The 100 Percussions
Stella Chiweshe, the Queen of mbira
conversation with Marco Zanotti
Tribal, mysteric, iterative: the sound of percussions can indeed give you Dionysian sensations, induce you to transcend the boundaries of awareness and lead you to trance. The experience offered by 100 Percussions is a perfect balance of ritual practice and the compositional rigour of contemporary music: the programme, proposed in collaboration with Accademia Musicale Chigiana, consists in a series of concerts that cross geographical borders taking us to the conurbations of Uganda or the colonial neighbourhoods of Buenos Aires, featuring hypnotic African techno as well as the powerful works of such masters as Steve Reich and Karlheinz Stockhausen. The sound of frame drums blends with the pulse of electronic drums, as the dusty paths of the savannah are lapped by the brackish waters of the oceans. It is a long discovery journey across the planet, scouting for young composers, distant ethnic horizons, percussion-only orchestras illuminating the night with irrepressible bursts of South-American energy. An original world panorama within a Festival, with a foray into tradition, into the heart of Romagna that lies on the banks and by the fishing huts downstream the United Rivers. Ravenna becomes the meeting point of 100 percussions that speak the seductive language of the body, well aware that the most distant and apparently inaccessible cultures always express shared, “global”sentiments. The concerts are conceived as a journey to the roots of our planet, where in the beginning there was only rhythm.