This is a short interview for Radio Rebel after the TEDx event I attended as a guest artist on September 15th, 2017.

This is the report of the TEDx event I attended as a guest artist on September 15th, 2017.

This is a review of my project by Irene Ramponi on "Music Free Network".

You can read the English translation below.


English translation:


Born in Puglia (Italy) in 1969, Marco Schnabl is a guitarist with a long live and studio experience, initially alongside various Italian and international artists, and now, after a period of artistic crisis, as a soloist. After working with high profile musicians, he then decided to deal with music and lyrics (as well as recordings, arrangements, art direction and video production) personally.

Listening to his live shows one can really notice how peculiar is Schnabl's experience, artistically as well as on stage: his technique is clean and pleasing to enjoy, his voice resembles a style that sums up Sting, Springsteen and Mark Knopfler at the same time; The fact that he has made a long European experience, especially English, in different bands, but also on his own, has contributed to his success as well as to the forging of a confident spirit that can handle any musical situation, especially in classic rock. Other good musicians accompany him on the various tours that Schnabl embarks on especially in theaters.

His music is heartfelt from the depths of his soul, and this is shown by the quality of his performances, always very precise, but never falling into affectedness or perfectionism, thus keeping the necessary humanity to touch the deepest strings of the soul. Absolutely suitable even in acoustics; indeed he enjoys his solo sets.

Good luck, Marco, the climb is always tough, but the scenery is beautiful from above!

Irene Ramponi

This is a review of my debut album by Giulio Valli on "".

You can read the English translation below.


English translation:


A name such as Marco Schnabl should not need any introduction.

But we are in Italy and presentations are compulsory for him too.


A life lived between Rome and London, playing hundreds of different venues, boasting collaborations with the likes of Chris Kimsey (Rolling Stones) and Nick Tauber (Thin Lizzy, Marillion), working as a sound engineer and teaching at the Islington Music Workshop up the brave and daring choice to return to Italy in 2010, back to writing music.

His self titled EP sees the light after a successful crowdfunding campaign and it is no coincidence that it was published directly on vinyl: a sign of some care and attention to sounds and great passion for their work.

The EP consists of 6 very authorial songs, marked by his vocal timbre and very personal guitar style.


The first half of the album is characterized by a very intimate dimension, in which the author seems to invite us to enter on tiptoe, on delicate notes of opener "Time to go home", a large and melancholic crescendo about fears and immobility.

The next piece is introduced by a solo that leaves room for Marco's warm voice, while the chorus is entrusted to the guitar melody. This time it is the topic of "Solitude", as in the title, to be addressed.

The slow and lilting "The song that no one will sing" is the longest track on the disc, and also the one with the most refined arrangements: an experimental beginning of sounds and noises, from which the guitar emerges first, followed by an almost tribal percussion, slowly leading the song to explode in a heartbreaking cry for "The song that no one will sing".


Side B takes a real breakthrough, thanks to the distinctly Brit pop flavor of the triptych "A different day" / "Who's gonna take care of me" / "The Cinema Show".

The latter turns out to be the most eye-catching piece and one that showcases the talents of Marco soloist: the song is built on an arpeggio, broken in half by an aggressive guitar riff that flows towards the best guitar solo on the album.

The atmosphere becomes less gloomy and even the lyrics are imbued with a vague optimism that makes the album more relaxed towards its end.

Six tracks for a total of 31 minutes full of passion, sensitivity and musical taste, in the hope that they are a great door opener for a larger work and worthy of the attention that even in Italy Marco Schnabl deserves.
Fortunately it seems that sometimes someone notices the interesting reality of our country, such as the director Edoardo Winspeare, who called this EP as being of an "extraordinary evocative power".

Hard to blame him.

Giulio Valli

This is a review of my debut album by Adrian Stork on French webzine "Music Waves".

You can read the English and Italian translations below.


English translation:


After traveling the world in search of music, the likeable Italian traveler Marco Schnabl has decided to settle down, to form a new band under his name and give us his impressions of the journey. This first album (sometimes considered an EP), obtained through an enthusiastic crowdfunding campaign, however, is not that of a small beginner: Marco Schnabl acquired a remarkable mastery of the guitar on the road (listen to the long solo on "Who's gonna take care of me " to judge). His team is no less, playing the card of discretion. Together they paint ethereal atmospheres under the sign of Pink Floyd and, above all, David Gilmour, with a voice worthy of note ( "A different day", "Solitude", "What about ..." with light percussion, keyboards and short female choirs).


