White Horse Beach, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

White Horse Beach, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA
White Horse Beach, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Monday, May 1, 2017

Stornelli Scordati, Canti D' Altro Tempo (songs of another time), Lucca, Tuscany, Italy

As I wandered along the Piazza San Michele, my ear caught a beautiful sound on the breeze. But when I got there they had just finished a set and were breaking for lunch.

When they returned, I was not disappointed. To hear the wonderful and traditional sounds of 2/3 of the group Stornelli Scordati, busking just off a side street, was a special delight.

I had a feeling about these two musicians, the casual but knowing reverence with which they handled their instruments. I knew they would be good. I waited, I wandered, and I returned when their lunch break was over and they sat down to play. They filled my soul with spirited renditions of local Tuscan traditional songs, protest songs, activist songs, and songs of their youth.

They drew a large crowd of passersby - mostly locals and not tourists. There were men and women and children of multiple generations who paused to listen, or clap along, or tap a toe in rhythm, perhaps remembering some dream of their own youth.

The songs are of the mountains to the north of here - the spring folk festival "Cantar Maggio" celebrates it.  Today, their music filled our souls and perhaps changed some in it's simple joyous rhythms and lyrics. I wish I had an English translation.

They were extraordinarily compelling in their traditional Tuscan style of folk music.

The kids loved them, too, and came flocking to enjoy the sound and their engaging manner.

They get close but not too close.

In my observation, music that attracts small children and old men and women is pure and true and filled with humanity. These are real people making real sounds that evoke emotion - no electricity involved. The tenderness of this young boy on the right towards his sibling also did not go unnoticed.

Perhaps this is part of the essence of travel: to see or hear or feel foreign experiences not possible at one's own home and to be enriched by them. I was enriched today by the music of Stornelli Scordati's songs of another time.

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