This track is part of a completely new work I am elaborating with the Italian singer, songwriter Ilaria Crociani: Tripudiis Sonis Variis'. This first track is free for the Bandcamp users and the supporters of our music.
“Tripudiis Sonis Variis”
“Insuper letitia est utendum ac tripudiis sonis variis in quibus anima delected: et super omnia cauendum est a cogitatione pestis” G. Torella, Rome, 1504*
There is considerable evidence that music played an important part in the response by all European populations to the various attacks of the plague from 1347 to 1700. Pietro da Tussignano’s “Consilium pro peste euitanda”(....), Niccolo Massa’s “Liber de febre pestilentiali, ac de pestichiis” (Venice, 1550) and Gaspare Torella’s “Consilium” (Rome, 1504) are just a few examples of the many historical documents that show how, from the time of the Black Death to the end of the Renaissance, doctors prescribed listening to songs or playing musical instruments as a form of prevention against the deadly disease. In his famous “Decameron” (Florence, 1300) Boccaccio tells us how people made a daily practice of telling stories and songs to escape the fear of death.
Music – as Art in general – has been shown to be a vital instrument for self-care and wellbeing in the current Covid-19 pandemic as it was in the past.
With the novel coronavirus raging worldwide and millions of people under lockdown, social media has thrummed with an abundance of music-related initiatives. Renowned musicians, as well as lesser-known artists, have rallied to all digital channels to entertain their audiences or to spread practical and positive messages. Music teachers have flooded the net with online lessons. Even amateurs have done their part in cheering everyone up with music: videos of Italians singing together from their balconies have gone viral.
“Tripudiis Sonis Variis” is an unexpected yet very specific product of the current Covid19 lockdown. Responding to the need to reflect on the significance of music and art in times of social distress, it gives meaning to today’s experience through a revisitation of centuries-old songs, and a re-interpretation of them in modern language.
With an original and fresh approach, multi-instrumentalist and composer Mirko Guerrini alongside singer-songwriter Ilaria Crociani offer modern versions of a mosaic of melodies by Landini, De Machaut, Monteverdi, Carissimi, Scarlatti, Cook, and Bach (just to name a few) whose arias, cantatas or motets are reworked and rearranged in the light of improvised music and developed in a contemporary electronic-sound environment.
The originality of the creative process rests on the following principles:
1) The harmonic and formal looseness typical of Renaissance music and the Early Baroque period, prior to the advent of tonality, is retained and extended in its meaning, through its meeting and melding with live improvisation and electronic textures.
2) While lyrics represent the songs’ architrave, form, harmony and ornaments are used to design unconventional music architectures, beyond the traditional constraints of classical music or commercial pop songs.
3) Electronics (whether loops, grooves or soundscapes) are employed and treated as all other voices in the shaping of each arrangement, in pursuit of the specific compositional art of part-writing in the Florid Counterpoint.
4) Within the sonic palette, original sounds are preserved and exalted through the use of instruments like lute, trumpet or baroque flutes, played by some of the finest Australian musicians and improvisers.
The selected repertoire has a unique power to communicate with every generation and every background, having been authored by composers of different periods and different European countries. The lyrics are, of course, in a multitude of languages. Presenting these works in a modern setting will expose younger generations to an invaluable musical heritage they might never otherwise encounter and be enthused by.
Overall this project brings a very simple message: to not allow ourselves to be defeated by the challenges of these new times and to learn from our ancestors that even in times of perplexity and tribulation, beauty in art can be the key to rebirth.
The repertoire includes religious hymns as well as profane music (i.e. from Cella Steli Extirpavit, John Cook (?), Early 1400 to No no! non si speri, Carissimi....) and is suitable for audiences of both ABC Classical and ABC Jazz as it has a contemporary sound but it is conceived in the interstices of classical and improvised music.
O cessate di piagarmi,
O lasciatemi morir!
Più del gelo e più del marmi
Fredde e sorde a’ miei martir.
Più d'un angue, più d'un aspe
crudi e sordi a' miei sospir,
ciechi e fieri,]1
voi potete risanarmi,
e godete al mio languir.
O stop wounding me,
O leave me to die!
eyes so ungrateful, merciless,
more than ice and more than marble
cold and deaf to my sufferings!
and you enjoy my fainting.
More than a snake, more than an asp,
cruel and unhearing to my sighs,
eyes so proud,
unseeing and ferocious,
you have power to make me well again,
and you enjoy my fainting.
released April 9, 2020
O cessate di piagarmi - Alessandro Scarlatti (1683)