There is no denying the incomparable power of the human voice, an instrument which in the art of the TENORES DI BITTI finds one of its most dazzling realizations.
Polyphonic a tenore singing is typical of the rural zones of central Sardinia, an artform whose origins date back to ancient times. Normally, the group’s lead voice (known as the boche) takes up the melody of the opening line, followed and enveloped by the harmonies of the other members (mesa ’oche, contra e bassu) to forge a sound that is something both rich and strange, a sound whose expressivity, intensity and human warmth rivals that of the most universally admired choral music traditions such as those of Georgia or Bulgaria. Almost twenty years on from Ammentos (1986, Felmay NT 6746) which was followed by Intonos, (Felmay NT 6727) and then a record for Peter Gabriel’s Real World label, the TENORES DI BITTI have gone back into the studio to celebrate a career spanning thirty years, and to reaffirm once again the power of a still-thriving art that is at the same time open to innovation and renewal. Though firmly anchored to a splendid thousand year tradition, Caminos de pache (paths of peace) whose lyrics offer a message of hope both for our troubled present and for the future, is a CD that pulses with contemporary musical energy. The group’s line-up may have changed, with only half the original members remaining, but the TENORES DI BITTI have once more confirmed their place as the number one Sardinian vocal group, the leading exponents of a ‘school’ that over the years has won the admiration of internationally renowned artists such as Frank Zappa, Peter Gabriel, Lester Bowie and Ornette Coleman, whose enthusiasm for the group’s sound has led to a number of collaborations. Another interesting aspect of Caminos de pache is the presence of two outstanding musicians, Luigi Lai on launeddas and Totore Chessa on melodeon, the first time the TENORES have added chosen to meld their unmistakeable vocal sound with instruments. Far from breaking with tradition or compromising the purity of the voices, such a move allows for some innovative defamiliarization within a rigorously traditional framework. Caminos de pache finds the group back on top form and will surely win them many new admirers, joining those who have already been bewitched by the magical quality of their interpretations.
TENORES DI BITTI from Felmay Shop
Daniele Cossellu boche e mesa ‘oche Pierluigi Giorno contra Mario Pira bassu Piero Sanna boche e mesa ‘oche