The work is in seven movements played without interruption, linked by passages of gentle percussion sounds, like quiet interludes in different languages and contrasting styles. I used eight texts drawn from folk poetry in six languages (French, English, Italian, Serbian, German and Ladino): lullabies, a counting rhyme, a love song, and pagan songs about nature.
Reflecting our nostalgia for our childhood and time forever lost, this work is a tribute to a great man who left an indelible mark on Canada’s musical landscape: Maestro Mario Bernardi. A man who helped to build our wonderful nation by adding a dash of the cultural spice — in this case, Italy.
The piece includes two texts in Italian: Mie mama mata mata, a rhyme in the Venetian dialect to reflect the time he spent studying music in Treviso and Venice from 1938-45; and the Tarantella del Gargano which is in the Puglian dialect, native to the southern Italian region of Puglia.
The other texts are from "la claire fontaine," a French song popular with the coureurs des bois and which became the first national anthem of New France; the lullabies Golden slumbers kiss your eyes (in English), Guter Mond (“Dear moon,” in German), Durme, durme (“Sleep, sleep,” in Ladino); and Lazarka and Dodole (in Serbian), a flower-picking song and a song accompanying a dance to make the earth fertile.
The movement "Mie mama mata mata" is dedicated to Ettore Truant.*
The movement "Tarantella del Gargano" is dedicated to Flavia Gervasi* and to the memory of the remarkable Italian folk singer Andrea Sacco.
*for their invaluable help with the Venetian and Puglian dialects, respectively.