As an introduction to the performance PAST >I ORALE Zefiro Torna asked film maker Mathias Ruelle to create a short documentary. Through the eyes of five characters, this film highlights a few elementary parts from which the performance originated. The music of PAST >I ORALE - a wonderful mix of Beethoven, sound art and alternative pop - resonates as a soundtrack.
> Watch the documentary here (from June 15th until July 13th)
'A summer evening in Catalonia, 1399. A group of pilgrims are sitting next to the wall of the abbey church of Montserrat. They have come in search of forgiveness, purification, a fresh start.' Zefiro Torna and Psallentes re-opened this famous "Llibre Vermell de Montserrat". You can find our intimate version of the pilgrim songs on our newest CD, out now on the label Le Bricoleur. Get your copy here, it's the ideal soundtrack for a relaxing summer evening.
Tune in to Podium 19, a new tv-channel for culture, on Sunday 21 March at 6pm for BALSAM, and let yourself be carried away by the enchanting music and images of the alchemistic concert by Zefiro Torna and Laika. Afterwards you can watch the show for another month on VRTnu.
Of course we look forward to welcome you live again into this magic laboratory. We are planning a long tour in Belgium and abroad, which we hope to start in June.
Tired of yet another version of Jingle Bells or All I Want for Christmas? Maybe you'll like our 'Special Seasonal Mix' on Spotify, a selection of songs to spice up this cold December month.
Even though we celebrate Christmas a little differently this year, presents are always nice to receive and to give. Balsam's music literally works as a balm to many souls in these times, an ideal gift for under the Christmas tree. Thanks to a stock sale of the Homerecords label, you can buy the Scattered Rhymes CD with the Frank Vaganée Trio at a discount price of 5 euros. For a swinging start of 2021!
We are all in need of cultural activities after the past months. It's something we noticed from the many moved reactions after playing Balsam at the Zomer van Antwerpen in July. The press has repeatedly called the performance "a balm for the soul." This autumn we bring you extra oxygen for the soul with the reprise of Balsam in Rotterdam and Heerlen.
On October 14, Zefiro Torna and the contemporary French Ensemble Variances will unite music from the 14th to the 21st centuries during the premiere of BACHC®AB in deSingel. And a month later we'll launch you 'im glückliche Fahrt' into a new time and space with the long-awaited premiere of PAST | ORALE: BTHVN transhumanized during the Lunalia festival. Looking forward to this special reunion!
The Hebrew Bible contains an extremely mysterious book known as the Song of Salomon, Canticle of Canticles or the Song of Songs. The book reads like a compilation of poems thematically centered around the theme of human love. The main characters are two lovers of the opposite sex. The poetry is rich in its imagery, often plainly erotic and suggestive. The Song of Songs is set in a sublimated world, it can be seen as an allegory for God's love and as a drive for mysticism. For centuries it has formed an inspiration for numerous oriental and western artists as well as scientist.
Together with Vocalconsort Berlin and the Tunisian singer and artist Ghalia Benali, Zefiro Torna created this exceptional program in 2013. Single voiced madrigals with instrumental accompaniment, vocal duets and trios, a women's choir and polyphonic settings by composers such as von Bingen, de Machaut, Dunstable, Agricola, Lassus, Grandi, Sances, Monteverdi, Schütz, Buxtehude and J. Ch. Bach interact with traditional Arab songs, narrating texts by ‘Sufi’ poets such as Rābiʻa al-ʻAdawiyya and by a new generation of poets such as the Egyptian Abdallah Ghoneem. Creating an inspiring dialogue between cultures and history, The Allegory of Desire bridges the distance between sacrality and humanity.
This production with an international cast has been staged on prestigious podiums and festivals in Amsterdam, Brussels, Berlin, Hamburg, Nürnberg, Winterthur, Sevilla and Vilnius. In the upcoming years the program will further be promoted internationally. A recording by Warner Classics was released on 21 October 2016.
Ghalia Benali Arabic chant, compositions
Jurgen De bruyn artistic direction
Folkert Ude dramaturgy
Jörg Bittner scenography, light design
Interview Festival van Vlaanderen-Mechelen 01.10.2013
Annemarie Peeters, De Standaard 07.10.2013
Elcorreoweb Sevilla 11.04.2014
Elclubexpress Sevilla 12.04.2014
Lezersbrief Kyburgiade 04.08.2014
Landshuter Zeitung 25.04.2016
Birgit Markert, Gmünder Tagespost 02.08.2016
Martine D. Mergeay, La Libre 12.09.2016
De Standaard (cd-recensie) 19.10.2016
AZ-AN Musikseite 04.11.2016
Het Nieuwsblad/De Gentenaar 01.12.2016
Focus Knack 20.02.2019