Composer/pianist Ludovico Einaudi has gathered together a group of the world s most talented musicians to make an album inspired by the passionate music of southern Italy. Entitled 'Taranta Project', it is produced by Alberto Fabris and Ludovico Einaudi. Taranta is a passionate rhythmical dance which originated in the Salento region in the southernmost tip of Puglia, in the heel of Italy. It derives from an ancient healing ritual to drive out the poisonous effects of a Tarantula bite and involves a woman spinning dervish-like to the hypnotic beat of the tambourine and the musical accompaniment of violin, accordion and guitar playing the traditional folk music that is indigenous to the area. For the last 15 years Salento has hosted a festival of Taranta music ,'La Notte Della Taranta', which has grown into one of the biggest music festivals in Italy. Every year the organising committee invites a noted musician to direct the festival. In 2010 and 2011 that honour fell to Ludovico Einaudi, who invited his friends and fellow musicians Ballake Sissoko, Justin Adams, Juldeh Camara, Mercan Dede, Redi Hasa & Mauro Durante to participate alongside a group of Salento musicians including Antonio Castrignano, Enza Pagliara, and Alessia Tondo. They took the traditional Salentine music and added their own influences from world music, electronica and classical and under Einaudi's masterful direction created a beautifully compelling sound that was at once traditional and strikingly modern. Ludovico took this group of musicians on tour around the world in 2012 and part of 'Taranta Project' is recorded live on tour as well as in the studio. Says Ludovico: It sounds like a studio album but with the energy of a live performance. My idea was to bring this music to a more universal level connected to other traditions. Says guitarist Justin Adams: Puglia has got this unique tradition in European music of having this healing trance thing with big drums, so it s a lot less four square than a lot of European folk music. It s got something of Africa in it. Repetition is part of it because it begins to really go into your soul. That and also an almost operatic sense of dynamic, so epic one moment and the next minute absolutely intimate.
About the Artist
Ludovico Einaudi was born in Turin and trained as a classical composer and pianist at the Milan Conservatorio. He studied under Luciano Berio, one of the most important composers of the twentieth century avant-garde. After some early prestigious commissions in the classical world, Einaudi turned his back on what he regarded as an essentially conservative approach to music to embrace his own enthusiasms, which include African music, folk and the rock music of the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan and Radiohead. Einaudi's evocative music has sold over 1.5 million records and has quietly made him one of the most successful musicians in the world. He has released 12 studio albums: Time Out (1988), Stanze (1992), Salgari (1995), Le Onde (1996), Eden Roc (1999), I Giorni (2001), Una Mattina (2004), Diario Mali [with Ballaké Sissoko] (2005), Divenire (2006), Cloudland [recorded as the group Whitetree] (2009), Nightbook (2009) and In A Time Lapse (2013) and three live albums recorded at La Scala (2003), in Berlin (2008) and at the Royal Albert Hall (2010). He has provided music for more than 20 films including Shane Meadows' 'This Is England' and the French International hit 'Intouchables'.