If at times you feel some sparks coming ( "The Cinema Show" that blends folk with electricity), the band remains true to its atmosphere. However, "The Song That no one will sing", with its ethereal introduction of guitars and keyboards , falls under the "progressive" genre. The piece moves very well from calm atmospheres to very intense ones (with a way of singing that sometimes can resemble Marillion's Steve Hogarth). Same thing for the almost autobiographical lyrics that might recall Ulysses' doubts, completing his journey and arrival in Ithaca, written with great care mixing poetry ( "Solitude") to existential questions ( "Who's gonna take care of me", "The song that no one will sing").


This first album by a globetrotting artist is a winner. The bands of this contemporary genre tend to follow patterns already tracked by the distinguished elderly, but hardly fail to advance. Marco Schnabl understood to have no other way but the one reserved to him: sincerity.

Italian translation:

Dopo aver viaggiato il mondo alla ricerca della musica, il simpatico viaggiatore italiano Marco Schnabl ha deciso di stabilirsi, formare una nuova band sotto il suo nome e darci le sue impressioni di viaggio. Questo primo album (a volte considerato un EP), ottenuto attraverso una entusiastica campagna di crowdfunding, tuttavia, non e’ quello di un piccolo principiante: Marco Schnabl acquisito sulla strada una notevole padronanza della chitarra (ascoltate il lungo solo di "Who’s gonna take care of me?" per giudicarlo). La sua squadra non e’ da meno, giocando la carta della discrezione. Insieme dipingono atmosfere eteree che offrono passeggiate sotto il segno dei Pink Floyd e, soprattutto, David Gilmour, con una voce degna di nota (“A different day”, “Solitude”, "What about…” con le luminose percussioni, tastiere e brevi cori femminili).


Se a volte qualche scintilla si sente ("The cinema show” che fonde folk con energia elettrica), la band rimane comunque fedele alle sue atmosfere. Tuttavia "The song that no one will sing", con la sua eterea introduzione di chitarre e tastiere, rientra nel genere "progressive". Il brano si muove molto bene da atmosfere calme ad altre molto intense (con un modo di cantare che a volte puo' ricordare Steve Hogarth dei Marillion). Stessa cosa per i testi quasi autobiografici che potrebbero ricordare i dubbi Ulisse, completando il suo percorso e arrivo a Itaca, scritti con molta cura mescolando poesia (“Solitude”) a questioni esistenziali (“Who’s gonna take care of me?”, “The song that no one will sing”).


Questo primo album da un artista giramondo e’ un successo. Le bands di contemporanee di questo genere tendono a seguire modelli gia’ tracciati dagli illustri anziani, ma difficilmente riescono ad avanzare. Marco Schnabl ha capito di non avere altra strada se non quella a lui riservata: la sincerità.


September 18, 2016


 This is an article by Giuliano Pavone @"Quotidiano di Puglia".


Here's the English translation

​There are albums that sound like little classics at first listen. It is not the unfortunately frequent feeling of "already heard", rather the perception of solidity and authoritativeness that elevates the music above the average, the fashion, the background noise. And that's what happens with the recent work of Marco Schnabl, a 47-year old musician from Taranto, Italy, with a prestigious CV. In 1994 he founded the band Foghenaist (he was the songwriter and guitar player), with which he won the '95 selections of the Arezzo Wave national rock contest. As a consequence a long live activity started, and in '96 the band signed for La Bionda publishing in Milan. At the end of 1997 Foghenaist relocated to London, where they changed the name to Mother of Pearl, playing all over the UK in prestigious clubs like the Cavern in Liverpool, and subsequently in Ireland and in the US (CBGB's in New York was their highlight). In 2003 Mother of Pearl completed the production of their latest and never released album, recording the song "Dazed" under the artistic production of Chris Kimsey, producer and sound engineer for Rolling Stones, among others. In February 2004, on the verge of signing a record deal with the US A&M Octone Records label, the band split due to strong internal disagreements.


