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.
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!
6 April 1327. In a small church nearby Avignon, a glimpse of a woman named Laura ignited a lingering passion in the renaissance poet and humanist Francesco Petrarca. His rime sparse or scattered verses took the form of 366 sonnets that later would be called ‘Canzoniere’. This songbook is full of platonic love declarations and cryptic references to his unattainable beauty. It almost reads as Petrarca’s own psychoanalytical notepad.
For centuries these sonnets have formed an inspiration for numerous poets. They were set to music by excellent composers such as da Bologna, de Rore, Lassus, Monteverdi, Liszt and Schönberg. The historical music ensemble Zefiro Torna and Frank Vaganée Trio continue this tradition. They edit the music of medieval, renaissance and baroque madrigals, romantic songs and avant-garde music. Above that they wrote new songs on Petrarca’s immortal verses. Polyphonic tissues, obsessive rhythms, sound chemistry, painful punches, wordless scatting and healing harmonies form the elements of a timeless tribute.
The album Scattered Rhymes will be released on 11 December 2015 at Homerecords, in coproduction with Brosella Folk & Jazz.
* arrangement Frank Vaganée
** arrangement Ensemble
Juliet Fraser vocals
Didier François nyckelharpa
Jurgen De bruyn archlute, lute, vocals
Els Van Laethem compositions
Frank Vaganée Trio
Frank Vaganée soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, arrangements
Jos Machtel double bass
Lionel Beuvens drums
Gyuri Spies recording, mixing
Michel Van Achter mastering
Marco Mertens photography
Corentin Aussums artwork
Coproducers The City of Mechelen, CC Mechelen, Brosella Folk & Jazz
Recorded July 2015, Motormusic Studios, Mechelen
Released by homerecords.be