PANPHONIA ISTRIANA is a years-long culturological multimedia project aimed at the revitalization of dialectal and musical heritage of Istria, based on the wealth of vernaculars, dialects and musical idioms and the general culturological diversity of Istria region. The idea is to produce an artistically shaped multimedia DVD devoted to a certain Istrian dialect every two years.
The leading idea of the whole project is: dialect is the language of emotion, emotion is the language of soul and the soul is the language of culture. The project’s motto “poetics of speech” encompasses the notions of “written word, uttered word and word set to music”, and the main idea is to use the modern digital technology and multimedia in order to introduce the contemporary consumer of art to the speech and musical dialectal tradition of Istria and thus to contribute to the preservation of the obsolete Istrian dialects and their culturological environment.
Considering the fact that cultural, dialectal, and geographical structure of Istria is subdivided into smaller units, these very microstructures serve as a fundamental basis of the project. In other words, each individual multimedia DVD will be dedicated to a particular Istrian, primarily dialectal, but also culturological and geographical micro-region. Each DVD will feature artistically arranged old examples of the written word, uttered word and word set to music, in audio, video, scan, photo and similar formats, but it will also feature the new artistic reinterpretations in which certain dialect is used, together with a short presentation of the cultural and historical environment in which that particular dialect is spoken.
The starting point of the project is the research into the sonority of Istrian dialects, e.g. speech on the cultural and communicological level, through an artistic prism which considers the sound of speech as a vibration without semantic level, and the speech as a means of communication which includes a cultural level, in the context of which differently preserved local dialectal and musical traditions are contained.
All of the above will be integrated in a contemporary multimedia form, the ultimate structure of which will be defined by the type and availability of dialect-related material. That structure gives shape to the artistic prism in which the use of various audiovisual elements of digital technology represents an integral and significant artistic parameter of the project.
The project started in 2007. In 2009, the first DVD dedicated to Istroroman dialect was made and presented to the public on January 21, 2009 at INK Theatre in Pula with a multimedia theatre play PAN(theatron)PHONIA Istriana.
Second DVD dedicated to Žejane/Vlach dialect , or Istroromanian dialect, which is spoken on the high plains of Ćićarija, in the villages of Žejane and Šušnjevica was presented September 11th at Ethnographic museum of Istria, Pazin, in the form of a “videoplay” – video theatre play.
Currently, we are finishing third DVD dedicated to the “Labinjonska cakavica” which is spoken in city of Labin and the surrounding villages.
During the project, we will use all already existing sources, archives, various productions of audio and video material and similar, with some new performances made specifically for the project. Particular areas or fields will be defined according to the diffusion of dialects or vernaculars, with the basic division into Slavic and Romanic dialects or vernaculars.
Over the period of 8-10 years, we are planning to release at least 5 and no more than 10 DVDs, depending on the quantity of material, which will dictate the choice of the dialectal areas that may function independently and those that will be featured together on a particular DVD.
Each DVD is trilingual, with the promotional edition of 1000 copies to be delivered to all relevant institutions and individuals (libraries, archives, schools, museums and similar), and each DVD will represent one volume of the future (poetic and unpretentious) multimedia mini-encyclopaedia with a special binding of all volumes under the final title of PANPHONIA ISTRIANA.
Furthermore, each multimedia DVD will be completed with a special theatrical audiovisual part under the working title of PAN(theatron)PHONIA ISTRIANA, featuring the material collected and arranged in the project PANPHONIA ISTRIANA. In addition to serving as the promotion of each multimedia DVD, the theatrical segment will also try to function as an independent theatrical multimedia project combining live performances with recorded audiovisual materials presented through multimedia.
The project is financed by the Istria Region, produced by the Artistic Organization Transhistria ensemble, with the musician Tamara Obrovac as its creator and art director, and Matija Debeljuh in charge of design, video and visual identity.