​Marco kept playing as a session guitarist within the English circuit, and from 2004 to 2006 worked as a sound engineer and associate producer at Sphere Studios. But around 2009, his hiatus from the purely artistic activity led him towards depression. In 2010 He returned to his home town. In 2014 he released his first instrumental solo album, "Been waiting a long time". This leads to his most recent album, which carries the signs and the maturity of his intense artistic and human story. These aspects give it a particular emotional depth (Marco is singing here for the first time and he does it with a timbre and style that recall Roger Waters) as well as the classic aforementioned distintion: something to do with the strength of the melodies and the simplicity of the arrangements, bearing echoes of at least three generations of the best Anglo-Saxon music. Not surprisingly, therefore, the album is called "Marco Schnabl" just like its author. In the lyrics - in English, as from the very beginning of his musical adventure - you can have a glimpse of the story of an artist who has always felt a little bit as an 'outsider' ( "Solitude is a place where everything goes on / Solitude is custom made for every baby born / Solitude is a brand new car shining on a fast road / and every time it passes by I want to jump on board ") and who, after several turns on his life's roller coaster, returned to his home town to dig even deeper into himself ("Far too long I ' ve been running scared / Far too long I've been alone / Far too long I've been afraid to dare / Time to go home"). This is a singer/songwriter's album in the best sense of the term, that is, not one that emphasizes the "message" at compositional complexity and the technique of execution detriment, but rather one in which each aspect is meticulously taken care of to be part of a well-defined set. What stands out is not the portrait of a guitarist who sings, not even that of an all-round musician, but rather the one of a man who has learned to deal with all the technical and manufacturing aspects of music as well as the artistic ones. The one of somebody who, paying the price of time and effort, has managed to make a record without compromises, which resembles him in avery aspect.


The album "Marco Schnabl" is available for download from all digital platforms and is streamed on Spotify.


Its vinyl version can be ordered by writing to


 This is an interview by Rossella Ricchiuti @"TV Med". 


This is an interview by Alessandro Lonoce @ PugliaSounds, Italy.

Here's the English translation:


Hello and welcome to Let’s get started with a short introduction to our readers. Who is Marco Schnabl?

Hi all. Marco Schnabl is an artist who prefers to talk about himself through his music rather than in any other way. He’s been playing music practically forever and traveling around the world since 1995. He has played in two continents in various bands, his historic former band above all, the "Foghenaist" (later "Mother of Pearl"), winners of Arezzo Wave in 1995. He had a long human and artistic experience, living for almost 15 years in London, becoming what he is today.



A winning mix of brit rock, soul, blues and a touch of psychedelic sound, but if you were to tell me about your music where would you start from?

I would start from the days when as a teenager I listened to Kraftwerk, Lucio Dalla, Joe Pass’ jazz and the early U2. I think I've istened to hundreds of thousands of albums and I can’t tell you what I really like because it totally depends on my mood. I can get up in the morning and listen to Meshuggah’s "Chaosphere", David Sylvian’s "Gone to Earth", Shostakovich’s Op.110a or a live album from Stevie Ray Vaughan. I have absorbed and devoured music since the day I was born and what I do now is the result, more or less successful, of this assimilation as well as my complex human experience.



You returned to Italy in 2010 after thirteen years of intense musical activity around the world. After a break of four years from the music industry, 2014 was the year of your comeback. What are new ideas and motivations?

Actually in 2013 I released an instrumental album titled "Been waiting a long time" in digital format only. I had written some material in the previous decade, and I just wanted it to come full circle. I have not promoted that album much because as I was recording it I also knew I didn't want to play instrumental music. In 2014, in fact, I felt the strong need to write songs. Above all I felt the desire to sing and write my lyrics. I have always been singing in reality, but for a number of reasons on which I will not dwell I never did it as a front man. I think I have stored so many life experiences (and not always happy ones) that at some point in the path I got the urge to talk about them. I started to do it in a completely natural way and I immediately felt at ease. I started to write my songs during the summer of 2014 with a creative energy I never felt before. Clearly times were ripe.



It’s quite limiting to define you just as a musician because you are also a sound engineer,  a composer and a producer with a whole bunch of international experiences and collaborations. Which of these professionals are more committed today?

