Luciano Berio: Naturale for viola, percussion, and tape

The act of transcription, such as translation, may involve three different conditions: an identification with the composer's original musical text, the assumption of the text as a pretext for experimentation and, ultimately, the oppression of the text, its deconstruction and philological abuse. I think you reach a solution when these three conditions co-exist. It is only then, I believe, that the transcript becomes an act really creative and constructive. Naturale, written between 1985 and 1986 is a piece designed for dance, and is in part derived from a more complex work of 1984 (Voices), where is placed, precisely, the problem of the convergence of those three conditions. The original texts of Natural Sicilian songs are commented upon by the voice of Celano, perhaps the last true Sicilian storyteller, which I had the privilege and good fortune to meet (and record) in Palermo in the summer of 1968. I am deeply grateful to Aldo Bennici for providing me with the original documents: work songs, love, lullabies. The voice of Celano is inserted in the path of the purple instrumental, singing instead of abbagnate (songs of hawkers) of rare intensity. With Naturale, as with Voices, I hope to help encourage a deeper interest for the Sicilian folk music, which with the Sardinian, is certainly the most rich, complex and glow of our Mediterranean culture.
—Luciano Berio