1° Edition | 2005

Ciatu ca sona: The Jaw Harp from Sicily to the Far East 

U marranzanu
The marranzano, a typically Sicilian instrument, yet widespread worldwide in a wide variety of forms and models; an ancestral instrument with an incredibly contemporary sound. A witness to a very ancient form of “globalization,” the marranzano is simultaneously a symbol of our local tradition and a potential vehicle for global interconnection, an ideal metaphor for everything that, while typically Sicilian, projects into a space of international cultural relations; for everything that, despite having ancient roots, projects towards the future.
The Marranzano World Festival is an event to rediscover the sonic and human depth of popular instruments and musical traditions in Sicily, simultaneously revealing their deep connections with other cultures across time and space. A festival focused on the dialectical relationships between local and global, tradition and innovation, bringing together scientific and educational initiatives with moments of spectacle and celebration. It positions itself at an appropriate distance from both folkloristic revivals and the ambiguous exoticism of many so-called “ethnic” musics.

The first edition has a specific focus on the Sicilian marranzano, jaw harps worldwide, and the musical traditions connected to them, including the singing of cart drivers in Sicily and harmonic singing in various regions of Asia (Tuva, Mongolia, Tibet).
The program includes an exhibition of traditional Sicilian musical instruments, an ethnomusicological conference, a series of music workshops, and, of course, a concert with a final celebration. Together with a broader audience, the event aims to trace backward the millennial journey that brought jaw harps from the Far East to the Mediterranean.

The initiative, conceived and curated by Luca Recupero of the cultural association MoMu Mondo di Musica, in collaboration with the Facoltà di Lingue dell’Università degli studi di Catania, Associazione Musicale Etnea and Centro Culture Contemporanee Zo, and with the support of the Sicilian Region, the Municipality, and the Regional Province of Catania, is intended to become a fixed appointment with specific attention each year focused on a particular musical instrument of the Sicilian tradition (frame drums, bagpipes, cane flutes, mandolins, etc.) to be rediscovered through a comparison with similar instruments from other traditions and origins.


17 october

17:30 • Monastero dei Benedettini

Unveiling of the exhibition of musical instruments, concert, and cocktail party

18 october

16:00 • Monastero dei Benedettini

Presentations followed by brief musical performances

19 october

21:00 • ZŌ Centro Culture Contemporanee

Fabio Tricomi & Roberto Bolelli (Catania)
Aaron Szilagyi (Ungheria)
Trân Quang Hai (Vietnam/Francia)

23:00 • ZŌ Centro Culture Contemporanee

IpercusSonici (Catania/World)
Dj Lara (Vittoria, SR)


Marranzano (Traditional Sicilian Jew’s Harps)


with Fabio Tricomi (Catania, Italy)





with Áron Szilágyi (Hungary)



Overtone Singing


with Trân Quang Hai (Vietnam)

A series of practical workshops on the playing techniques of jaw harps: one focusing on traditional Sicilian techniques led by Fabio Tricomi and Luca Recupero, another on the doromb and traditional aerophones of Eastern Europe led by Aaron Szilagyi, and one led by Trân Quang Hai. In addition to presenting the traditional repertoire of the dan moi (Vietnamese jaw harp), Trân Quang Hai will also introduce the technique of so-called harmonic or overtone singing. In this technique, a single person produces two or more distinct sounds simultaneously on the scale of natural harmonics. This technique, used in traditional music in various Asian countries, is closely related to the playing technique of jaw harps, whose melodic range is determined by the series of natural harmonics achievable on the fundamental given by the instrument.
The musical workshops are part of the MEDIALAB program of the Faculty of Languages. There are also 15 spots available for external participants not affiliated with the University.

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Infos about Festival
and parallel activities:

Artistic production e direction
MoMu Mondo di Musica

Esecutive production and administration
Associazione Musicale Etnea