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cd cover Labirintomare, released on the occasion of Venice roots group Calicanto's twentieth year of existence, is dedicated to Venice's historic relations with Dalmatia and Istria on the Adriatic, and the wider Mediterranean. Calicanto collaborate here with a large group of guest musicians from Dalmatia (today part of Croatia), Istria (today belonging to Slovenia and Croatia), Bulgaria, Turkey, and Spain. Together, and in various combinations, they expose us to a wide variety of pan-Adriatic and pan-Mediterranean styles and sounds.

"Marionette a Zara"
"Marionette a Zara" is an energetic and light Dalmatian-style dance, propelled by accordion and a clarinet that occasionally sounds 'Eastern.' "Loza u Skripu" is a breathtakingly gorgeous choral piece, sung in Serbo-Croation by a ten-man Dalmatian choir, to lute accompaniment. "Contraddanze di Spalata e la Turca" is a sprightly traditional seventeenth century tune from Dalmatia, done in the style of the English country dance. "Filigran" is a Bulgarian-Turkish collaboration that modulates nicely between Eastern European and Turkish musical styles, with outstanding playing on clarinet and bouzouki.

The variety presented on Labirintomare is truly amazing, and the instrumentation and vocals consistently strong. Calicanto display not only an encyclopedic grasp of the myriad styles and rich musical history of Venice and its cultural interlocutors, but also an admirable cosmopolitanness and cultural openness. At a time when Italy is governed by a center-right coalition, which fuels a growing antipathy to Italy's new immigrants, Calicanto's embrace of cultural plurality is a refreshing tonic. - Ted Swedenburg

Available at cdRoots

Audio: "Marionette a Zara"
©2001 CNI Music, Italy, used by permission

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