Unity in Diversity #2

The second edition of the European lute song project Unity in Diversity starts at the end of April. Lutenist Jurgen De bruyn and mandolin virtuoso Alon Sariel will be joined by singers Lore Binon and Elly Aerden, by Vittoria Pagani on the Indian Sarod and by the ney and lavta player Christos Barbas. The creation takes place during LUNALIA, Festival of Flanders Mechelen, and is part of the Mechelen city festival Construct Europe, which coincides with the Belgian presidency of the EU Council. The premiere will be followed by concerts in Hasselt and Dilbeek.

To tune in, you can listen to the podcast made by Evita Nossent, in which the musicians talk about their experiences during the first residency at Laus Polyphoniae Antwerp. They testify about their personal music practice and how they set themselves up for new encounters.

In the words of Alon: “...what we present on stage is the wishful thinking of what could be in Europe in the future, if the European dream actually works”.



The Mass Man at O. Festival

On 17 May, The Mass Man, a collaboration between Zefiro Torna and Muziektheater Transparant, will be a guest at the O. Festival in Rotterdam.

Director Wouter Van Looy, video artist Wim Catrysse and writer Peter Verhelst base the performance on Elias Canetti's book 'Mass and Power'. The Nobel laureate describes his experiences of mass movements in the early 20th century and mixes them with impressive sociological and anthropological insights. The book not only reads like a reflection on the past, it is also a guide for today.

Soloist singer/performers, instrumentalists on lute, cornetto, trumpet and drums, a sound installation artist and electronic soundscapes give new form and expression to a wide range of subgenres of medieval crusader song. They deliver a nuanced picture of a complex time and turning point in history, marked by changing identities and worldviews.




L’ALQUIMISTA in Barcelona

Next week we will begin the rehearsals for music theater performance L'ALQUIMISTA in Barcelona, at the Teatro Nacional de Catalunya. Michael De Cock created and directs a theatre adaptation of the book The Abyss by Belgian writer Marguerite Yourcenar. Lutenist Jurgen De bruyn joins the stage and, together with composer Alain Franco, provides the soundtrack for the story, which is set in 16th-century Europe with a focus on the last years of the Bruges doctor and alchemist Zeno and on universal themes of humanity and freedom in turbulent times.

The premiere will take place on the 11th of May 2023. The tickets are on sale vie TNC.


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)


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Time Crawls

— A new broken consort (2022)

Zefiro Torna

The Belgian ensemble Zefiro Torna takes us into a timeless universe with a reinterpretation of the popular 17th century broken consort music. Melodies 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 sometimes melancholic, sometimes nimble and festive, fascinates by its ingeniously crafted texture and invites to dance.

1. l’ Envie d’être Samedi & la Cuite prise Jowan Merckx, arr. Martin Valcke
2. Gestold Jowan Merckx, arr. Marnix De Cat
3. Laster Jowan Merckx, arr. Marnix De Cat
4. Time crawls -when it should fly- Jowan Merckx, arr. Marnix De Cat
5. le Lac profond & Ricochets Jowan Merckx, arr. Marnix De Cat
6. Klapka & les Oiseaux à l’Aurore Jowan Merckx, fiddle arr. Lotte Remmen
7. Zonderdak Jowan Merckx, arr. Marnix De Cat
8. Stomend in de Zon Jowan Merckx, arr. Marnix De Cat
9. Charbel Jowan Merckx, arr. Martin Valcke
10. Raymond’s Adieu Jowan Merckx, arr. Martin Valcke
11. Château Desclée & Aline Jowan Merckx, arr. Marnix De Cat
12. ‘t Wolfsuur Jowan Merckx, arr. Marnix De Cat
13. l’ Intimité déployante & en Chair et en Os & slippery Jowan Merckx, arr. Martin Valcke

Jowan Merckx flutes (flauti dolci & whistles), compositions
Lotte Remmen violin
Jutta Troch baroque harp
Liam Fennelly viola da gamba
Alon Portal violone, baroque bass
Jurgen De bruyn lute, archlute, artistic direction

Marnix De Cat, Martin Valcke arrangements

Recording, mixing and mastering: Yannick Willox
Photography: Sigrid Spinnox
Artwork: eRno le Mentholé
Booklet text: Jurgen De bruyn
Recorded: March 2022, Beguinage Church, Sint-Truiden