graphic concept and design by Laboratorio Kos - Siracusa Italy

Music - from the most recent project -

image Kafkas_Kavkaz – A collection of songs from Caucasian countries

With its 50 ethnic groups, 4 sovereign states, 70 languages and several religions it is not easy to find another area in the world with such richness and complexity in terms of culture and anthropology as the Caucasus. These stunning mountain chains house in ages of history which had in fact affected European region. This songs anthology’s purpose is to pay a little tribute to the endless Caucasian musical tradition, starting from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia.
The program will feature folk and composers’ songs in order to attempt a picture of the “Caucasian soul” , although this is a tough task. Ali Selimi, Eldar Mansurov, Tanburi Cemil Bey, Komitas, Otar Taktakishvili are the composers which will be played by the ensemble who combines classical and folk tunes together. Some Armenian traditional tunes inspired by Sayat Nova’s lyrics (XVIII cent) are also included.

Thoni Sorano: vocals
Fakhraddin Gafarov: tar azero
Cihat Aşkın: violin

Guest musicians are featured.


image “Love from Aegean to Caspian sea” is an untold musical journey :

which collects love and separation songs ranging from the Turkish Aegean shore as far as Baku seaport, Azerbaijan’s capital, passing through the endless Anatolian steppes. For the first time these striking love songs come into a single repertoire, nevertheless they share many common aspects in terms of social, linguistic and geographical connections; yet most of all you will notice the close relationship between all these typical string instruments : Tar, Iranian region origin; Saz, Turkish folk music symbol and eventually Bouzouki, coming straight from the last, which is the key instrument in Greek music. The first program section features songs from Rebetiko music, a kind of “suburban” music spread in Greece in 1922 from Asia Minor Greek refugees, deported after the so called “Smyrne’s Catastrophe”. The opening song, I Smyrni, tells indeed about this ancient and cosmopolitan city’s destruction. The “journey” now runs towards east where, from the oceanic Anatolian region, traditional songs from Silifke, Van and Karadeniz provinces will be performed, together with contemporary pieces such as the very famous Belalım by Zülfü Livaneli. The program’s heart is in the group of Azerbaijan songs, performed in the last show set. This so little known nation is in reality Turcophony’s treasure chest as well as the homeland of preeminent artists and poets whose influence into Ottoman and Persian Empires is fully recognized. Amongst the songs here performed are Sarı Gelin, Bu Gala Daşlı Gala , beloved love chants (sevda türküler) like Ali Selimi’s Ayrılık and Aygız by Cihangir Cihangirov.

Thoni Sorano: vocals
Fakhraddin Gafarov: tar, balaban, ud, saz, ney
Carmelo Siciliano: bouzouki, ud, saz, barbat
Sinan Cem: Eroğlu kaval

Web site:


image CataniAθήνistanbul - Songs from Sicily, Greece and Turkey

An unusual musical path to discover Mediterranean crossroads. The common denominator to this untold musical journey between Sicily, Greece and Turkey is Thoni Sorano’s voice and musical research. In 1998, when studying visual arts and dance in UK, comes across the field of Turcology. Finding a new source of inspiration on Turkish language, music and culture he finally attends “Oriental Languages” course in Rome’s university, taking Turkish as first language. Since then, he turned this relationship with Turkey as a passepartout to explore other Middle Eastern and Caucasian musical traditions such as Persian, Azeri, Greek and Armenian.
In the last 3 years, after the consistent experience with Turkish music, he went back and focus on his homeland musical environment, releasing a new repertoire featuring Sicilian folk music tunes as well as new compositions.
The following program includes an acoustic collection of original and traditional songs that were significant to his musical research which is a real bridge between Italy and Turkey constructed through study, friendship and enthusiasm.
His musical partner Carmelo Siciliano worked with Sorano on the album “Principia” (2005 debut cd) and becomes like his “Greek counterpart” because, being also a Sicilian, he also studied Greek music and culture, as a bouzouki player especially focusing on Minor Asian musical field.

Thoni Sorano: vox
Salvo Adorno:piano
Carmelo Siciliano: ud, bouzouki, madolino
Sinan Cem Eroğlu: kaval, guitar

image Principia LIVE on stage

Thoni Sorano’s musical research moves back to his roots, the musical tradition of his homeland, Sicily. Starting out from his debut CD “Principia” where he experiments through several languages the meeting of Turkish, Sicilian and Greek music, according to his own personal point of view, he gathers on stage the original recording band onto an anthology of folk tunes, unreleased songs as well as working songs (carrittere), classic love songs structured through poetry, music samples, sequenced tracks and other devices.
The first part of the show features working songs, some of them are taken and rearranged from Alan Lomax archive; the second part presents famous love songs and lullabies paying a homage to the Catanese composer Francesco Paolo Frontini (1860-1939), as far as the very famous “Vitti ‘na crozza” which is here played with Turkish lute and sequenced with audio excerpts from P. Fava and P. Borsellino, a writer and a magistrate who were killed by mafia.
The whole show has to be considered indeed a true exploration of the rich and complex world of Sicilian music.

