Don’t DJ delicately weaves complex and vital rhythm out of this bizarro/forgotten Italian ritual – Tarentism is a “centuries-old choreo musical ritual from Southern Italy, mobilizing frenetic rhythms and maniac dances, to exorcise women of a mysterious evil caused by the bite of a spider.” The new idea from the FLEE project illustrates this by marrying the traditional and contemporary, asking six international ‘vanguard’ producers to spin idiosyncratic interpretations of the original field-recordings (registered by, amongst others, one Alan Lomax, in late 1950s Puglia).
Thumb-plucked kalimba laced through shuffling rhythm, intricate and stripped back – still driving and off-kilter. Restrained hypnodelia, the aquasonic wavering vocals shimmer, losing tread and barely keeping balance as we go. Accompanied by a hardcover book of essays which explore the various dimensions of the ritual, published in both English and Italian, it’s certainly an intriguing look at an undersung folk-ritual/phenomenon which might otherwise disappear into history. The release will be followed by exhibitions and conferences, which will give air to FLEE’s year-long research on Tarantism as well as its numerous commissioned artworks.
Tarantismo: Odyssey Of An Italian Ritual is out November 27th on FLEE – pre-order here