A double thread connects this piece to Mismedo. Here the inspiration from the original piece is present with an initial bell toll that evokes a mystical atmosphere.
The piece was conceived for its world premiere on June 16, 2017 in Barcelona PG and replicated a month later in Berlin.
The song that concludes the album is not a simple track inserted to complete the work but a real synthesis of Fracargio's thought. Indeed more: it completes the work and lays the foundations for the future. Certainly then we could not know what development our artistic thought would have had, but in the light of what will be the next release we can say that it is a prophetic work.
But let's go in order. The sound of the initial bell makes us return to the mystical-religious atmosphere of the first two pieces, reversing, however, the perspective: we are not inside the sound, but outside, as observers. Once again the beginning of the path is given by a noise: at minute 1:20 the breath of Francesco Lipari begins a slow and inexorable journey that will lead us to the discovery of a world made of sounds, noises, songs that will soon make part of our imagination.
In the meantime, the sound of the bell, which we also hear upside down, slowly begins to fracture, to become jagged until it almost disappears into sound dust by means of the granulation technique. Everything mixes with the sounds-noise produced by the performer who continues in the path of approaching the instrumental sound. Instrumental sound that arrives, around 6:30, from the vibraphone played with the violin bow: an extended technique of the instrument that transforms its temporal envelope, but leaving its timbre component substantially unchanged. This sound is immediately captured by the electronic component and further processed.
Just before the tenth minute the atmosphere becomes almost dreamlike. Various sound objects mix in a static and aimless aura, until the return of the sound of the bell marks the entrance of the song on the scene. Francesco's voice seems to seek the intonation of a song as if it emerged from his ancestral memory: a simple song, almost a childish dirge, but with a vibrant expressive force. And at 12:30 here it is, emerging as a ghost from the past, the song of the Miserere in the sicilian song makes its appearance and closes the circle of the path we were talking about at the beginning. It is from here that Fracargio started for his sound research in the work that will follow Agni Parthene. A path that sees the Sicilian language and being Sicilian at the center of his artistic reflection in the ambitious attempt to free this language and its culture from the ghetto of folklore alone to which they are unfairly placed.
A few decades ago some researchers of popular traditions visited Barcellona Pozzo di Gotto (ME). They looked for some elderly people to collect the popular songs of the place. A vinyl recording was made. We ignored its existence until, rummaging in the basement, among various junk, the disc came out.
A song struck us: Misereri mei, a fragment of a popular song on the Latin text of Psalm 50 (Miserere mei). Until a few years ago it was sung on Holy Thursday by the faithful visiting the “sepulchres”.
The formal aspect is not linked to the piece, except as an emotional cue for improvisation. On that material we created two songs: Misereri and Mismedo. So a double parallelism between the four songs: two on Agni Parthene and two on Miserere, as already mentioned in the post in which we talked about the structure of the entire album.
Mismedo is a word taken from the initials of MISere MEi DOmine. The inspiration comes from the discovery of the aforementioned album, which contains a Sicilian version of this song and which will be the protagonist of the last track of the album.
If Agni Parthene was characterized by the contrasts of the elements, Mismedo presents itself as its opposite: the intangibility of the sound, the nuances, the ethereal changes in sound climates are the protagonists of this piece that transports us to almost mystical places of feeling.
The piece begins with a suspended atmosphere created by electronic sounds to which the nuanced whistle tones of the soprano and bass flutes played by the instrumentalists are soon added. For about six minutes an unstoppable crescendo is mounted with an accumulation of sounds produced by the instrumentalists and reverberated and delayed by the electronics that leads to a section in which Carmen Mazzeo's flute performs in virtuosic melodic arabesques.
Meanwhile, Francesco Lipari, who has switched to percussion, converses with the flute emphasizing the moment with plays of color created by percussion, cymbals and drums mainly, but played with extended techniques.
Around the seventh minute an electronic elaboration of a recorder creates the sensation of a new instrument: this is what is called an "augmented instrument": an electronic elaboration of traditional instruments that amplify their technical and expressive potential. All this is accompanied by the pizzicati of the bass flute.
At the ninth minute a hint of a heavy and mysterious melody that tries to emerge and make its way through the sounds. But soon it is engulfed in an unreal atmosphere that is recreated by the transformation of the whistle tones we had heard before: it is not yet time for the melody to make itself present and come out in a real way, it will be the last song that will bring us towards this destination in a path designed to make you travel to discover the sounds and thoughts of Fracargio.
It's a lazy August afternoon. Dario and Francesco meet to start recording Fracargio's new single.
The material produced is not bad, good first take. But something makes them dissatisfied. The sound of the various “friscaletti” (sicilian recorder instruments), overdubbed and combined with electronics, lacks something.
Dario's bookcase has a beautiful section dedicated to Sicilian culture in which a poetic anthology in several volumes stands out. Francesco well knows it because he has it too. He opens the volume dedicated to the sixteeth century and the first poem that leaps to the eye is by an unknown poet, Tubiolo Benfare.
"Let's do another take," says Francesco.
"This time use the cane flute you made yourself" suggests Dario.
"But it's crude! Hard to manage!"
"Better this way, it's more authentic".
The piece Fa focu amuri comes out based on that poem. Poetry is added to the sound of instruments and electronics, read, screamed, sung, whispered, processed with electronics, dissected until it becomes pure sound.
Listening again they realize that the song recorded first used the same melodic fragments as this one. Now the two songs have that something that was missing and that satisfies the authors. They decide to add a poem by Antonio Veneziano that seems to fit perfectly. A verse of the poem gives the title to the piece, Morti duci.
Sicilian literature will be the theme of this track and the album that will follow. And there will be many musicians involved. So far, alongside Dario T. Pino (electronics, synths, programming) and Francesco Lipari (flutes, vocals, percussion) have participated: Carmen Mazzeo (baroque flutes), Carmelo Giambò (accordion), Giovanni Alibrandi (violin), Alessandro Monteleone (guitar). The recording sessions will resume in the spring with other artists.
Will it satisfy you too?