50% – Under 30 years old
15% – Over 65 years old
Graindelavoix is an Antwerp based, multidisciplinary company with a fascination for the voice. Graindelavoix was founded in the early 21st century by anthropologist and ethnomusicologist Björn Schmelzer with public appearances following shortly thereafter. The first recording, Ockeghem's Missa Caput, released in 2006 on the Glossa label immediately placed Graindelavoix on the international scene. Each new project begins with a concrete musical gesture, a repertoire or a work which envelops the complex layering of time and the operative aspects of practice. Schmelzer has developed with Graindelavoix a kind of affective musicology in action: every performance is an evocation and activation of the virtual forces and affects working in the surviving traces that serve as the starting point. A score, a notation or an inscription is an indistinguishable part of a moving musical image that is never independent but functions as a 'dynamogram'. Graindelavoix tries to activate and embody the notation, an active reading in the medieval sense. The past is not a solid reality that we are separated from, instead it is a continuous set of underlays and countercurrents that undulate and live in our bodies: in ever changing times and geographical locations, new eruptions and collisions of time-tectonics occur. These symptoms form the base for the performers of Graindelavoix to explore how to push the audience to the point of constructing its own memory of meanings. The performers of Graindelavoix are drawn from different traditions with broad artistic backgrounds and expertise. During performance this heterogeneity is not polished away but carved even deeper.
Graindelavoix built a reputation as a pioneer of a completely new approach to old repertoires, beyond the museum or historically informed vision, with its bold and often controversial interpretations to which the many international collaborations, residencies, performances and CD awards will testify. Graindelavoix won the much-coveted Edison Award, three Klara Music Awards, the Caecilia Prize of the Belgian Music Press and several awards from international music magazines such as Classica Répertoire, Pizzicato and Scherzo.
Björn Schmelzer studied anthropology and musicology but as a multidisciplinary artist he is primarily self-taught. He is the founder and artistic director of Graindelavoix, an artist company that starts from folds and faults in ancient repertoires to rehabilitate the fundamental anachronism of practices in time. From this point of view, Graindelavoix brings together artists of all disciplines: musical, visual, and performative…Over the course of long research stays, Schmelzer studied primarily in the Mediterranean world, in Italy (Sardinia, Sicily), Spain, Portugal and Morocco, specializing in vocal repertoire and performance practice. He studied several medieval vocal traditions in depth, their continuation and survival in later times, ornamentation styles, and the logic of operative knowledge. He combines this work with insights from anthropology, history, human geography, and ethnomusicology, resulting in various publications and concert programs. He is regularly requested as a guest conductor and lecturer. Björn Schmelzer has published several essays and articles for literary magazines, specialized magazines, academic publications, and exhaustive CD booklets. He is currently writing a book about vocal practices, derived from 10 years of expertise with Graindelavoix. With Graindelavoix he has received several prizes and awards such as 'Young Musician of the Year' by the Belgian Music Press.
In 2011, Schmelzer became the first "Creative Fellow in Musicology", a collaboration between the Utrecht Early Music Festival and the Centre for Humanities at Utrecht University. Besides his activities as artistic director of Graindelavoix, he makes films, both fictional and documentary, often associated with Graindelavoix projects. As a playwright and director, he created, among others, Cesena with Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker, Muntagna Nera with Filip Jordens and Jan Van Outryve, Ossuaires with Koen Broos and Wim Scheyltjens and Trabe Dich Thierlein! with Margarida Garcia, Koen Broos and David Hernandez. Most recently, he designed audio-visual and interdisciplinary installations with Koen Broos and Margarida Garcia in The Hospital of Undersized Gestures.
Antoine Brumel’s 12 voice Earthquake Mass in Times of Disaster
In an attempt to respond to the question “what can art and music mean in a time of disaster and crisis?”, the Belgian vocal group Graindelavoix will perform a choral masterpiece – Missa Et ecce terrae motus by the Renaissance French composer Antoine Brumel. Interweaving other references, Brumel is intersected with the work of Flemish painter Pieter Bruegel and the neo-realist documentary Il Culto delle Pietre, questioning ideas like the Resurrection and the inertia of the modern world and rethinking the dialogue that can be established with the past.
Teodora Tommasi, Florencia Menconi Sopranos
Andrew Hallock Alto
Albert Riera, Andrés Miravete, Marius Peterson Tenores
Tomàs Maxé, Arnout Malfliet Basses
Lluis Coll i Trulls Cornetto
Berlinde Deman Serpent
Pierre-Antoine Tremblay Horn
Christopher Price Horn
Manuel Mota Electric guitar
Björn Schmelzer Artistic concept
Manuel Mota Sound concept, arrangements and composition
Alex Fostier Live sound engineer
Fostier, Garcia e Schmelzer Set and light designer
Margarida Garcia Artistic and sound advisor
Katrijn Degans Production
A coproduction with: Klarafestival Brussels, Muziekcentrum De Bijloke Gent and Kunstfestspiele Herrenhausen.
The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation reserves the right to collect and keep records of images, sounds and voice for the diffusion and preservation of the memory of its cultural and artistic activity. For further information, please contact us through the Information Request form.
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