If you mean which ones I'm more involved in now, definitely the artist/musician/composer one. I worked as a sound engineer and producer for some of the largest studios in Europe, working with highly successful professionals. As a result I have acquired a know-how which even I sometimes am amazed of, and I use it now to do what I do. From the production of my album, meaning recording, mixing, arrangement and performance, to the production of my videos. The fact is that in my 13 years in London I've done just about everything and having first worked for MTV and then as a sound engineer, as well as playing consistently, I learned a lot.



What are the challenges of participating to musical contests/festivals, in addition to performing and been compared to other bands?

I'm not a big fan of contests, honestly. I don’t consider art as "competition”. I haven't got this approach anymore. I choose very few contests to attend to at the moment because I want exposure after a tremendous job behind the scenes. Certainly when I participate in a contest I have no expectations. I just like to go on stage and enjoy it.



As a producer and composer which parameters are important to you, in judging the song of an artist in a competition?

I only have one: what that artist has to say. I can feel it instinctively as I come from a generation that looks after content, not technique, nor aesthetics. I do not care whether a song is "beautiful". I care that the performer is an integral part of it with his heart and soul. The Anglo-Saxon experience has given me this way of appreciating art.



How would you describe your music to those who still don’t know you?

I believe that the best way to define my current production would be "elegant and visceral rock-soul". I definitely have punk rock roots that I have no intention of denying, but at the same time I love the elegance of classical orchestral music as well as Norwegian avant-garde jazz. I still struggle, just like any artist, to put myself within a specific music genre. Eventually rock ranges from Cream to Led Zeppelin to Black Sabbath to Sound etc ... etc ... Yet each of these artists is still very different from the other. Therefore, how to define myself? I think the adjectives "elegant and visceral" suit me perfectly.



Making music is also a synonym for communication. What do you wish to communicate through your songs?

For me it means to make those who are listening to me feel exactly what I feel. It’s a matter of guts...


Which artists of the past do you feel closest to and how do you think your music fits into that tradition?

To answer this question, I should write a book, because of everything I have listened to and metabolized. I started with listening to Italian singer/songwriters like Lucio Dalla, then going through blues, rock (extreme rock too), the punk phase, jazz and everything that is in these “boxes”. I love a great part of classical music and I can get lost in the ethnic music of Selvaganesh or Bassekou Kouyate. But basically I prefer visceral and real artists. Springsteen, Buckley, Mitchell, early U2, Miles Davis, Chet Baker, Joy Division. I could list dozens. The thing that all the "big" ones have in common is their honesty in communicating what they feel. This is the quality that gives me the goosebumps more than any other aesthetic or technical feature. So I cannot answer precisely but I can tell you I prefer the Anglo-Saxon musical tradition, which is the result of their genetic culture. At the end of the day, my last name is Schnabl and in my opinion there are Saxon elements I have mixed with Mediterranean ones, integrating them with those of the Anglophone tradition during my years in London.



Back to Italy, how difficult is it to be a musician in this country compared to those you visited?

Italy is an absurd paradox. From an economic point of view it is much easier to make music here than in Britain, for example. Simply because of costs. Yet Italy is so shut against what is happening in the rest of the planet that most artists fail to understand the current languages and end up producing things that in the end are all alike. Apart from the purely artistic discourse, I believe that the difficulty in Italy depends on factors that go beyond the simplistic lack of music venues. The problem is much bigger and more severe and is of a social nature.



What kind of impression do you try to give in your concerts and how different are they from your recordings?

I’m no longer interested in giving any impression. I went through that stage when I was playing in the band. I laid attention to aesthetic details that do not matter to me now. I just try to close my eyes and forget everything around me to get fully in touch with myself. Only then I’m able to "talk". Basically I have exactly the same approach in the studio and when and if I record a second album I will do it with a well-oiled band, completely live in the studio. This is what I learned in London. For this record that did not happen simply because I wrote and played everything myself. I had the desire to express myself at 360º and I went along.



Looking at several young bands of Apulia, full of talent and plenty of new interesting projects, we notice a great number of these tend to "waste time" seeking maximum visibility at the expense of a more "refined production". What advice would you give to them?

I believe that seeking visibility is not a bad thing at all. Rather good instead. Unfortunately not everyone is artistically valid, and by that I mean capable of transmitting and communicating. Which is normal and natural, since it is necessary to have felt certain things the hard way, having lived in some social and cultural contexts, having known pain. Typically in Italy you live too well to be able to feel these things at a very young age. The one and only advice I could have for them is to understand that music, like any other art form, is only a means to communicate what you have inside. If you have nothing to say...don’t even try.



