«Il Decameron», written by the Italian author Giovanni Boccaccio in 1353 is a story about 10 people who leave Florence to escape from the Black Death plague and seek shelter in a mansion on the countryside. There they tell each other stories in order to make time pass while they are waiting for the pandemic to decline. The stories they tell each other form the main content of Boccaccio’s legendary book.
Kirkelig Kulturverksted (KKV) got a grant from the Arts Council Norway from a fund they have created in order to support creative ideas during the Corona pandemic. The project we applied for is to make an international, digital, musical parallel to the Decameron.
We invited 10 singer/songwriters from 10 different countries in Europe, Africa, Asia and America to “move into” a closed Facebook group during the time of Corona and communicate by writing and performing to each other one new song each. In the end of the project the Facebook group was opened to the audience, and all the 10 performances were also uploaded on Youtube.
The 10 artists are Ingrid Olava (Norway), Oscar Danielson (Sweden), Mahsa Vahdat (Iran), Tom Russell (USA), Tania Saleh (Lebanon), Terez Sliman (Palestine), Dina El Wedidi (Egypt), Jesús Bienvenido (Spain), Katia Cardenal (Nicaragua) and Sam Lee (UK).
You may experience the songs on this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idnblGiGKuw.
Photo Credits: (1) Kirkelig Kulturverksted: A Digital Decameron (2) John William Waterhouse: A Tale from the Decameron (1916), (3) Mahsa Vahdat, (4) Tom Russell (unknown/website); (5) Sam Lee (by Walkin' Tom).