Magazine article New Internationalist

(Di Bitti, Tenores. S'amore 'E Mama)

Magazine article New Internationalist

(Di Bitti, Tenores. S'amore 'E Mama)

Article excerpt

ONE OF THE STRANGER releases of the year, S'amore 'e Mama (The Mother's Love) is, perhaps, also one of the most compelling. A collection of Sardinian folk song, using styles that date back to the Bronze Age, it is a music that reflects its geographical home. Sparse and unadorned, these are chants and songs that have been sung by shepherds into the face of the wind, their language a barely recognizable Italian. The guttural, four - part harmonies of the singers seem resilient to the ravages of time. If the stones of the island's ancient circular stone buildings -- nuraghes -- could speak, they might well sound like this.

The Tenores are four musicians from the small town of Bitti, and they have compiled a series of 'canti' which deal with every aspect of day - to - day life. There are songs about nature, artisans' chants and, for recreational purposes, dance songs. There's a smattering of religious ones, which, nominally Christian, display in their lyrics a residue of a religion much older. Musically, the Tenores' material reflects not just the natural sounds of the island -- hissing wind or bleating sheep -- but also the history of the place. …

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