MUSICAL MIGRANTS: PICTURES AND STORIES FROM THE LUCANIAN COMMUNITY IN MELBOURNE

Welcome_HD copy_smallWith the collaboration of the Federazione Lucana, the Museo Italiano (199 Faraday Street, Carlton, Vic 3053) has organised an exhibition and a series of musical and cultural events based on the music and migrants from the Lucanian community in Melbourne, to take place in the second half of August and accompanied by the publication of a special issue of the Italian Historical Society Journal.

Exhibition: 16 August – 12 October 2013

15 August, 6.30pm. Exhibition launch. Music and traditional finger food evening.

Introduction to the exhibition – Alison Rabinovici, curator and musicologist.

Traditional music from Lucania – Davide Ierardi, harp.

Music of the Lucanian migrant community – Sue Hull and and her band Susy Blue.

20 August, 6,30pm. Book launchItaly in Australia’s Musical Landscape, edited by Linda Barwick and Marcello Sorce Keller (Lyrebird Press, 2012).

The book brings together essays tracing the diverse origins of the musical practices of Australia’s Italians and the subsequent influence of commercial music, government policies, and ongoing transnational relationships with family and paesani. Ivano Ercole will launch the book; the launch is supported by the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music.

30 August, 6.30pm. Music from the Lucanian tradition.

Historical presentation with music played by Davide Ierardi (harp) and Carlo Donnoli (accordion).

Free events – RSVP essential: ihs@coasit.com.au; 9349 9021

Based on the photographs and stories shared by Melbourne’s Lucanian community through the collections of the Italian Historical Society (now searchable through the National Library of Australia’s search engine Trove), the exhibition tells the little known story of a remarkable group of migrants and their descendants in Australia and other destinations of the Italian diaspora. Its main focus is the musical contribution of the Lucanian community in Melbourne during the years 1880-1940, set in its social context. Originally hailing from a cluster of small villages in the mountainous Italian region of Basilicata, home of a vibrant musical tradition centred on the arpicedda (the portable harp), these dedicated performers have migrated for several centuries to other destinations in Italy, Europe, America, Africa and Oceania. The early generations of itinerant musicians (musicanti), who often left Italy as children, were followed by generations of versatile professional musicians who played in theatres, orchestras and cinemas across the Lucanian diaspora. Several of them became esteemed classical musicians. The connection with Lucania has often been retained across the generations.

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