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Posted Tuesday, May 30, 2006
It's not as scary as it sounds - there's something for everyone, especially fans of a good whistling solo and enthusiasts of a good chicken impersonation.
Touchwood is delighted to announce the arrival of a new CD –Between Two Doors ("Fra Due Porte" if you speak Italian, "Between Cha' Doors" if you speak Klingon).
"BTD" (for the acronym-philic) is a CD of Touchwood's own arrangements of traditional Northern Italian folk songs, as learnt from listening to archival interviews with Italian migrants in Australia. It's not as scary as it sounds - there's something for everyone, especially fans of a good whistling solo and enthusiasts of a good chicken impersonation. Other fascinating details to listen out for include a hot ukulele solo, a song about smoking taught to a small boy by some nuns, an accordion which sounds remarkably like two clarinets and a solo by young Isobel Andrews and some school-friends.
It all started when Rob Willis sent the trio a few songs on CD from his travels collecting stories and songs around the country. This is nothing unusual in itself – Touchwood have learned quite a few gems this way – what was special on this occasion was that the parcel contained a song that was the genesis for this project.
Some of the songs on the CD are very well known in Northern Italy and in fact all over the country. Others are undiscovered gems. Touchwood is particularly pleased to release these songs knowing that very few songs from the North of Italy have made it on the Australian folk radar – the songs we generally hear are from the South. (If you're not sure what the difference is, just pop into the Australian Calabrese Association*, select a patron at random, and tell them they bear a striking resemblance to your cousin from Venice. First make sure there are no chairs in the room.)
There are likely many theses on the difference between the music of the North and South of Italy, but the obvious ones include the dialects; the number of songs about going off to war (the North is closer to the European battlefields of WWI and WWII) and the love songs in waltz time.
Between Two Doors holds hidden delights, revealed only by inserting it into your computer. There are lyrics, translations and a little story on each song - how the trio came to it, where it comes from, etc.
After a successful premiere at the National Folk Festival, Touchwood plans to launch the CD in Sydney later this year and hopefully take it to Italy next year. Stay tuned. And by all means make someone very happy by purchasing one as a birthday gift, a graduation pressie, or a spontaneous show of affection.
You'll find a link to buy it online by visiting Touchwood's website.
* I don't think there's such a thing.