Thoni Sorano: vox, production and arrangements
Salvo Adorno: keyboards, live programmino, arrangements
Alberto Amato: contrabass
Carmelo Siciliano: ud, bouzouki, madolino, saz
Simone Amodeo: tamorre, marranzano, daf


image Romanì Drom

Rom music, with its precious legacy, is a well-established fact throughout the musical environment ranging from Indus valley up to western Mediterranean sea. The lively power of mediation, which such culture holds, has been throughout the ages like a reservoir from which we could draw to gather inspiration. The elusive nature of this people turned open through the several exchanges in the territories where these nomads passed by, creating unique phenomena which gradually turned into consistent repertoires. It is not always easy to determine the geomusical coordinates of these pieces, musical boundaries are thin and osmotic; although one can grasp some patterns and echoes from traditional music that, put into a contest, are a sample of a Rom, Gipsy musical influence and all that proves the interconnection of these cultures.
Romanì Drom is an overwhelming musical program that pays a tribute to this endless repertoire and to some of those who popularized this heritage: Zoltàn Kodàli and Béla Bartók, researchers and musicians who, in the early ‘900’s, collected these songs from the oral tradition, becoming so pioneers in ethnomusicology and to Šaban Bajramović, well beloved interpreter considered the King of Gipsy music who, after a lifetime of hardships and struggles, passed away in 2008.
The geographic focus is Balkan area, Greece as far as Turkey. We’ll perform instrumental and vocal music recognized as traditionalt “tzigani” “Rom”, in several languages: Romalen, Macedonian, Turkish, Greek. Among those are; Jovane-Jovanke, ćaje Šukarije, Djelem Djelem, Anapse to tsigaro, Zajdi Zajdi, Gecemiz…
Three high-level musicians arranged and compiled this project: Thoni Sorano, vocalist, soundtracks composer, producer and turcology lover; Carmine Guarracino, guitarist virtuoso and terrific performer in Gipsy music; former guitarist of Balkanjia and finally Carmelo Siciliano, multi-instruments player, with his long term experience and confidence in Greek music..
Among those are; Jovane-Jovanke, ćaje Šukarije, Djelem Djelem, Anapse to tsigaro, Zajdi Zajdi, Gecemiz.

Thoni Sorano: vocals
Carmine Guarracino: guitars
Carmelo Siciliano: bouzouki, oud, saz, chitarra
Romanì Drom poster by Angelo Siciliano.

image Azerbaijan
With Fakhraddin Gafarov e ospiti

Azerbaijan used to be part of Ex Soviet Union, therefore concealed and isolated for all that time. Since 1991 it has become an independent republic being the biggest country in the Caucasus region. Cradle of Zoroastrism, this country has been influenced and also influenced the main and most powerful Arabic and Persian dynasties sharing all kinds of cultures until the fall of Safavid Empire, when its territories went under the Russian Empire’s rule.
Due to its strategic location as a bridge between East and West, open to influences from Central Asia, Middle East as far as European boundaries, the musical environment in this country is amazingly rich and elaborate.
Azeri music’s fulcrum is the Mugham, a modal melodic system which is reflected both in art or folk music, appearing into the whole Central Asian and Middle Eastern area.
With master Fakhraddin Gafarov we’ll perform an anthology of traditional Azeri music ranging from big songs by composers like Cihangir Cihangirov, Eldar Mansurov, Ali Selimi and Tofig Guliyev to folk songs like Bu Gün Ayin Üçüdür, which was collected in 1964 by Luciano Berio and performed by Cathy Berberian. The end climax is with master Gafarov who will introduce and perform the mugham, with Azeri tar.

Thoni Sorano: vocals
Fakhraddin Gafarov: tar Azero, balaban
Guest musicians are featured.


Theatre and multimedia performances - from the most recent project -

image The tales ways

This project’s aim is to recall and enhance that heritage of poetry, tales, music or, in short, culture which has been shared throughout Europe, Mediterranean region and Asia for centuries. Two actresses will tell in Italian and Persian (subtitles on screen) novels and tales whose topics inspired both Mediterranean and Oriental countries, as far as the entire world perhaps. From Boccaccio to Rumi, from Trilussa to Hafez the lyrical heart of Mediterranean basin will be on stage and bring its unique blend of connections and relationships.
The musicians ensemble, ranges from different countries: Italy, Tunisia, Turkey and Azerbaijan. It features a stunning musicians cast. Music is the purest mean of communication in the play structure.
Music, the poetry and novels fragments will interact together in several languages such as Persian, Italian, Turkish, Sicilian, Arabic and Ancient Greek.

