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News

20-05-2022:

CD release Time Crawls

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.

30-08-2021:

BALSAM on tour


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

15-06-2021:

Release documentary PAST >| ORALE


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)

27-05-2021:

CD release Llibre Vermell


'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.

11-03-2021:

BALSAM on Podium 19


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.

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Tears of Joy

— A wonderful musical blend from 17th century England (2009)

Zefiro Torna

    A ‘good song’ and dancing music were never far away in the early 17th century England of Elisabeth I and the Stuarts. Traditional grounds, allemandes, pavanes and galliards, country dances, jigs and catches could be heard right next to a folk song, a melancholy lute song, an Italian madrigal or three-voiced ‘canzonettes’. It was a time when music was threaded with references to exuberant court plays or masques and to the tragedies or comedies of the Shakespearian theatre. Which seems plausible considering the number of composers that were affiliated to the renowned theatre company of The King’s Men.

    Master John ‘semper dolans’ Dowland and his contemporary Robert Johnson salute the beginning of a new century with their exquisite songs and superb lute music. When thinking about vocal instrumental consort music the names of amongst others Thomas Morley, Philip Rosseter and Richard Allison need to be noted. Composers such as Henry Lawes and William Webb, known before most for their high quality songbooks succeeded them. And finally, somewhere around 1650, we end up with the successful publisher of the manual for English dancing music, entitled “The Dancing Master”, John Playford.

    The ensemble Zefiro Torna unites the best of the Belgian historical and traditional music scene and provides a delicious musical blend of sumptuous strings of lutes, cittern, guitar, theorbo and nyckelharpa, entwined with the crystal clear voice of soprano Cécile Kempenaers.

    How does one reconcile the past to the present? How does one mediate a language, and an idiom, that seems so remote and so alien? (…) This band’s answer, largely, is to warp drive back to the future; to energise, Star Trek style, onto a distant time and planet armed with the impedimenta of post-1960s folk music. They have boldly gone where few, if any, have gone before. Lute songs, Jim, but not as we know them. Jonathan Woolf, Musicweb International

    Tears of Joy offer you a delicate balance between pure beauty, tragedy, introspectiveness and cheerfulness, piquancies and a groovy feel.


  1. Anon. - Shall I weep or shall I sing
  2. Thomas Brewer (1611-c1660) - Mistake me not, I am as cold as hot
  3. Robert Ramsey (fl. 1616-1644) - Go perjur’d man! And if you e’er return
  4. Matthew Locke (1621-1677) - Pavane
  5. Thomas Morley (1557-1602) - Thyrsis and Milla (The First part)/She straight her light green silken coats (The Second part)
  6. Anon. - Have I caught my heav’nly jewel
  7. Thomas Campion (1567-1620) - It fell on a sommers day
  8. John Bartlet (fl.1610) - Of all the birds that I do know
  9. Anon. - Drewries accordes
  10. Anon. - La Rossignol
  11. Francis Pilkington (c1570-1638) - Rest, sweet nymphs
  12. Henry Lawes (1596-1662) - Slide soft you silver floods
  13. Anon. - My ladies careys dump
  14. William Webb (fl.1620-1656) - Pow’rful Morpheus, let thy charms
  15. Robert Johnson (c1583-1633) - With endless tears
  16. Robert Johnson (c1583-1633) - The Flat Pavan - Galliard
  17. Thomas Robinson (1588-1610) - A Song to the Cittern “Now Cupid, look about thee”
  18. Tobias Hume (c1569-1645) - Tobacco
  19. Broadside Ballad - Tobacco
  20. Thomas Ravenscroft (c1582-c1635) - Martin said to his man
  21. Thomas Ravenscroft (c1582-c1635) - A Round of three country dances in one
  22. Trad. - Butterfly (Jig)
  23. Robert Johnson (c1583-1633) - Have you seen the bright Lily grow
  24. John Dowland (1563-1626) - Time stands still

Cécile Kempenaers soprano
Didier François Nyckelharpa
Jurgen De bruyn renaissance lute, archlute, baroque guitar, chant
Philippe Malfeyt renaissance lute, cittern, theorbo, baroque guitar, percussion