Polyphonic and Sacred Traditional Songs from Sardinia
In the huge panorama of vocal music in Sardinia, this group occupies a top level place for the peculiarities of its repertoire, which embraces both forms of the vocal tradition of Orosei: the secular one “a tenore” and the sacred one “a cuncordu”. In the country of the Baronia, on the mid-oriental coast of the island, the two singing modes have never been abandoned: the contact of younger choristers with the older ones had been able to keep the tradition alive. The Cuncordu e Tenore de Orosei is born in 1978 and can boast a curriculum filled of experiences, with important collaborations, many gigs on the stages of festivals and events in Italy and outside, and a significant discography. In 1994 they record their first CD of sacred music, and two years after one dedicated to the secular repertoire. Their only aim is that of preserving the chants as faithfully as possible to the canons of the Orosein canto tradition. With commitment and perseverance, alongside the older choristers, they begin a journey of study and research into the chants from the Orosei tradition thus making a significant contribution to the appreciation and preservation of the entire musical repertoire. In 1997, the meeting with German producer Stefan Winter will output four records for his record label (Winter&Winter), including “Colla Voche”, together with the cello player Ernst Reijseger and percussionist Alan “Gunga” Purves, and a double CD coupled with a dense booklet including a six-language translation of the whole sacred and “a tenore” repertoire of Orosei. Afterwards, the group has worked together with Ernst Reijseger and Mola Sylla, to the soundtrack of two films by Werner Herzog: “The Wild Blue Yonder” and “The White Diamond”. In addition they collaborate with various protagonists of popular Sardinian music – from Luigi Lai to Totore Chessa to the Tenores of Bitti and Paolo Fresu – the group coins several experiences outside “pure” tradition, such as the project “Voyage en Sardaigne” of saxophonist Enzo Favata, with Nguyen Le, Mola Sylla, Luciano Biondini, and some works of classic-contemporary.
The song in “a Cuncordu” (cum cords) in Sardinian “concords” means granted, together, tuned etc, comes together with the Confraternity that by the end of 1500 until the end of 1700 are being set up in a number of Sardinia. Orosei, is established for the first confraternity of Santa Croce, then that of the Santo Rosario and finally that of Anime Purganti. This chant is performed by four male voices, in the Sardinian language or Latin, which accompanies the various moments of the liturgical year, but finds its greatest expression during the rites of Holy Week. The lyrics are performed by educated poets, priests in general, which speak of the virtues of the saints, the poignant moments of the Passion of Christ and the sufferings of his mother Mary. Texts particularly suitable for a dramatization,especially during the Holy Week rites, built for an active participation of the people in the processions and rites. These texts, called “Gozos”, from the Catalan “goigs” and the Castilian “gosos” are in the Sardinian language. The three fraternities are still active and their activity in Orosei, in contrast to many other countries in Sardinia, has never stopped in time. The song in “Cuncordu” represented today in Orosei is a major vocal expressions of the island. All the songs are traditional village of Orosei.
The song in “a Tenore” has unknown origins, according to the scholars thousands of years. Became a unique song, you can find similar forms only in Mongolia or Africa. This peculiarity has been declared intangible heritage of humanity by UNESCO. In the song to “a Tenore” there is an entry “Sa voche” who sings the song using improvised poems or poets read, the texts are in the Sardinian below intervene, with nonsense syllables, the two guttural voices (contra and bassu) and the agreement to complete a natural voice (mesuvoche). The origin of this ancestral chant suggests even a primordial system of polyphony based on the simple imitation of the way of animals, “a contra” mimics the sound of the sheep, to “bassu” the, the “mesuvoche” the subtle whistle wind. Of course, not knowing the origin of the song it comes to theories of ethnomusicologists, so do not demonstrable. This form of singing, profane, is used at different times of the day, mainly during the celebrations, as an accompanying to dance, but also in the serenades, and work in the countryside. The texts are chosen at the time of performance. All the songs are traditional village of Orosei.
Massimo Roych (Voche)
Mario Siotto (Bassu)
Gian Nicola Appeddu (contra)
Piero Pala (Voche, Mesuvoche)
Tonino Carta (Voche),
“Cuntempla” live in Krakow
“Tzeleste Tesoro” live in Krakow