Mouna Amari, Sinan Cem Eroğlu, Fakhraddin Gafarov, Serdar Ortaç, Federico Sanesi, Thoni Sorano: musicians
Aram Ghasemy,Paola Mandel: actresses on stage
Paola Mandel: direction and text


image Aufbruch aus Troja - Escape from Troy

Mythology, classic tragedy and present history are entwined together into this play. The “Archetypal Images of Indestructible Life “ (Karl Kerenyi would say) of Eurypides Trojan women turn into a group of migrant women, travelling full of hope in the Mediterranean after 2400 years. In the west, to receive them, are the politicos with the day-centers professionals; these women will tell them all about their journey filled with sorrows and abuses. Yet, will they be listened and believed?
The musical scene is a reference to Mediterranean koinè , featuring songs in Sicilian, Turkish. Next to these traditional chants are sounds coming from oil pumps and distorted motorboat noises, all playing through an unremitting loop, as a pounding heartbeat going on.

First performance October 2009 Berlin - Ballhaus-Naunynstrasse Theatre.

Whit Lucia Chiarla Antje Görner, Christian Schmidt, Uwe Schmieder, Christine Stienemeier, Sara-Hiruth Zewde
Adalisa Mnghini: choreography
Thoni Sorano: choir/compositions
Viola Weltgen: set and costumes
Eckart Seilacher: text
Manuela Naso: director


image Help the child within

Multimedia performance focusing on the evil fascination that firearms play on us, common people. Funnily, into these ever-evolving technological goods genius and human stupidity are entwined toghether; attachment and at the same time contempt of life. Hence obscurity and enlightment are our reference poles; in favour of, or against life. It is not an unproblematic choice to take between obscurity and enlightment: one confirms other one’s existence and their being inseparable defines the complexity of less we shall try and give voice to the “child” lying within oureselves; that is the pure and uncontaminated part in the depths of our lives and we’ll try and help him to survive. That point of view could be that strenght to achieve the necessary objectivity to decide…”do i justify, or not, the use of weapons?”. The music section ranges from folk tunes to sequenced electronic patterns so to enhance different life stages, folk music is to evocate the original human condition whereas electronic recalls technology, hence human potential to evolve yet to build such objects as bombs which destroy human life and things.

First performance October 2008 at Kunstahaus Tacheles, Berlin.

Thoni Sorano: Written, conceived and performed
Etienne Zerah Slideshow images and graphic elaboration
Eckart Seilacher: text
Port-Royal, Zenatron e Thoni Sorano: music

Web site: helpt he child within


image Malpelo e Iqbal

Malpelo and Iqbal is a dance-theatre performance, conceived under a choral modality, that tells about two stories distant in time, from different sources of inspiration (literature and chronicle) but united in picturing two children’s desperate lives. All the featuring dramatic, visual and musical actions focus on the investigation and report of one of the most scandalous and unfortunately unresolved pathology of contemporary world: Child labour and exploitation. Malpelo and Iqbal’s rich and visionary musical environment comes from the album “Principia”, which provides traditional tunes from Sicily and Turkey who meet up with sequenced music at unexpected times. “Iqbal” theme is a composition by Thoni Sorano and Salvo Adorno released for this play, featuring samples of children voices from many countries in the world. First performance march 2009 at Teatro Orangerie Rome with UNICEF patronage.

Award - Best production at "Voci dell'Anima" Festival, 2009 edition.

Whit Junio Ambrogio, Thoni Sorano, Fabio Garau, Veronica Buonarrivo
Script and concept by: Francesco Randazzo
Thoni Sorano: music
Fabio Garau: choreography
Scenapparente: set design and costumes
Marco Sabatino: director assistance
Laboratorio Kos: stage photo
Junio Ambrogio: Director

MySpace: Malpelo e Iqbal


Courses and workshops


My workshops are not included in the typical educational field because they are strictly related to my background training and artisitc experiences, all ranging from Belcanto techinque, logopedy and an extensive experience in Mediterranean folk music.
All this makes my classes suitable for young aspirant singers searching to refine their taste, or for those who come from previous experiences and wish to approach Mediaterranean music from a technical point of view, particularly Middle Eastern music.
Moreover, I fully maximized my experience in vocal training and developed a series of exercises, particularly suitable for those professional people who use their voice as or in their job like Attori, Speaker; they might suffer from bad phonation or lack of volume.
At the same time I organized many educational courses on Mediterranean music like seminars, private school creative workshops.
In this field my profession has turned into a cultural mediator for my knowledge on Mediterranean culture goes beyond an academic fact: I speak fluent Turkish, and I am currently studying Persian.


I’ve been working with “World Music” for about a decade and this problematic definition usually includes the whole folk music, which has become a market section in the music industry since the mid 80’s.

Music marketing strongly influenced folk music listeners: On one hand it made possibile to purchase some kinds of music which was not printed on a record before, on the other hand it dispalyed a mingle of styles and names which in the end did not help the audience to gather a real knowledge of the original cultures where this music stems from. The songs language, the genres names as well as the instruments’ are usually unknown by the listeners and however there are not many projects apt to spread adequate information about this rich and complex cultural area which is mediterranean basin. This is the aim of the course, training the ear to distinguish the instruments and the languages of the Mediterranean area.



Mediterranean Music:
"a Cultural Approach"

Course presentation

(PDF format)

Lessons subjects

(PDF format)