Camilla Ferrari and the A Tergo Lupi band

A Tergo Lupi is an Italian musical project that aims to integrate instruments of ancient origin with contemporary instruments.  According to their profile,

“A Tergo Lupi is about ancient dark sounds, tagelharpa, bouzouki and ritual drums, and is about guitars, electronics, industrial distortions.”

The band was formed in 2018 with three members: Camilla Ferrari on tagelharpa, vocals, and lute; Luca Villa on Irish bouzouki, throat singing, and flutes; and Fabio Del Carro on lead vocals, percussion, lyre, bass, and guitar.

The group started out as a demonstration group for Ebanisteria Musicale, a family business for handmade musical instruments now run by Ferrari, but quickly evolved into an independent music project. Their music is distributed through Spotify, Amazon, and iTunes, and also through Ferrari’s website.

The phrase a tergo lupi comes from the Latin expression “A fronte praecipitium, a tergo lupi.” or “A precipice in front, wolves behind”.

Fans compare the group to Scandinavian folk metal bands like Heilung, Faun, Skald, Danheim, Wardruna, and Omnia.

I first discovered this group looking for historical instruments, specifically an  example of tagelharpa music –  and believe me, there is some really awful tagelharpa music out there.  Camilla Ferrari seems to be one of the few decent tagelharpa players on the internet.

So what should you listen to?  Their new album “Out of the Fence” is now on YouTube.

Camilla M. Ferrari

Camilla Ferrari is an artisan, luthier, and cabinet maker.  She runs the family artisan workshop Ebanisteria Musicale, specializing in hand-made musical instruments, and electrification of craft, ethnic, or historical instruments. 

The historical instruments built by the shop include hammered dulcimerNorwegian Kravik lyre (Kraviklyra), Anglo-Saxon lyre, tagelharpa, monochord and scheitholt, and the percussion instruments Peruvian cajon and shamonic frame drums.  One typical tagelharp coming from this shop (the one used in the video “Hunted”) is tuned B – B – F# (bass drone).

Ferrari was born in Sassuolo, a small town in northern Italy.  She grew up in a family of artisans and musicians, and studied music and woodworking at an early age, learning to use her great-grandfather’s woodworking tools, and her father’s electronics and audio equipment.  She has a bachelor’s degree in Cultural Heritage Sciences from the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia and a degree in Archeology from the University of Parma.

Ferrari with skull-shaped lyre.

Ferrari was an archivist with Archivio di Stato di Modena (State Archives of Modena), now part of the part of the Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities.  The nucleus of that collection is from the Este estate and the archives of Duke Cesare that became the property of the state when the duke fled to Modena from Ferrara in 1598.

She is the author of two academic papers about graveyards and corpse mutilation: “Le mutilazioni e lassenza di parti anatomiche dalla sepoltura alcune interpretazioni” (Mutilation and the absence of anatomical parts from burials: some interpretations), and “Sepolture anomale: il problema delle sepolture anomale in Italia tra tardo antico e medioevo” (Abnormal burials: the problem of anomalous burials in Italy between late antiquity and the Middle Ages).

Discography

Albums

  • a tergo lupi - out of the fence - square coverOut of the Fence, 2019.  Full album, YouTube.  Playlist: 1) To the Roots (remastered) 2) Cozu 3) Syringa 4) Break the Breath (Remastered) 5) The March of the Stones 6) The Song of the Moth 7) A Ballad of Life and Death (Kravik Lyre) [YouTube] 8) Two Steel Ravens 9) Cauterize 10) Hunted 11) Lyra 12) The Wood Creaks 13) Deadlyre 14) Rot

Singles and EPs

Projects

Demos

  • The Swedish medieval ballad “Varulven” (the werewolf), played on a Kravik lyre. YouTube.
  • Happy New Year, from A Tergo Lupi to their fans. YouTube.
  • Camilla Ferrari soldering the preamp to a hammered dulcimer.
  • Stringing a scheitholt. YouTube.
  • Tagelharpa cello. YouTube.

External links

A Tergo Lupi

Camilla Ferrari

About historical instruments

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