Allegoria at Ghent Festival of Flanders

This autumn a retrospective exhibition of Baroque painter Adriaen Brouwer will be held in his native town of Oudenarde. Brouwer was a master in painting lively folk scenes. With his sublime landscapes he inspired great masters such as Rubens.
As part of the Ghent Festival of Flanders, Zefiro Torna brings the paintings of Brouwer and contemporaries such as the young Pieter Breughel, Frans Hals and Jan Steen to life with soprano Annelies Van Gramberen. The allegorical themes from their graphics and paintings are the guiding principles: Love and Vanity, Death and Transience, Wisdom versus Foolishness and 'Rudities'. Zefiro Torna draws on a treasure trove of picturesque folk and Beggars’ songs and from collections of songs and madrigals by publishers, poets and composers such as Bredero, Vallet and Hacquart.

On Friday 28 September Klara will broadcast live from the MOU Oudenaarde. Jurgen De bruyn will be a guest at Pompidou (5-7pm), and will talk about the symbolic themes that inspired him to create the programme ‘Allegoria’.



Lassus Grand Cru - extra show

Good news for those who were to late to buy a ticket for Lassus Grand Cru on August 22nd at Laus Polyphoniae: this 'tasty' performance with Stefaan Degand will be heard, seen and tasted a second time that same evening. Don't want to miss that? Buy your ticket for the show at 10:15 pm.


On tour with Lassus Grand Cru

Even in the 16th century, people already knew that masterful Renaissance composer Orlandus Lassus's music leaves no one untouched. The fact that his sweet tones created a perfect concordance with great wine, was an open secret.

Zefiro Torna now combines both elements - Lassus's popular repertoire on the one hand, and a selection of exclusive wines on the other – into the sensuous production Lassus Grand Cru. During this musical wine tasting, countertenor and skilled wine expert Steve Dugardin, along with a professional actor, will entertain the audience with exquisite faits divers about Lassus's life.

Zefiro Torna will be touring in Belgium and abroad with this tasteful production.


Spring 2018

"Raise the glass! Start the song! Come, let’s cheer, let’s drink, As long as the bright stars shine, as long as the fine bottle bestows on us its content, and the full glass beckons us to enjoyment. Come, my friends, let’s make a toast! Let us all drink!" (Anon., 16thC)

We would like to raise our glass with you on the dawn of this new year in a literal way: during the performance of Lassus Grand Cru, wine flows abundantly to the sounds of Lassus' sweet and danceable songs. In our performance of Slumber, soprano Lore Binon, cellist Benjamin Glorieux and lutenist Jurgen De bruyn will submerge you in nightly atmospheres. Furthermore, 2018 brings many foreign adventures. Coming spring, Zefiro Torna will tour the Netherlands (Slumber and Lassus Grand Cru), France (Scattered Rhymes), Italy (De Fragilitate), Germany and the Czech Republic (Lassus Grand Cru).

We wish you a creative, lovely and exquisit 2018!


Sonorous Sketches

—  (2018)

Zefiro Torna - Bram Bosteels

As part of the 'Flemish masters in Situ' project (2018-2020) by Openbaar Kunstenbezit Vlaanderen (OKV) and Tourism Flanders, Zefiro Torna creates 'Sonorous Sketches' tailored to a number of art sites.

These Sonorous Sketches are a metaphor for wonder and bewilderment, for escaping time. Like a penetrating resonance of the past, they stimulate the audience’s imagination and lead to contemplation and a broader perception of the particular work of art.

The subject or time context of the artwork in question forms the starting point for the choice of a musical composition - a monodic or polyphonic work, baroque or madrigal. Then Zefiro Torna searches for specific stories and sonorous elements that are part of the habitat of this piece, from environmental sounds to the sounds generated by specific rituals or local customs and traditions. The artist's studio as well as his actions can also produce sound material.

Sound artist Bram Bosteels records and reconstructs these sounds into a soundscape, and together with the recorded music forges them into a Sonorous Sketch: a world of sound from which a piece of music emerges. This sonorous landscape makes the listener tune in to the bygone sounds of the past. Sound as present absence.

Sonorous Sketch I / Augustine in Ecstasy

‘Sonorous Sketch I / Augustine in Ecstasy' was commissioned by AMUZ on the occasion of the four hundredth anniversary of the St August church and the integration of three new artworks by Jan Fabre in the context of Antwerp Baroque 2018.

The music chosen was the collection of compositions 'Paradisus Sacris Cantionibus Consitus' by Peter Philips. It was first printed at Phalesius in Antwerp in 1628, the year of the inauguration of the altarpieces in St. Augustine's Church. Philips' motet 'O si quando videbo gaudium', performed by soprano Annelies Van Gramberen and theorist Jurgen De bruyn, is substantively in line with the writings and ideas of the patron saint and church father Augustine, who is depicted on the left side altar.

Bram Bosteels found inspiration in the symbolism of this vision painted by Van Dyck, more specifically in the soul's upward-facing desire to become one with the Holy Spirit (depicted in the painting as a dove). He processed into a cosmic soundscape Unheimliche sounds produced by 'prepared' pigeons or doves that seek out the light in the spatial context of an abandoned cooling tower, along with 17th-century music.

The sonorous sketch can be heard from 3 July to 10 December 2018 during a visit to AMUZ.

Annelies Van Gramberen soprano
Jurgen De bruyn theorbo
Bram Bosteels sound art
Kobe Wens camera
Liesbeth Marit direction and editing
Kevin Defossez pigeons