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A woman in a flowing white skirt stands in the doorway of a stone building.

Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino invoke the traditional music and dance of Italy’s Salento region.

Tonight’s music video is “Nu Tu Fermare” by Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino.

Formed by writer Rina Durante in 1975, Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino is regarded as Italy’s leading and longest-standing traditional music ensemble, hailing from the Salento, the heel of the Italian boot, in Puglia.

Italy’s fascinating dichotomy of tradition and modernity come together in the music of CGS: the seven piece band and dancer are the leading exponents in a new wave of young performers re-inventing Southern Italy’s Pizzica musical and dance traditions for today’s global audience.

The tens of thousands who often congregate for this Lecce-based band’s concerts in Italy know: Bandleader, fiddler, and drummer Mauro Durante and company can make an audience shimmy with the energy of the ancient ritual of pizzica tarantata, said to cure the taranta spider’s bite with its frenzied trance dances. CGS shows are a life explosion: full of energy, passion, rhythm and mystery, they bring the audience from the past into modernity, and back.

Like Dwayne Dopsie and Tsuumi Sound System, this is another band that played at Satuday’s International Accordion Festival. Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino are “traditional” in a way that reminds me of groups like Dead Can Dance — using ancient melodies toward a modern aim. They were the last act at the Festival, closing out the day in the darkness with the lights of San Antonio behind them. Their music emphasizes string instruments and traditional percussion, and as they wailed and hummed into the night I could close my eyes and feel myself carried somewhere very far from Texas, to a place that seemed both timeless and long ago. I don’t know how I would have discovered the haunting music of this ensemble without this event; I really hope the San Antonio City Council continues to fund the Festival for many more years.

Jeff Wilson, a professor at Huston-Tillotson University in Austin, Texas, has moved into a 36-square-foot dumpster as an experiment in designing simpler livingThe Atlantic profiled his project:

Professor Wilson went to the dumpster not just because he wished to live deliberately, and not just to teach his students about the environmental impacts of day-to-day life, and not just to gradually transform the dumpster into “the most thoughtfully-designed, tiniest home ever constructed.” Wilson’s reasons are a tapestry of these things.

Until this summer, the green dumpster was even less descript than it is now. There was no sliding roof; Wilson kept the rain out with a tarp. He slept on cardboard mats on the floor. It was essentially, as he called it, ‘dumpster camping.’ The goal was to establish a baseline experience of the dumpster without any accoutrements, before adding them incrementally.

[…] Wilson, known around town as Professor Dumpster, recounted in another recent interview that he now owns four pairs of pants, four shirts, three pairs of shoes, three hats, and, in keeping with his hipsteresque aesthetic, “eight or nine” bow ties. (That’s an exceptional bow-tie-to-shirt ownership ratio.) He keeps all of this in cubbies under a recently installed false floor, along with some camping cooking equipment.

Customization of the space really began in July. Wilson asked Twitter what was the first thing he needed, and the response was almost unanimous: air conditioning. In the Austin heat, the dumpster was getting up to 130 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. On some nights it did not fall below the high 80s. So on his six-month anniversary of living in a human-sized convection oven, Wilson procured a modest air conditioner.

[…] With the weather station now strapped to the top, Wilson tracks his personal climate in real time. Pulling up data on his computer from inside his centrally cooled office as we spoke, he announced that the dumpster was currently 104 degrees. During the spring, when Austin was a little cooler, he was able to pass some daytime hours in the dumpster. With the arrival of summer, that became unbearable. ‘But some interesting things happened because of that,’ he explained. He spent a lot more time out in the community, just walking around. ‘I almost feel like East Austin is my home and backyard,’ he said.

[…] ‘What does home look like in a world of 10 billion people?’ the project’s site implores, referring to the projected 40 percent increase in the human population by the end of the century. ‘How do we equip current and future generations with the tools they need for sustainable living practices?’

Read the full article for more information and some great photos.

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Photo by Dario Perrone released under a Creative Commons No Derivatives license.

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Kit OConnell

Kit OConnell

Kit O’Connell is a gonzo journalist and radical troublemaker from Austin, Texas. He is the Associate Editor and Community Manager of Shadowproof. Kit's investigative journalism has appeared in Truthout, MintPress News and Occupy.com.