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Heresy Records to Release 'CITADEL OF SONG' By Medieval/Jazz Fusion Ensemble Anakronos

Anakronos presents the 10 songs from Giovanni Boccaccio's 14th century masterpiece, The Decameron.

Heresy Records to Release 'CITADEL OF SONG' By Medieval/Jazz Fusion Ensemble Anakronos

Dublin-based Heresy Records (www.heresyrecords.com) will release Citadel of Song, a new double-album by Anakronos, whose critically acclaimed debut album The Red Book of Ossory received 5 stars from The Irish Times and was called one of the best albums of the year by RTE Lyric fm, The Journal of Music and Album of the Year.Org.

Comprised of a group of internationally celebrated musicians, Anakronos' recording and performance projects centre on finding ancient texts (lyrics) whose melodies have been lost or forgotten. The works are reconstructed, creating fresh interpretations that fuse Medieval Music with Jazz, Contemporary Classical and Progressive Rock. With Citadel of Song, Anakronos presents the 10 songs from Giovanni Boccaccio's 14th century masterpiece, The Decameron.

Comparisons between the Black Death and the Covid-19 pandemic have been inevitable and ubiquitous. And while the reality of modern lockdown did inspire Caitríona's immersion in the Boccaccio classic, the obvious parallels between the historic plague and that of recent years are not touted. Though the ongoing cataclysm of the pandemic always remains suspended in the background, the songs in The Decameron centre on the joyful, hopeful, anxiety-ridden, obsessive & painful aspects of romantic love - an enduring preoccupation of humanity. Out of illness and fear a new beauty is born.

Citadel of Song sings the enduring and complex story of romance against the backdrop of imperiled humanity. As the Black Death ravages Florence, 10 young aristocrats (and their servants) leave the city and go into the countryside to build a fortress of songs, stories and dances that will protect them from pandemic-induced soul-destroying fear and creeping dispassion. This is the frame story of Boccaccio's Decameron, the iconic masterpiece of Western literature written during & relating to the plague that swept through Asia, North Africa and Europe between 1347 and 1351.

The 7 women and 3 men who flee Florence spend ten days feasting, conversing and telling stories. At the end of each day, when 10 stories have been told by each of the 10 storytellers, one of them sings a song. The lyrics to the songs by Boccaccio are given, the music is left to the imagination of the reader. Anakronos' director Caitríona O'Leary, an internationally acclaimed singer, known for her work in Early Music, Traditional Irish music and Folk, has reconstructed the songs, setting Boccaccio's lyric poetry to music of the Italian Ars Nova, or Trecento, a forward-looking style from 14th century Northern Italy. And, as all the texts are in the ballata form (a popular song form similar to the French virelai), has scoured the sources of extant Trecento ballate, notably the Squarcialupi Codex and Rossi Codex, to find music that could be reimagined to Boccaccio's words. True to its name, Anakronos has taken these songs from 700 years ago and fused them with sounds and moods of today.

Caitríona O'Leary states, "I plunged into the surviving codices looking for ballate that most closely matched the syllable count of Boccaccio's poetry; and, after carefully following the underlay of the original borrowed songs (exquisitely florid phrases, funkily syncopated hockets, rest-broken words and all), took them to my bandmates for us to use as the starting point in our journey to somewhere else entirely."

Citadel of Song was funded by a Music Project Award from the Arts Council of Ireland. The CD will be available internationally in record shops, retail outlets and online stores. The digital recording will be available on all major streaming and download services including Amazon, Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, YouTube, etc.

Anakronos

Caitríona O'Leary - Voice, Director
Nick Roth - Soprano & Tenor Saxophones, Bendir, Saxophonics
Deirdre O'Leary - Bass & Bb Clarinets
Barry O'Halpin - Electric Guitar, Guitarrón
Andrea Piccioni - Tamburello, Tamburo Muto, Marranzano, Kanjira, Castagnette, Live Electronics

Track Listing

Disc One

Track 1 - Day 1

Io son sì vaga della mia bellezza

music: I' vivo amando by Gherardello da Firenze (c.1320-c.1362), from the Squarcialupi Codex, compiled in Florence, early 15th century

Track 2 - Day 2

Qual donna canterà

music: De' poni amor by Gherardello da Firenze, from the Squarcialupi Codex

Track 3 - Day 3

Niuna sconsolata

music: Se merçè, donna by Francesco Landini (c.1325-1397), from the Panciatichiano Codex, compiled in Florence, late 14th century

Track 4

Regina Pretiosa

music: adapted from anon., the Florence Laudario, compiled in Florence, early 14th century

Track 5 - Day 4

Lagrimando dimostro

music: Con gli occhi by Landini, from the Squarcialupi Codex

Track 6 - Day 5

Amor, la vaga luce

music: Donna l'altrui mirar by Gherardello da Firenze, from the Squarcialupi Codex

Disc Two

Track 1 -Day 6

Amor, s'io posso uscir de' tuoi artigli

music: Donn'e fu credenza by Lorenzo da Firenze (died c. 1372), from the Squacialupi Codex

Track 2

Love's Claw Dance

music: Caitríona O'Leary

Track 3 - Day 7

Deh, lassa la mia vita

music: Non vedi tu amore by Lorenzo da Firenze, from the Squarcialupi Codex

Track 4 - Day 8

Tanto è, Amore, il bene

music: Ben di fortuna by Niccolò da Perugia (fl. 2nd half 14th century), from the Squarcialupi Codex

Track 5 - Day 9

Io mi son giovinetta

music: Lucente stella, anonymous from the Rossi Codex, compiled in Florence or the Veneto, late 14th century

Track 6 - Day 10

S'amor venisse senza gelosia

music: Sento d'Amor la fiamma by Lorenzo da Firenze from the Squarcialupi Codex

Track 7 - Epilogue

Irae Dance

music: Caitríona O'Leary, after Dies Irae, attr.Tomas de Celano (1200-1265) from British Library Add MS 2998, compiled in Tuscany, late 14th/early 15th century



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