L’Ultima Mattanza

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  • Artist: Gavino Murgia Trio
  • Catalog No: Q-1402-2


The sounds of an island

And yet here is that for countless centuries we fight without pity or remorse, so love the carnage and death, oh eternal rivals or brothers relentless!

from „The man and the Sea“ by Charles Baudelaire, 1857

Everything is in their eyes. Both life and death, instinct that becomes fate, into the trap on a journey of love towards the Mediterranean, from the Atlantic down to Gibraltar, between Spain and Africa. But they see only Spain, who gives “mattanza” its etymology: matar, to kill.

Because the tuna swim always looking to the left bank; they know that it is the coast of heat, of love, of reproduction. The bank that lures them down, way down, towards beautiful islands , scented of mediterranean foliage and the wood of boats. This is held in their memory. Held also is, that once one of them had carried ashore a puppet and his father. But that‘s another story.

Destiny betrays them in the middle of their obstinate race. They come into the nets cast by the fishermen, miles of nets which they mistake for the coastline, keeping them ever to their left. An endless corridor, a succession of five chambers from which they could still turn back, but their instinct urges them on, into the death chamber, the inevitable end.

Once it was so, in Carloforte, one of the Mediterranean‘s last, on-going ”tonnara”. Now … No, now it‘s the end of the tuna‘s end – millenial, epic, sacrificial -. Now they are trapped, transported to Malta, fattened, slaughtered and sold as gold to Japan. Red tuna threatened with extinction. The schools of tuna in migration intercepted by satellites.

Now is the end of „Man and the Sea“ and of „The Old Man and the Sea“, though only a marlin, a solitary old fisherman, certainly a different sea. (qui non so cosa voleva dire esattamente…) The end of those black and white photographs of struggle, nets, fins, on the walls of pizzeri – as in the Tabarkin town.

The distorted end of love’s sacrifice. „L’ultima mattanza“ is a decisive com- ment on the sea, violated, abused, decei- ved, at the end of a thousand-year histo- ry. Gavino Murgia, Michel Godard, Patrice Héral let down intertwi- ned nets of sounds and voices and silences, into the sea to the north of Saint Peter’s Island. They recite ritual prayers, lending rhythm to the ethnic rhythm of ancestral fishing, ferocious, blood-stained red, each time washed away by the sea. Three musi- cians; a theater, Botti du Shcoggiu; a chef, Second Borghero; and an ethical publisher, Insula, have joined together in this appeal to raise awareness. That the tuna can remain in Carloforte, “la mattanza” remain in Carloforte and in Carloforte remain its history.

Raffaella Venturi



Gavino Murgia
Saxophone: soprano, alto, tenore, baritone, Bassu Guttural, Launeddas, Sulittos, Thunder Tube, Tumbarinu, Eventide for the saxophone

Gavino Murgia is from Nuoro. He started playing alto sax when he was twelveyears old.

Thanks to his father’s well-stocked vinyl record collection he had the chance to discover and grow while listening to jazz and classical music.

He started playing with various pop and funk groups and collaborated with some theatrical companies in Sardinia; He tra- veled to Siena when he was 19 years old to be part of the Jazz Orchestra Giovanile Italiana as first tenor sax.

With its deep musical roots, Sardinia was constantly present in his sonorous path. The Canto a Tenores in his Bassu (bass) part he had when he was in his teen years and the traditional study of the Launeddas (pan-pipes), slowly merge with the African-American music finding an original and authentic path.

Along with the Soprano and Tenor sax he also plays the Baritone sax, Flutes and Duduk.

He has played and recorded with:
Rabih Abou Kalil, Bobby McFerrin, Steve Swallow, Paolo Fresu, Famoudou Don Moye, Sainko Namtcylak, Al di Meola, Gianna Nannini and many others

Michel Godard
Tuba, Serpent and electric bass

Born near Belfort (France) in 1960, Michel Godard soon established himself as an extraordinarily versatile exponent of the tuba, pursu- ing a career in jazz and classical music. Today he is one of the most virtous tuba and serpent players in Jazz as well as in improvised music.


Patrice Héral
Drums, voice, electronic sampler, djembe, percussion

Héral was born in 1965 in Montpellier (F). He studied with Alain Joule and Barre Phillips. He lived in Vienna, Berlin, Oslo and Paris, travelling the world finding musical adventure. He played a tour through Russia with italian sin- ger Etta Scollo, is part of the Ensemble Pago Libre and played with Ralph Towner, Dhafer Youssef, Nguyên Lê, Wolfgang Puschnig and many others. He also was a member of the Orchestre National de Jazz.