Do you currently rely on a booking agent and promoter?

Yes, I have a promo agency in Milan (Musicommunication) which is following me, giving me a huge help in the promotion of my work.

A project you're working on and one you would like to work soon?

Right now I'm only focused on my project. It's exhausting to take care of the promotion and there is a lot of work to do behind the scenes to prepare the album release, which will happen this summer, as well as events/concerts and more. Therefore I would have absolutely no time or peace of mind to devote myself to something else. I'm about to launch a crowdfunding campaign through the Ulule European platform ( that I hope will help me to finance the album release on vinyl, another important detail of my artistic project. It will start in at most a couple of weeks and will continue for a month and a half. Then I'd like to first of all set up my own proper studio and in the future I'd like to work with artists that I admire. I believe that sooner or later everything will happen.


This is a review by Margherita Simonetti @ Rock Rebel magazine, Italy.

Here's the English translation:


"Producer, guitarist, composer and singer: this is Marco Schnabl, a cosmopolitan artist from Taranto, Italy, with a strong attitude for rock. After having spent many years traveling the world with his former band, "Foghenaist", later renamed to "Mother Of Pearl”, and after a brief hiatus from the scene, the artist introduces his six-song self-titled EP in which he claims his intention to lay bare and dissect his intense and unfiltered emotions.A disc of sheer elegance, "Marco Schnabl EP" contains everything you need to get a positive assessment, starting from the lush arrangements to the ambient melodies, not to mention his lyrics supported by a beautiful voice perfectly balanced with the ensemble. His long experience abroad marks the touch, revealing a mix of brit rock, psychedelia and American sound that winds song after song, starting from the melodious "Time to go home" and continuing with "A different day" and "Solitude", the rock track “The cinema show", the romantic "Who's gonna take care of me?" and so on until the closing entrusted to “The song that no one will sing", the longest piece featuring emotional guitar solos and powerful strides, to take leave with a brief cluster of tasteful rock style and much more. An EP to listen to again and again."


"I don't believe in websites ... I believe in flesh, preferably on stage…"


Margherita Simonetti

Marco Schnabl interviewed by Ramingo! Italian Blog.


Here's the English translation:


Today we went to interview singer/songwriter Marco Schnabl. Marco began playing guitar very early and at the age of 17 he became a member of one of the best bands of the city of Taranto called "Velvet". He co-founded the band "Foghenaist” in 1994, which later changed its name to "Mother of Pearl", and, since 1995, after winning Arezzo Wave national rock contest, started an intense live activity. He then moved to London in 1997 where he played with his band, which he stayed in until 2004, hundreds of different venues in the United Kingdom (Cavern, Electric Ballroom, The Bedford ...), Ireland (Point Depot, Wheelans, Eamonn Doran's ...), Italy (Cencio's, Tunnel ...) and the USA (CBGB's, the Chance Theater ...) as well as recording three albums, one of which was never released but now available on the Soundcloud artist’s profile. He collaborated with composer Guy Farley, producers Nick Tauber (Marillion, Ten Years After) and Chris Kimsey (Rolling Stones, Peter Tosh, Peter Frampton, Marillion, Killing Joke ...), Duran Duran and still a long list of independent artists , culminating in 2009 with the mix and mastering of Tallulah Rendall’s debut album, produced by Marius De Vries and distributed by Universal.

Having now found new inspiration he formed his own band and recorded a closed doors concert, featuring his new material, at Tata Theatre in his hometown, Taranto, on August 27th, 2015.
His music has been instantly appreciated due to its winning mix of brit rock, soul, blues and a touch of psychedelic atmosphere.


Your project combines music and words. Tell us how it came about.


This project is the result of an incubation lasted more than twenty years. I have always worked as a guitarist, arranger and producer, even in my former band, the Foghenaist and later Mother of Pearl, but never as a songwriter and front man. In 2014, after a long personal journey, I realized that I could no longer do only what I had always done, and I felt a strong need to write music and lyrics, simply because I have a lot to say. Well, perhaps this is the real reason for the birth of my project: I have many things to least I think!



Your work involves different languages ​​and cultures. What is your relationship with the Italian and English ones and which of these two languages do you ​​feel fit your creativity best?


