When the Trees Resound
project name

When the Trees Resound

Collaborative Media Research on an Italian Festival


When the Trees Resound. Collaborative Media Research on an Italian Festival

Edited by Nicola Scaldaferri and Steven Feld

Nota-VoxLox, 2018

English edition from the original Italian (I suoni dell’albero. Il Maggio di
 S. Giuliano ad Accettura, 2012) edited with an introduction by Lorenzo Ferrarini.


The Maggio in Accettura – one of the most complex and significant festivals in the Mediterranean area – is here approached from a new perspective. The work revolves around the sonic aspects of the festival, neglected in the numerous ethnographies of the past.

This approach is paired with a methodology, elaborated by Nicola Scaldaferri and Steven Feld, based on dialogue and participation. The work’s interdisciplinary perspective is evident in the presence of a dialogic essay and of two complementary CDs, one with a soundscape composition and the other documenting musical practices in Accettura.

The volume brings together the outcome of an intense teamwork, including a large number of photographs by Stefano Vaja – who contributes years of experience in this festival and his theoretical reflections – and by Lorenzo Ferrarini. Ferdinando Mirizzi’s essay completes the frame with an analysis of the Maggio in Italian ethnology.

Giuseppe Filardi was fundamental in every part of this work, in his roles of historian, researcher, and organizer, in addition to being Accettura’s resident priest – hence embedded in the delicate workings of a festival that mixes an intense devotion for Saint Julian with new and ancient ritual and identity practices. Fabio Calzia, Cristina Ghirardini, Elisa Piria and Guido Raschieri contributed to the documentation of the musical performances.

Cover and contents



The Maggio Festival in Accettura – Photographs by Lorenzo Ferrarini, soundscape composition by Steven Feld.


The Maggio Festival in Accettura – Photographs by Stefano Vaja.