it was a dialect.

Lankelot and Tiscali.