Echi lontani – Musiche d’epoca in luoghi storici (Distant echoes – Early music in historic locations) was established in Cagliari in 1995, as a follow on from the "International Meeting of Music, Dance and Teaching" (a series of Seminars, Concerts and Conferences, dedicated to Early Music and Dance and new Music Education, held every year in Selargius [Cagliari] from 1984 until 1994). The Festival “Echi lontani” was characterised from the outset by the desire to take Early Music and Dance out of Concert halls and to place it in locations of Historical Heritage (churches, cloisters and buildings of historical-architectural and artistic value) with the dual objective of promoting better contextualization of the ancient repertoire whilst at the same time exposing and encouraging the use of the Historical Heritage to both residents and tourists. Hence the full name of the Festival, “Echi lontani – Musiche d’epoca in luoghi storici” (Distant echoes - Early music in historic locations).
The Festival takes the form of an event specifically and exclusively dedicated to the philological execution of the vocal and instrumental repertoire spanning from the Middle Ages to the late eighteenth century on original instruments or copies. Over the years a few moments of reflection have also been dedicated to research and study.
Another feature of the Festival “Echi lontani” has been the constant collaboration with the Department of Architectural, Landscape, Historical, Artistic and Ethno-anthropological Heritage (BAPSAE) of Cagliari and Oristano. In particular the organization of concerts for the inauguration of mainly historic organs throughout the region, after their restoration. Although not possessing the grandeur of certain instruments in Italy and Europe, in some cases these organs have some interesting features derived from the needs of local patrons. In addition, over the years, many other Historical Architectural Heritage sites were inaugurated with concerts after their restoration.
In 2012 began the project "Schola - Piattaforma per Scuole Europee di Musica Antica” (Platform for European Schools of Early Music), which will join forces with other themes in the Festival ("Pasqua a Cagliari" [Easter in Cagliari], "Feste Musicali per Sant'Efisio" [Sant’Efisio Music festival], "Monumenti Aperti" [Open Monuments],"Festa Europea della Musica" [European Festival of Music], "Organi in Concerto-Itinerari sugli Organi Storici restaurati" [Organs in Concert - restored Historic Organs route])
With the project "Schola" we want to create and offer primarily a platform that gives visibility (and audibility) to the phenomenon of specialized musical training, especially in Europe. Secondly we want to give young musicians, still under study, the possibility to play alongside ensembles already known and internationally active, within the context of a well established and recognized Festival such as “Echi lontani”, without any pressure from programmatic 'diktat' or market.
Since 2010 the Artistic Direction and Music Consulting has been entrusted to Maestro Dario Luisi, Director of the Department of Early Music of Konservatorium des Landes Steiermark "Johann Joseph Fux" in Graz (Austria).
Historic Organs inaugurated in collaboration with the Department of Architectural Heritage, Landscape, Historical, Artistic and Ethno-anthropological Heritage (BAPSAE), Cagliari and Oristano.