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  • Writer's pictureStevie Connor

OCORA Radio France Presents 'Italy –Sicily, Folk Music: An Anthology Of Traditional Sicilian Music'


Italy –Sicily, Folk Music

This CD presents an anthology of the most remarkable vocal and instrumental typologies of traditional Sicilian music. All the recordings were made by Sergio Bonanzinga over a period of twenty years (1984-2004) with the exception of track 23, recorded by researcher Maria Cristina Caruso.


Traditional Sicilian culture, from its language to various coded systems of myth and ritual, from its techniques of expression to their practised forms, is the result of a stratification of elements attributable to each of the diverse ethnic stocks which in turn dominated this great island, located in the centre of the Mediterranean (Greeks, Phoenicians, Romans, Byzantines, Islamic Berbers, Normans, Swabians, Frenchmen, Spaniards).


The forms and styles of traditional music, affected by these processes of hybrid growth, were also in one way or another marked by the archetypes of Sicily’s successive civilizations, as people listened to Greek nomos, the Byzantine hymn, the Arabmaqam, the courtly troubadour ballad and the lied of the Minnesänger down to the opulent polyphony of the 16th-17th century, (Ottavio Tiby, Studio introduttivo to the Corpus di musiche popolari siciliane by Alberto Favara, Palermo 1957).


This CD presents an anthology of the most remarkable vocal and instrumental typologies of traditional Sicilian music. All the recordings were made by Sergio Bonanzinga over a period of twenty years (1984-2004) with the exception of track 23, recorded by researcher Maria Cristina Caruso whom we thank for allowing us to include her publication in this album.


The protracted chronological span of all this research accounts for certain technical discrepancies in the sound quality of these recordings, originally made analogically and later in digital format. It should also be specified that all these sound documents were collated during research undertaken in collaboration with other colleagues Fatima Giallombardo [tracks 1,28 and 29], RosarioPerricone [tracks 4 and 5], Giuseppe Giacobello [track 8], Nico Staiti e GraziaMagazzù [track 14].We wish here to express our gratitude to them all for the pleasure of having shared such unforgettable life and work experiences.


Ocora (Office de Coopération Radiophonique) is a French record label specializing in field recordings of world music. It was founded in 1957 by the composer, pianist and musicologist Charles Duvelle with the musician Pierre Schaeffer. Ocora is part of Radio France.


Ocora also is a word from the language of the Timucuan people who once inhabited Florida USA, meaning "place of gathering."


On 14 April 1962 SORAFOM became the Office de coopération radiophonique (OCORA), whose members became advisors. On 1 January 1969 OCORA was absorbed by ORTF. Charles Duvelle, who had created and directed the prestigious OCORA collection (records of traditional world music) since 1960, integrated it into the musical services of the DAEC (Direction des affaires extérieures et de la coopération), which he was newly in charge of within ORTF.


Italy –Sicily, Folk Music





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