Pizzica is known as the traditional music of Apulia, a southern Italian region. The adjective “traditional” is commonly used thinking of a long past of slowly stratified practices and oral culture, handwork and rural life.
Historically, and similarly to other regional folk music, the acquisition of this definition has a lot to do with the popularity that this music re-gained starting from the seventies of the previous century and still growing until recent years, in a mix of self identification and self promotion that bind somehow together diverse fields such as rigorously philological studies in musicology and tourism branding. In the nineties, therefore during this process, another way of playing, another possibility of dealing with such a tradition sparkled at the meeting between Pizzica musicians with young electronic musicians from the sound system’s culture. Rudimentary but avantgarde, grassroots and unacknowledged, Tecnopizzica is what Agostino is admiring, researching,
and playing again. Throughout his multi-year and transdisciplinary curatorial platform Turbo Sud, the aestethic clash of frame drums and transistors, history-collapsed cut-ups on music culture and fluorescent soundwaves under a few capital keywords like Technique, or Volume, tells a story of common people knowledge and way of living transforming throughout the centuries, like the artisanal know-how immersing into the realm of electronics and computer science.
In his first EP called Zona Sisri, Agostino’s music is a playful game of electronic rythms blooming from a vibrant Pizzica “tamburello”, with a very few and minimalized echoes of elements of Pizzica atmospheres.
It is also an anti-conservative statement, considering the music identity as mutant per se and looking forward to a musical practice that has an ethnographic side not only conscious of being part of the phenomenon but of being part of the change itself, while keeping the party on for everyone, repeating the ritual and the feast.
AGOSTINO is the moniker of London-based visual artist, DJ and music producer Agostino Quaranta. His first EP, ZONA SISRI, celebrates the history of Tecnopizzica, rare experiments of the 90s to computerise Pizzica Salentina and was released in April by London label Le Chatroom. In 2018, he founded Turbo Sud, a research and curatorial project exploring different nuances of Southern Italian sonic traditions. He has collaborated with radios such as NTS, Radio Raheem and Foundation FM, performed in electronic music festivals between the UK and Italy and had a solo exhibition at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, with the honor of playing inside the Deer Shelter Skyspace by James Turrell.
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