Tuscae Gentes - CD
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cd cover Tuscae Gentes
Quando Il Merlo Canta – When The Blackbird Sings (Italy/import)

Songs and sounds on the seasonal migrations in Tuscany across the Apennines, the Corsican and Maremma areas

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More info:
Since the ancient times until the 50s of the past century men have been moving South from different areas of the Tuscan Apennines (Montagna Pistoiese, Garfagnana, Val di Bisenzio, etc..) along the ways of transhumance to drive the flocks to pasture for winter times in the Maremma areas: they were not just herdsmen but also woodsmen, coalmen who stayed far from home for seven- eight months often in uncomfortable situations. Some of them ventured even further to look for job in Sardinia and more often in Corsica.

In our work the main protagonists are the music and the songs that beat the rhythm of this particular kind of seasonal migration with coalmen and herdsmen songs, women wailing for the distance of the beloved, songs on the banditry, music of dances that the woodsmen learned in Maremma then brought up to the mountains and vice versa, with an outcome of interlacing oral traditions of popular culture keeping it thus alive.

These are songs of an unique beauty, enriched sometimes by the insertion of refrains and instrumental passages, arrangements with a personal touch always respectful of the sources. The melodic line is rigorously faithful to the original one. It bears witness to this the multi-year activity of research- carried out by the members of the band in cooperation with different local realities, among which the Historical-Ethnographical Documentation Center of the Val di Bisenzio – and the recordings performed by the CDSE recordists, as Daniele Poli, by the Maremmean Popular Traditions Archive, the Corsican Research Centre of the University of Corte, with thus a strict interrelation among documents across Val di Bisenzio, Montagna Pistoiese, Appennino Tosco-Emiliano, Maremma and Corsica.

From the work addressed to the realisation of the homonymous CD (prize Montalcino 2003) is born a project of a musical show, of the duration of about 80 minutes, that has received unanimous consents of both public and critics. The show schedules a group of nine members: Anna Granata: vocals, Ugo Galasso: flute, fiscaletti, ocarinas, clarinets, ciaramello, choirs, Giuseppe Cornacchia: accordion, choirs, Daniele Poli: vocals, guitar, mandolin, Davide Del Campo: tambourine, Fabrizio Giraldi: bass-tuba, Andrea Geri: diatonic organ , Federico Gori: contrabass, Nicola Mitolo: violin. The choice of the instruments and the arrangements responds to a demand of adhering to the popular traditional instruments, drawing from the typical ball orchestra of the Tuscanian-Emilian Apennine and from other band instruments: the different band members’ skills and knowledge have been interlaced, coming from classical academy backgrounds, ancient and ethnic music, and bands but always joint into a deep passion for popular music.

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