The “Ethnica” series has undoubtedly a special regard for the musical culture of Sardinia; however the island with its rich expressive forms and its high musical and technical standards is really a precious “cultural mine”, of which many European countries are envious. This work shows the abilities of two “cantadores” (singers) and one sonadore de chiterra (guitarist) among the most rated today in Sardinia and Logudoro.
Singing with the guitar accompaniment has become one of the most representative genres of Sardinian musical folklore, especially in the areas of Logudoro, Anglona and Gallura in the Sassari province, with offshoots in the Nuoro area and a partial diffusion in the rest of the island. Its vast circulation has been favored by a form of specialisation and professionalism, which emerged among the singers and players especially after the Second World War in the competitions of “canto a chitarra”, with the result of consolidating the omogeneity of the repertoire and style. The complete programme of the competition reckons twelve forms of singing, all represented in this CD.
The competition is the highest point for the singers and players, but there are also other less official occasions for singing: families parties, serenades, weddings, convivial gatherings or in the taverns. Generally the competition takes palce during the festivals of the Patron Saint in the squares of the villages, and usually the contenders are three singers accompanied by a guitarist: the singers confront exchanging verses, to prove their ability in the variations and the embellishments of the chants, as well as good knowledge of lyrics and melodic models, so that they can avoid repetitions. The lyrics mostly refer to the tradition of the dialectal poetry of the XIX century, mostly with a love content, but also to anonimous material and more recent authors. The guitarist must follow the improruptu variations of the singers, thank to his deep knowledge of the mechanisms which rule the melodic models used in the chants.
The recording of this CD has been made in only one lucky day in 2007 winter at Antonio Porcu's house. A long day at home, among friends, with maximum spontaneity in a happy and laid back setting. Apart from the professional equipment used for the recording, we wanted to use as little technology as possible, preserving the friendly atmosphere during the sessions; and so you can hear the crackling of the fireplace, the presence, spontaneous and direct, of the musicians, the relaxed mood, as it happens less and less frequently, outside the official singing contests.