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Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino Announces Release Of 'Meridiana'

The album's special guests include Neapolitan avant grade composer Enzo Avitabile on "Tic e Tac."

Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino Announces Release Of 'Meridiana' Italian world music powerhouse Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino (CGS) is set to release their newest album, Meridiana, on Ponderosa Records, May 21st, 2021.

Created in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Meridiana was co-produced by guitarist and producer Justin Adams (long time collaborator with Robert Plant, and producer of such iconic world music acts as Tinariwen and Rachid Taha).

The album's special guests include Neapolitan avant grade composer Enzo Avitabile on "Tic e Tac", Brooklyn bhangra brass band Red Barat on "Pizzica Bhangra", and electronic producer Giacomo Greco. Internationally recognized for their distinctive take on traditional Southern Italian Pizzica culture and sound, CGS is best known for their powerful rhythms, groovy and trance-like performances, trademark vocal harmonies, and unique blend of ancient and modern soundscapes.

About Meridiana Meridiana mixes the different souls of the band into a sound that is unique, contemporary, and unmistakably CGS. The album title translates to "sundial", and its significance is apt in this global climate. "This last year especially, made us all wonder much about time," Mauro explains, "it's weight and relevance in our lives. The sundial was one of the first instruments to measure time, using light and shadow-those are strong symbols, full of meanings" Mauro explains. "Thinking about time means thinking about our lives and the people who make them worthwhile. And if, as physics scientist Feynman stated, "Time is what happens when nothing else happens", this last year gave us the chance to feel time a lot."

The band's usual, hands-on, collaborative, creative process had to shift for Meridiana due to the COVID pandemic, which hit Italy hard and early. In Mauro's words: "A band is a living thing, just like its music. And we never stop experimenting and exploring our distinctiveness. But the pandemic has been really hard. It wasn't easy to meet, to make music together, to be a band in the usual way... But somehow we managed. Working with our guests was a new experience; we could only work remotely, but still we created something we're proud of. This album is proof that the desire to share, to dance together, is irresistible.

Music really has no borders." Meridiana is supported by Puglia Sounds, and will be released on May 21st, on CD, Vinyl and on all major streaming and download services. There will also be a virtual release event on 5/20: an immersive, online multimedia experience that features images, texts, videos and art inspired by the album. CGS will hold a virtual release event which will include a premiere listening party of the album and a selection of the different content, curated by Salento natives Luca Coclite (visual artist), Francesco Sambati (photographer), and Gabriele Surdo (filmmaker). Event link TBA.

About Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino CGS is seven-piece band (including leader Mauro Durante, bandmates Giulio Bianco, Alessia Tondo, Emanuele Licci, Silvia Perrone, Giancarlo Paglialunga, Massimiliano Morabito, and sound engineer Francesco Aiello), that was founded in 1975 to revive and celebrate the traditional music and dance of the Salento, a territory of the Puglia region of southern Italy, that some call "the heel of the boot". In 2007, CGS co-founder Daniele Durante passed the leadership to his son Mauro, a conservatory-trained violinist, percussionist, and devoted student of Salentine traditional music. CGS is especially committed to the preservation and exploration of Pizzica, an ancient tradition of music and dance the belongs to the family of the Southern Italian Tarantella.

The music is traditionally played at social gatherings, religious feasts, and private parties, but was also incorporated in the ritual of tarantism, using the healing power of music and dance to cure the bite and poison of the legendary tarantula spider. Today, the Pizzica/Taranta and its legacy have become symbols of pride and redemption across Italy, and a successful example of reinventing a local tradition and taking it global.

While Pizzica is the origin of Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino's sound and vision, it's their ability to layer in other folk styles that makes CGS shine. From ballads, work songs, and field notes to lullabies and even pop songs, CGS has a knack for bringing all their references together in a cohesive narrative that is hybrid and fluid at the same time. It can be seen in their instrumentation, combining synth, electric bass, and loops with instruments from folk traditions - including the tamburella, organetto, bouzouki, and zampogna (Italian bagpipes).

This amalgamation of influences not only reflects their lived experiences, but also their world view. Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino has garnered critical acclaim globally: with rave reviews from the New York Times, The New Yorker, The Guardian, Le Monde, Liberation, Songlines and fRoots. The band had the honor of performing at the Royal Albert Hall for the BBC Proms in 2019 and was awarded the Best Group at the Songlines Music Awards in 2018. Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino Official Website: https://www.canzonieregrecanicosalentino.net/?lang=en


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