|Dimensions||22 × 16 × .50 cm|
CD REVIEW by Rob Willis
Someone once told me that good musicians have the ability (and ear) to be able to identify voices over the phone and easily learn “foreign” languages.
I can usually pick a voice before being told who the phone caller is but as far as language goes, forget it.
Does that make me half a musician?
Kate Andrews, Terry Clinton and Christina Mimmocchi, who make up the Sydney based singing group Touchwood, have only one Italian speaker in their midst, but that did not stop them recording a CD in Italian language. And it’s a ripper.
I believe that the project concept started at a Folk Alliance convention when Kate was listening to a session conducted by the then curator of Oral History and Folklore at The National Library, Mark Cranfield.
Mark was talking about the vastness of the collections and how easy it is to access them.
The group were already aware of some collected Italian material and in her rational way Kate decided as the group already had one Italian speaker the other two (including herself) could sing in the language.
As one of the Library’s folklore collectors I have long been aware of “cultural lag” that is the retaining of traditions in Australia (through isolation) whilst the same material has been “lost” in the “home country”.
My friends and I have thoroughly enjoyed going into various ethnic communities and recording their music and life stories.
Of course there is the added bonus of the investigation of other factors such as food lore and the technique of making home made wine.
I especially love the Italian communities with their friendliness and willingness to share, plus the above mentioned bonuses of course.
As a result we have recorded many Italian songs over the years
Touchwood have taken the time to listen to many of these songs, make their own interpretations and arrangements of the music and record their exciting CD Between Two Doors.
Tony Colla from Griffith, Domenico, Valentino and Lucia De Bortoli and Joe and Antonia Canto from Texas in Queensland, Alf Buffon of Wentworth and Elio Rigo of Brisbane are a few who have contributed their songs.
The arrangements and harmonies that Touchwood perform are in my mind superb, giving the already vibrant songs a further lift.
The group also play a variety of instruments including guitar, ukulele, clarinet, vihuela and percussion and these compliment their vocal talents.
Archival recording of several of the traditional performers also helps to give an understanding of the origins of the songs.
The song topics range from love to roosters and pipe smoking.
Touchwood took time to research the field recordings of Italian performers in situ at the National Library and must be commended for this.
Well done Touchwood you have taken the initiative and recorded a very listenable and musically interesting CD.
10 in stock (can be backordered)