Tenore de Orosei

Amores Profunhu - Voches de Sardinna (1)

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A male vocal quartet hailing from Sardinia, Tenore de Orosei's music sounds nothing like what the listener would expect from a group of Italian singers unless he knew of a Mongolian enclave secreted on the island. Amore Profundhu is a collection of secular songs, festival celebrations, etc. They tend to be quite rhythmic, with hiccupping vocal stops and interjections providing much of the impetus along those lines and easily making up for the lack of instrumental accompaniment. The salient feature, however, and the one likely to draw the attention of the Western listener, is the extraordinary bass singing, although the term "bass" doesn't quite do it justice. Akin to the Tuvan and Mongolian singing popularized by groups like Huun-Huur-Tu, the lower vocal parts are sung in an incredibly deep, altogether subterranean, rich, and vibrant voice, sounding for all the world like an especially musical truck. This vocal line is often used to establish a tonal drone over which the other three singers, inhabiting a far less extreme range, are free to sing the main melodies and ornament them as they see fit. It's a very effective construct, allowing a multi-layered sound image that, as striking as it may be, does not interfere with the emotive aspect of the songs, which is displayed starkly and without the pathos often associated with Italian folk songs. Those interested in the European folk tradition owe it to themselves to have at least one example of this Sardinian form, unique in all the world and quite beautiful besides.

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