Didactis and cultural activities
Further to their concert activity, the Cultural Association Gai Saber promotes cultural activities addressed mainly to schools with the aim to spread curiosity and interest towards the Occitan language and culture in all its expressions.
Didactic – Occitan language and culture
Some components of the group took part to the “course for teaching of the Occitan language and culture in the school”, projected with the support of the European Community. Consequently the group realized a course about “Troubadours from the medieval age till today: the research of the musical roots to reach the contemporary Occitan poets”. This course was experimented in the secondary school in Venasca (CN) in the Varaita Valley and then at the artistic secondary school of Cuneo.
Since some years the group takes part, like teachers, to the pilot formation programs of Occitan language and culture named “VIURE LA LENGA” organized by the Piedmont Region, and to the projects about the local cultural and linguistic patrimony with the Comprehensive School of Peveragno; between 2002 and 2007 the following projects have been realized: “Entre lhi rocàs de la Besimauda”, “Rescontres occitans”, “Una lingua tante voci”, “I fili del discorso”, “Fasem Festa”, together with the Secondary School and the Artistic-Musical School of Cuneo. Projects achieved with a series of exchanges, visits and concerts with the Jean Marlieu school in Marseille (France) and with the cultural associations of the Occitan village of Guardia Piemontese (CS) and permitted the realization of a CD “Lhi fils del descors” containing song and music played by the students. All the projects have been financed thanks to the Law 482/99 encouraging the study of the languages and cultures of the linguistic minorities.
At the end of 2006 Gai Saber attended the meeting organized in Boves by Chambra d’òc about their musical and linguistic choices and they took part to the event “Fremas d’Occitania”.
Didactic – traditional music and courses of traditional instruments
Since 1999, at Christmas time, the Gai Saber propose the execution of the “Novè” from Notre Dame de Dome in Avignon (1590-1604), already presented in Brossasco (CN), Melle (CN), Rossana (CN) and played every year with the children of the secondary school in the church of Saint John in Peveragno (CN) at Christmas night. Gai Saber carry out also the courses of accordion, galobet and harp in Peveragno.
In 2007 Gai Saber have realized together with the Municipality of Guardia Piemontese some courses of Occitan traditional instruments (like hurdy-gurdy, accordion, provençal flute) with the aim to rediscover the cultural patrimony of the small Occitan Calabrese area. Courses finished in August 2007 with a concert in the evocative square of Guardia Piemontese Alta.
Great importance is given to the recovery of songs and dances made on the territory; this kind or research permitted to find out of some forgotten songs that have been published together with the Compagnia del Birùn during some artistic cooperations regarding the production of theatre performances like “La cansùn ëd Birùn” 1991-1992, expression of a popular tradition that is alive even today in the village of Peveragno, “Mafalda” 1995-1996, a performance that evoked the wreck of the homonymous ship in 1927 and the stories connected with the emigration from the valleys of Cuneo towards South America, “La Merla Bianca” that treated traditions and legends from Peveragno from a contemporary point of view further to the researches made by the students of the primary and secondary schools of Peveragno and Chiusa Pesio.
Theatre and music
In 2006, in cooperation with the Association “Il Melarancio”, the Gai Saber presented in Cuneo and in Guardia Piemontese (CS) a theatre and music performance about the Waldensian slaughter of 1564 in Guardia Piemontese. For Christmas 2006, in cooperation with the Theatre School Toselli of Cuneo, they have realized a workshop finalized to the theatre representation of a Nové of the Occitan tradition.
Since some years the Association is working to the drawing up of a dictionary of the dialect from Peveragno, in cooperation with a group of people native to Peveragno.