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An exciting cultural season


This fall, in addition to a few concerts, Zefiro Torna is preparing a number of (inter)national productions that will premiere in spring 2020.
We are especially looking forward to work with the theater company Laika. Together we'll transform the Balsam program into a mysterious alchemical lab where the public is served elixirs, ointments, syrups, all while the music enchants.
In addition, we will bring a few noon concerts at Opera Vlaanderen with the Champions des Dames program.
We'll also celebrate Beethoven 2020 with the hybrid concert installation PASTORALE, in which the music helps shape an ecology of microscopic life forms.

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Balsam

— A lab of senses (2017)

Zefiro Torna

“La Nature est un temple où de vivants piliers
Laissent parfois sortir de confuses paroles;
L’homme y passe à travers des forêts de symboles
Qui l’observent avec des regards familiers.
Comme de longs échos qui de loin se confondent
Dans une ténébreuse et profonde unité,
Vaste comme la nuit et comme la clarté…”
Ch. Baudelaire, Les Fleurs du mal IV

The production Balsam was developed following the elaborate concert tours and international acclaim of ‘Les Tisserands’ and ‘O, Monde Aveugle!’. The hybrid collective consists of musicians coming from a wide range of musical genres such as ancient, traditional, ethnic and jazz music.

Herbs, flowers and plants with a medicinal effect, whose perfume becomes bottled emotion, that awaken desire, set in motion hallucinogenic transportations or poisonously lead to ruin, have been portrayed in literature, visual arts and music. The compositions from the program Balsam bear names such as Alchemilla/Lady’s mantle, les Roses de Saadi or Artemisia absinthium. They resound in the company of traditional songs from Portugal or Greece, Old Norse Edda songs about the Yggdrasil or tree of life, spiritual songs from Hildegard von Bingen and close-knit 15th-century music of Guillaume Dufay or the baroque splendour of Heinrich Schütz. They refer to texts of Virgil and Horace, or of the Song of Songs or verses by Charles Baudelaire or Emile Verhaeren.

“What a great concert. A wonderful combination of instruments, and so strong in its integrity and ensemble play” (reaction after the premiere on 26.03.2017, Grote Kerk Enschede)


Recommended by REMA, the European Early Music Network.

  • Elly Aerden vocals
  • Philippe Laloy flutes, soprano saxophone, compositions
  • Jowan Merckx recorders, French bagpipes, flugelhorn, percussion, ukelele, vocals, compositions
  • Raphaël De Cock uilleann pipes, bawu, chatkan, kaval, Hardanger fiddle, harmonic flutes, Jew's harp, duduk, overtone singing, vocals
  • Jean-Philippe Poncin B-flat clarinet, bass clarinet
  • Jurgen De bruyn lute, baroque guitar, chitarrone, vocals, artistic direction
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