The CD TIME CRAWLS is out on the label HOMERECORDS.BE and also available on our webshop (> CD).
Zefiro Torna takes us into a timeless universe with a reinterpretation of the 17th century broken consort music. Melodies intuitively created by flute player Jowan Merckx received a new arrangement for flute, violin, viola da gamba, violone, harp and lute by composers Marnix De Cat and Martin Valcke. The new written music bears traces of baroque and traditional music from all over Europe. The music, which is sometime melancholic, sometimes nimble and festive, fascinates by its ingeniously crafted texture and invites to dance.
This autumn, the alchemistic laboratory BALSAM with Laika, Theatre of the Senses will be on tour again. After two series of performances at the Boulevard Festival in Den Bosch and Cultura Nova in Heerlen in August, the team is ready for it! Prepare yourself for a bewitching ritual in which music, scents and flavours immerse you in the shimmering world of alchemy. Besides the Greenwich+Docks International Festival in London and a tour to Portugal and France, BALSAM also passes by a number of Belgian venues.
--> Take a look in the agenda for all dates
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.
The traditional music group Amorroma, the historical music ensemble Zefiro Torna and jazz saxophone player and flute player Philippe Laloy (Traces, Tricycle) meet in a programme imbued by the spirit of Catharism. In the 12th and 13th centuries, the Cathars formed an important spiritual movement. Averse to all dogmas, they aimed at elevated human values such as austerity, immaterialism and noblesse de coeur. In Flanders, they were sometimes called phiphles (flute players?) in France parfaits, bonhommes or tisserands (weavers). They were persecuted by the Inquisition for heresy, and finally brought down in Montségur, a town in the French Pyrenees.
Occitania was the region where the Cathar phenomenon flourished, and where at the same time the troubadour repertoire developed. Several poetic texts by individuals such as Marcabrun, Bernard de Ventadour and Raymond de Miraval lean towards the ideas and the actions of the Cathars, and give expression to a strong sense of liberty. The medieval texts and melodies serve as a source of inspiration for this programme, just like the melodies composed by Jowan Merckx – contrafacts that evoke reminiscences of earlier times and various European and Eastern cultures. The ensemble’s arrangements of these melodies stand out for their variety of textures and their colourfulness.
The duality of the Cathar doctrine, based on the contrast between good and evil, Yin and Yang, manifests itself in a multitude of contrasts. Complex polyphony is opposed to the simplicity of a unison melody; elating dance music to epic ballads; the strong, dark and piercing tones of the bagpipes, the bass, the viola da gamba and the bouzouki to soft instruments like the lute, the harp, the viol and flutes. The soprano sax improvisations, the female voice and the poetry of the troubadours enter into a compelling dialogue.