In Italy there are many pageants and festivals, but when you add music they can become a party that brings the past and present together and that’s what makes the Antique Marching Band of Paliano something special.
We do not know always exactly how people lived in the past, how they enjoyed themselves, which jokes made them laugh. When we wear their clothes we now walk on paved and well-maintained roads. But when it comes to music, the situation changes, especially if it is music you can dance to.
The body begins to feel vibrations and gets a burning desire to follow the rhythm: no matter whether it is electronic music or a Gironde, nearly everyone starts to dance.
And this is where the magic starts: this state of being is the same as in the Renaissance or the Middle Ages, or even during the Roman eras, and is the same in all countries of the world. Music is a universal language and a desire to move to the rhythm and the melody is innate.
This is the magic that makes the Antique Marching Band of Paliano special when it is invited to some historical reenactment. It connects two distant worlds, it brings cheerfulness, it stimulates the heart. And in this band it does so with class, using faithful reproductions of antique instruments that follows deep historical musical research!
The antique Brass Band was born by chance, as often happens with wonderful things, by a man who had a passion for music engraved in his DNA: Mauro Salvatori.
Mauro played the flute in large orchestras, and was happy. He went around the world, often accompanied by his wife Bruna Ascione, singing, and was happy. He worked with the Italian Institutes of Culture and carried the Italian musical culture to the world, and was happy.
Then his daughter started school so needed stability. The family decided to go back to their native town Segni. So Mauro began directing his strong passion for music, that in the meantime had grown due to the change of lifestyle, into teaching children.
Thanks to the importance of music in the curriculum he was invited to direct music in the middle school, and here he discovered the world of the children to whom he is able to convey his love of music. An opportunity arose giving him the idea how to combine his passions: that of music and of orchestra.
In Paliano, where Mauro Salvatori teaches, a few years ago came the time for the annual parade and celebrations honouring Marcantonio Colonna returning victorious from the battle of Lepanto. The procession was to be accompanied by drummers and some other music.
Thus began a course of study of Renaissance music and all the instruments that were used at the time and Mauro started to form a small nucleus of musicians. His wife sews historical clothes and plays the Gironda, while he is concerned with the historical instruments, the preparation of the orchestra and the artistic direction. Today they have about 90 very specific instruments, including a rare specimen of Buttafuoco, an instrument that is both stringed and wind.
From a summer diversion arose a new chapter in his life. Whereas, anyone involved in a procession can live with only a few weeks of preparation, those involved in putting together the music and preparing a small orchestra, must live every day projected towards this goal.
Mauro started doing historical research on music, instruments and lifestyles to the point that in Segni, at home, he arranged his cantina in an antique style and with his restauranteur friend, now opens it in on some particular occasions for themed functions.
The Marching Band has grown and begun to live an independent life from the Palio di Paliano (which takes place during the month of August) and the band is invited to different regions of Italy as well as to the Vatican. Wherever it goes it brings joy and an irresistible urge to dance with the Renaissance rhythms.
The Antique Marching Band of Paliano now has 25-30 players, people ranging from 11 to 60 years, with a vast repertoire of early music. Mauro fields continued requests for membership of the marching band (many parents want to play with their children) and his eyes convey the joy that already puts you in a good mood and makes you wonder: “When can I come to dance with you? Where is your next function? “
(This article was published under licence from Energitismo Limited)