WOMAD A VENEZIA
(17/02/96) Pitura Freska play in an interactive concert.

Picture this: festive February crowds of over 35,000 people singing, dancing and partying, a traffic jam of revellers in a city without cars.

As mysterious, masked figures in eighteenth century garb wander enigmatically, joyfully cramming every available space - on bridges, down alleys, along waterways; packing theaters, squares and cathedrals.
This is a Carnival fusing past and present - often surreal, occasionally bewildering, always extraordinary.

And in its midst, WOMAD a Venezia. Two stages - the sumptuous Teatro Goldoni and the Byzantine surrounds of St Marks Square playing host to some of WOMAD's hottest artists over two frost-filled days.

Extract from the Real World newsletter

During the Venice Carnival, Peter Gabriel presented an interactive concert starring Pitura Freska as the opening number of "WOMAD A VENEZIA", hailed as the World's most important itinerant ethnic music festival. It was an extraordinary event involving an experimental telematic venture cooked up by Telecom Italia, which placed Venice at the center of its dual "new technologies and tradition" concept. Thanks to an ISDN optical fibre link-up, Pitura Freska managed to play in St. Mark's Square and the Goldoni Theater at the same time. The rhythmic section, guitars and keyboards played in the theater, with vocals and the horns section in the Square. The whole thing was digitalized, edited live and entertained audiences through high-definition video and audio link-ups using ISDN technology. A teatro la sezione ritmica le chitarre e le tastiere, in piazza le voci e la sezione fiati. Il tutto stato digitalizzato, montato in diretta e assistito tramite video ad alta definizione e diffusori acustici collegati in Isdn.

A CD was recorded throughout the weekend the outstanding WOMAD artists performing in St Marks on the first occasion for over fourteen years that Venice's most famous square was used for live music. The city's favorite sons, Pitura Freska, opened the proceedings with some vibrant Veneto reggae underpinning some straight talk about Venice's lack of regular live music, followed by Francis Bebey, Papa Wemba, Tenores di Bitti, Terem Quartet, Justin Vali trio, Yungchen Lhamo, Purnas das baul and Bapi, Telepathy, and Remmy Ongala. Proceeds of the CD go to the Water Aid, a charity aiming to bring safe water closer to people's homes in the developing world. Water Aid supports projects in Africa and Asia. In the last 12 years over three million people have benefited from Water Aid funds.
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