The group GAI SABER is born in the Occitan linguistic-cultural area, that is those Piedmontese valleys where the ancient Oc language is spoken. The name comes from an ancient poetic challenge between poets of the XIV century; words and music draw their inspiration from the very rich oral tradition and the rhythms of the Occitan dances. The project started with this aim in 1992 as Kalenda Maia. Since 1996 the name has become Gai Saber with the spirit of a continuous inspiration to the original Occitan music.
The group takes its first steps in the Occitan folk area and plays at lots of local fairs in the Oc language territory (valleys of Cuneo and Turin). In July 1997 the group played in Gorizia at the prestigious FOLKEST presenting the first CD TROUBAR R'OC, ("one of the most brilliant and successful attempt to update the almost millenary traditional patrimony of the Occitan and troubadoric music to the comtemporary taste" ? Elio Bussolino ? FARE MUSICA); in that CD the famous drummer ELIO RIVAGLI played in four songs. In 1998 the group was invited to the Folkest in Spilimbergo (PD) again, one of the most important Italian folk date.
The second CD ESPRIT DE FRONTIERA was finished in 1999 (with the participation of Ares Tavolazzi, Elio Rivagli and Vincenzo Zitello), in this work it is clear that Gai Saber considers the tradition as a moving reality that is not only fed by the past ("an in-depth exercise to recover the minority culture of the Occitan valleys, avoiding the fetters of the tired traditionalism""- Mucchio Selvaggio n. 359 July 1999) (even hip-hop stressing at the entry of Oubric( d?Ousitanio and In Foe Zmouorth and an often jazzed bass ? "Eddy Cilia ? Blow Up n. 16 September 1999) (The frontier spirit is brougth to life by the new record of Gai Saber with actual and even modern tones ? John Vignola ? Rockerilla n. 229 September 1999) (the perfect joint of acustic, electrical and electronic sonorities shows up at first, then the incisiveness of the arrangments and the beautiful variety of the singing voices, that is another distinguishing mark of the group?. Elio Bussolino ? La Repubblica ? Thursday 19th August 1999), (Esprit de Frontiera rocks hard, and the Troubadour songs meet inventive dance beats that combine traditional percussion (bodhrans, galoubet, tambourin) with electronic samples. The aim here is to ensure the popularity of Occitanic, and Gai Saber want you to move your ass?Chiara Bosonetto's voice is a wonder?.Lee Blackstone ? Rootsworld, updated June 6, 2000) ("Esprit de frontiera" sees Gai Saber having found their style, and presenting a coherent album of modern Occitan music ? Michael Moll ? Folkworld, 06-11-99)
In June 2000 the group took part to lots of exhibitions of ethnic music in France and in Italy, as for example the review Suoni di Terre Lontane in the Occitan valleys of Cuneo, the Dolomiti Folk Festival in Belluno, the F'Estival des Musiques d'Ici et d'Ailleurs di Chalons en Champagne (France) and the Mediterranean Festival of Bisceglie, in Apulia. Very important was also in 2000 the tour in Denmark with the participation to the Halkaer Festival.
In 2001 the group has developped the matching between electroni timbres, traditional instruments and rhythms of the drums played by Sandro Serra as its natural musical evolution; among the concerts of last year, particularly important were the participation to the Shanty Music Festival of Paide, in Estonia, the tours in Sardinia (Cagliari, Oristano) and in France (L'Intermédiaire in Marsiglia - Feria de Beziers - Exposicions de lo Grand Delta in Avignone). The issue of the new CD is not far off; its title is ELECTROCH'OC
With this work the group gives a new stile turning point towards a deeper conjugation of the timbres of the traditional instruments and the electronic music.
In ELECTROCH'OC the rhythms of the dance traditional Occitan music live together with jungle and trip-hop atmospheres and the melodies of the ancient troubadours meet loops and samples while keeping their pure essentiality.