Folk songs of Abruzzo: Domenico di Virgilio. The songs on this CD present the vocal repertory of peasants from the Abruzzo region and present certain ways to use the voice, for both single -voice songs and multiple-voice songs. These voices and these approaches were the expression of the individual world, of the relations within a community, of the local culture. These expressions are all but lost today in contemporary contexts and are difficult to find even in contemporary folk music.
That particular quality of the single voice and the multiple voices had meaning, and the flow of these sounds in particular patterns and intervals followed an established and intentional order that was itself stratified over time. In field recording today this knowledge is evermore replaced by a choral texture that is sometimes disorganized. The “presence” of this way of using the voice has been also a constant of research by ethnomusicologists in central and southern Italy.
With the tools available to us today we can search for a physical-acoustical explanation that employs notions of timbre derived from the field of “cultured” European music. We can only hypothesis about how the oral tradition transmitted this type of knowledge and the motivations behind this choice: Can we call it a cultural choice? What aesthetic tonal considerations were understood in this choice? In this collection there are recordings of music that accompanied the lives of individuals and the life of the community; songs that were necessarily linked to these lives and lives which were necessarily linked to the presence of these songs. Such a presence is radically different though from the invasive undercurrent of songs today to which we pay more or less attention. To listen to these recordings, authentic recordings of the folk culture, gives us a brief, indicative tour of the variety of spoken dialects of the territory of the region of the Abruzzo.