Perched on top of a fortress 750 meters above sea level, overlooking the underlying Sosio valley, stands an ancient Sicilian little town:…
Francesco Amara, tamburiddaru (drum builder)
“Art for me is the simplicity that manages to contain the essence of things”
Hi everyone, I am Francesco Amara and I am a manufacturer of Sicilian drums.
I would like to maintain this tradition.
My passion was born because I used to follow the concerts of the great Sicilian master Alfio Antico who made me passionate about this instrument and who is now one of my main customers.
Something happened inside me that made me fall in love with this instrument.
I get excited because behind this object there are sacrifices, a choice of life, I decided to isolate myself from the world, to live here with my drums.
Somehow I found myself again, I really got to know myself and the drums became my children.
But this was not a good thing.
And then I realized that it was better if they stayed away from me, they went their own way, just like children.
In 2003 I started making my first drums and playing them.
Drums are part of Sicilian folklore, of our past, of our traditions that we must do everything to save.
This is a classic Sicilian drum.
It was designed by a collaborator of mine.
This is another Sicilian drum that represents Catania.
This is my workshop: these are saucers, all beaten by hand, it is recycled metal, they save me tomato cans.
Here I work with metals, I cut it into this shape and I beat it with a hammer.
I’ll show you.
I use goatskin that is handcrafted.
Then we put in the saucers.
These caps become the little saucers, which you put between two saucers to give them a different sound.
I’ll show you how they attach to the drum.
This wood is olive.
This one is totally closed, modern type.
The classic one is like this, with a double layer.
The creative people of Trinacria
The objective of S.A.F is both to safeguard the traditions and ancient crafts of the people of Sicily, and to sustain economically the Artisans and the Artists, both the real ethno-anthropologists of the country.
The writers transcribing down through memory to the pen; artisans use their hands and flair.
Both use their hearts.
Author: Giovanni Vallone, Cultural Department of Splendid Sicily
Translation: Giovanna Battaglia, Cultural Department of Splendid Sicily