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Music from Salento: Enza Pagliara and Dario Muci



Music from Salento: Enza Pagliara and Dario Muci

Live songs recorded during their Australian stay

Like all cultural institutions, not only in Australia but also worldwide, due to the COVID-19 emergency the Italian Cultural Institute in Sydney has recently started to move all its cultural activities online, trying to involve artists, lecturers and other personalities of the world of Italian culture whose physical presence in Australia was no longer possible to ensure, at least for the foreseeable future.

pagliara muci 2Two extraordinary representatives of the folk music from Salento (Puglia), Enza Pagliara and Dario Muci, who came to Australia to participate in the Melbourne Taranta Festival (11-15 March 2020) - which was subsequently cancelled after only two days from its beginning - are among the artists that the Institute was supposed to host at its premises last March.

Despite the cancellation of the Festival, Enza and Dario have decided to spend some time in Australia, more precisely in Bellingen, in northern New South Wales, hosted by some local artists, including the organizer of the Taranta Festival, musician and ethnomusicologist Salvatore Rossano.

During their stay the two artists have recorded five of their most significant songs, and the Institute is pleased to be able to share with its members and friends these songs, which perfectly exemplify the passion of the two artists for this repertoire and the accuracy of their musical and ethnological research. Enza Pagliara and Dario Muci perform long forgotten songs that they themselves have collected from the living voices of the singers of Salento. They interpret and combine them with their own stories, recreating the wonderful vitality of the past against the background of the present. A repertoire of traditional songs for voices, tambourines and guitar that combines the old with the new, the feminine with the masculine.

If Enza Pagliara, with records such as Frunte de luna and Bona Crianza, has emerged as one of the most intense female voices from southern Italy, Dario Muci, with his Barberìa e canti del Salento project, has shed new light on the repertoire of barbers/musicians from Salento, giving new life to a corpus of songs and music that had long been forgotten. Between canti alla stisa interpreted with two voices, such as the powerful Canto alla Spiga, and touching love songs such as Luce de l'occhi, a soundscape of rare beauty and charm emerges in which we get lost, allowing ourselves to be captivated here by a chiaroscuro, there by an enchantment, and then again by the expressive power of the songs from the land. Research, revival and tradition on the move are the ingredients of a musical journey to be experienced with the same passion that Enza Pagliara and Dario Muci put into their music.

The videos are preceded by a brief presentation by the Director of the Italian Cultural Institute in Sydney, Lillo Guarneri, and end with an interview with Enza and Dario recorded by Salvatore Rossano during the two artists' stay in Australia.

The videos can be viewed at the following links:

Presentation by Lillo Guarneri

Donna ci stai

To to to

Stornelli/Pizzica Maiolo

Canto alla spiga

Interview with Enza Pagliara and Dario Muci


Date: Da Monday, May 25, 2020 a Saturday, July 25, 2020

Organized by : Istituto Italiano di Cultura

In collaboration with : Taranta Festival

Entrance : Free


Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Sydney