Zampogna: The Soul Of Southern Italy (Documentary Film)

Zampogna: The Soul Of Southern Italy (Documentary Film)

A feature length documentary film about Southern Italian culture told through its indigenous folk music. The film focuses on how these traditions are dealing with the rapid changes in local economy and the homogenizing effect globalization has on local culture. Filmed by an Italian-American rediscovering his family’s roots, the film takes the viewer on an odyssey through remote regions in Sicily, Calabria, Campania and Molise introducing the people who carry on these ancient traditions that most Italian Americans are completely unaware of. The Zampogna – the Italian bagpipe is the physical manifestation of this culture, its music representing the spirit and vitality of the Southern Italy.

Filmed in Summer 2008 in Sicily, Calabria, Campania and Molise.

Produced and Filmed by David Marker
Edited by Scott Driskell and David Marker

Director’s Commentary about making this film and Italian-American identity:

Facebook page:

The DVD can be purchased online:

Film was shot on a Canon XH-A1 at 1080/24F. Camera calibrated with the help of Richard Welnowski. Stereo sound was recorded by a pair of Audio Technica 4051a condenser microphones connected directly to camera XLR inputs and captured to the HDV tape at 16bit/48khz. Monaural sound was shot with a camera mounted Audio Technica shotgun mic. Audio was mastered at Chapman Recording in Kansas City as well as additional audio mastering by the filmmaker. Edited in Final Cut 7 on a Mac Pro.

25 thoughts on “Zampogna: The Soul Of Southern Italy (Documentary Film)”

  1. Such a great documentary. From one Immigrated Sicilian to another – thank you fratello mio.

  2. Beautiful! I was always intrigued by the instrument, thanks for sharing this, I really enjoyed it!

  3. Dear David, thank you for this moving and important piece of filmmaking. You are preserving and disseminating a beautiful and historic musical tradition, and in doing so I am sure you are generating interest in playing and preserving this instrument. i play a harp from Mexico, but I also play Scottish highland bagpipes, and this documentary really grabbed my interest. Now I am fascinated by the zampogna. When you see it being played with the ciaramella, it is like going back in time. It calls to mind engravings and woodcuts of the renaissance and beyond. Thanks again for this masterful work.

  4. Thanks for sharing this. I showed it to my nonni and they really enjoyed it.

  5. Un bel documento sulla sonorità della zampogna nel meridione d’Italia.. Complimenti

  6. Great documentary! Would be better if name of each tune is mentioned. Could you please tell me the name of the pizzica dance tune at the end?

  7. Dude, at 8:11, you said “basta”… that is something you don’ t really want to do … 😀

  8. I love this. My grandfather made zampogne and my father played the zampogna. In their memory I am learning to play
    L’organetto. The zampogna is very hard to play. Grazie

  9. This is such a beautiful documentary, so sincere and genuine. The people you encounter and their spontaneous affection and generosity is so supremely beautiful. I have no idea why this doesn’t have a million views, honestly. Thank you so much for sharing, from Italy my spiritual home!! Grazie mille Oh, and thank you for adding the extra footage 🙂

  10. Felicitaciones David por este bellísimo trabajo! estuve viviendo en Sicilia hace unos meses atrás, fui también a conocer un poco de mi historia ya que mi bisabuelo era italiano. Yo nací en Argentina. Ese viaje fue unas de las cosas más hermosas que me pasó en la vida. Saludos!

  11. This is the most delightful, moving and informative doc I’ve seen in a long time. Thank you for this beautiful work, David. All the way through, I thought of my son’s great-grandparents – she from Nicastro, he from Castiglione Marittimo, Calabria. They both had this same love of life, humor, spontaneity and skill of raising luscious fruit and vegetables! I met them in 1966 in California, USA, and they’ve been gone for many years. I had never known Italians at all, certainly not so intimately, and I simply loved them. Well, I may have divorced their grandson (my husband), but never his family! I still miss them.

  12. Excelente! Muchas Gracias! El mensaje es hermoso! ojala nunca se pierdan mas instrumentos ni musicas de ningun pueblo!

  13. This affectionately created documentary is equally informative and endearing. Thank you David!


  15. Da musicisti posso dire che ci sono alcune inesattezze (dall’ accompagnamento del tamburello al ballo) .. Ma tutto sommato hai la nostra più grande stima, un ottimo lavoro : non solo per le suonate registrate, ma anche per pubblicizzare le nostre tradizioni musicali e non (quelle vere) all’estero.

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