I believe that English is more suitable for a certain kind of language, which is precisely the spirit of Rock, a very difficult to define genre which in any case does not belong to our Italian social culture... The spoken language is in my opinion the truest mirror of t a given country’s culture and English is spoken all over the world. That's why I consider it as the best way to absorb the brain activity of the planet. Italian however, is a language that, as beautiful as it may be, is spoken here only; so it does not allow me to feel comfortable in describing what I put into music, for the simple fact that I could not get to everyone. Then more simplistically speaking you can say that ... I like English best, it sounds better...that's all.



You have had musical experiences in Italy and in England. What are the differences that you perceived between these audiences?


I’m going to be very critical here! Just joking, but I think one of the fundamental differences is that the Italian public, for reasons I won’t talk about, normally and generally applauds any nonsense you do on a stage. Whether you're imitating or copying or doing something original...the audience applauds regardless.
The English one, or rather, specifically, the London one, doesn’t. It’s the toughest audience of the planet. It’s attentive, critical, it scans you when you're on stage, it makes you feel constantly under exam. When it applauds it does it because you're convincing. Otherwise it leaves the venue despite having paid the ticket. In the rest of the UK it is just more forgiving. In Ireland, however, it is warm as in the US. Really, in London it’s no nonsense. For this reason they use to say that if an artist is able to win the London public he is ready to win the world.



Young people and the music. What’s your thoughts about?


If you mean the young Italians...I believe it’s a tough scenario. The reasons are many and of a socio/political/religious nature. But I won’t dwell on these. Unfortunately there is a fundamental fact: the Italian boys have almost completely lost the ability to put weight themselves against the rest of the musical world. Let me explain, it takes guts, humility and a lot of strength in facing the consequences of a failure when you wish to accept a challenge. All this seems to me to be missing in the new Italian generations.
As for the youth of the rest of the planet, alas, I do not have enough parameters to share a sensible opinion about it.



After this, the future. What projects will you engage in after this one?


Let's say I have a lot of irons in the fire. I shot a live gig that I put online in September, the "Live @ Tata 'Theatre" which can be found on my YouTube channel. That is now aired on rotation on a British LifeStyle channel, and I have another one in the works along with some acoustic videos. By March I will open a fundraising campaign in view of the official release of the album, which I would also like to print on vinyl, through the Ulule platform and then I hope to start playing, as much as possible, by this summer. The whole thing is a constant work in progress. Meanwhile I await the results of the International Songwriting Competition in the United States (I.S.C.) in which I have four of my EP songs running.
To conclude I would say that I believe in music, my music. I think that everyone has the right and the potential to express themselves in any art form or else. Unfortunately many do not have the ability to do it or do not find the right motivation. I have felt these negative feelings too, but in time, and through a long path of personal work, they led me to have it all very clear now. I know what I have to say. I know my inner world, which I think ultimately is not very different from those of many, and I want to share it. I am convinced that my music can touch the strings of many people and I am sure it will.
What can I say, I hope to meet you readers at one of my live performances and in the meantime I invite you all to follow my official page of FaceBook and my website to stay updated on my artistic path.


This is a review by Francesco Carrubba @ Rockit, Italy.

Here's the English translation:


"Marco Schnabl is a rock singer/songwriter with an easy and fruitful guitar solo attitude. Introduced by arpeggiated guitar notes, the song "Time to go home" immediately creates a beautiful space/time scenario. "A different day" gives continuity to this atmosphere towards an ascending climax, becoming more and more rock. And then "Solitude," "The cinema show" and "Who's gonna take care of me?", all tracks that have a definite style and personality.

Beautiful voice, interesting and well performed arrangements, good production. The six songs of the wholly self-made EP are the product of an artist of quality and the result of his many experiences. The songs, articulated, rich and hearty, glide pleasantly even upon the ears of those who are not used to listening to songs longer than four minutes; the closing track "The song that no one will sing" lasts almost eight minutes in its full version and 5:30 in its ”radio version".

Marco needs to continue on its way, nurturing his creative freedom to sing and play: yes, in the future it could be advisable to try to write some lyrics in Italian, just to see if our country is ready to welcome his talent and to leave no stone unturned."


August 07, 2015


This is an interview held for Italian newspaper "La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno", written by Fulvio Colucci.

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