Ian Hawgood is a British artist and musician best known for his work with Home Normal, one of our favorite labels. One year later Love Retained, he returns with a new album. Chitarre di Montalbano is out on AUust 25th via Folk Reels. Excerpts are available for streaming. Listen below.

His words about this new work:

I’ve been so blessed to have lived in so many amazing parts of the world. Prior to my second stint living in Japan, I found myself living in the historical city of Lecce, Puglia (Italy). I spent the bulk of 2006 just recording music during the week at my little studio in Lecce, and long weekends in my girlfriend’s hometown of Montalbano di Fasano. 

Montalbano is about as local as it gets in Puglia, yet I found myself spending time with the most wonderful people you could ever wish to be with, and in a house just filled with love and craziness. I learned the art of ‘Dolce far Niente’ during my time there from the master of Italian-style zen that was my girlfriend’s father, as well as the beauty of very early morning espressos followed by a day of work on the land, olive cultivation, tomato pressing, and being told to get out of the kitchen, obviously. 

I’d taken to not making music during the holidays and extended time in Montalbano as it was just so peaceful. Yet at some point I’d come across a lovely little electro-acoustic in a local shop for an absolute bargain due to it being a bit busted. I brought over a tape recorder, looper, and a reverb pedal, and found myself recording guitars after lunch and prior to the late afternoon return to the fields. I then took these pieces and recorded some other simple drum or vocal elements later on. 

I came across these, as well as some images from my time in Montalbano, very recently on some SD cards and tapes I thought were long lost. Like I said, I’ve been truly blessed to have visited and lived in so many amazing parts of the world, but perhaps none more so than Puglia. My time there was filled with joy, laughter, connection, confusion, espressos, far too much (incredible) food, cats, kittens, crazy dogs, sun burn, sunsets (oh the sunsets!), late evening ocean swims, an appreciation for simply sitting surrounded by friends and family, burning olive fields, squishy tomato feet, far too much wine at the local bar with the soulful old locals, quietude, and so much more. 

The people I got to spend time with in Montalbano continue to teach me each time I remember the examples their own lives imprinted on me. There is wisdom in those actions, and the older I get the more and more I truly appreciate the things that stuck. So this goes out to the Rosati family and everything they are and represent. I’m sorry my path took me in a different direction, but I’ll never forget the love and wildness. 

So here’s the great lesson of my life from probably the best people I ever got to know: ‘love life, be wild, do nothing, and the rest will just sort of fall into place.’