“Like being stung by a tarantula” – this saying comes from the Apulian city of Taranto. In the Middle Ages, the residents of this city gave the local wolf spider Lycosa narbonensis the name tarantula. They believed that the venom of the spider could only be expelled by a frenetic dance. The wild dance Pizzica was the medical treatment: the musicians would come to the house of the patient or to the market place and begin to play. The person who was bitten would then dance to exhaustion to drive the poison from the body.
At this workshop, participants learn to perform the ritual – with or without a musical instrument. Based on the traditions of Southern Italy, Alessandro Palmitessa (saxophonist, composer, conductor) and Margherita D’Amelio (singer, dancer and percussionist), teach the melodic, harmonic and rhythmic foundations of the Pizzica (the traditional Tarantella from Apulia). As an introduction, there is a virtual tour of the funeral music, mysticism and rituals of Apulia in images, music and dance.
Workshop for the concert Passione e Morte – Musical Farewell rituals in southern Italy from the series Underway – World music with Roger Willemsen.