EVENTS & ENCOUNTERS
Y There would be no ‘graindelavoix’ without some crucial events & encounters in the life of Björn Schmelzer: turning points not only between living people, but also between old materials, images and strange transmitters of time: some scenes of Werner Herzog’s cult movie Herz aus Glas for example, the memorable moment with Thomas Binkley sitting on a rock accompanying a high voice that intones the trouvère song ‘chanterai por mon courage’; the first time Schmelzer saw and heard the confratelli of Castelsardo in Sardinia, singing a four-voice falsobordone in their headquarters, a vocal practice that shakes the fundaments of western music history; the encounter with Bart Meynckens, Paul De Troyer, Koen Laukens, Arnout Malfliet and Lieven Gouwy, singers who made it possible to turn dead traces into living vibrations, giving back to polyphony its geo-political and cosmic dimensions, connecting distant time and geographic layers.
Y Many other impulses could be added: an LP by the Hilliards with strange sound climates in the Dunstable motets; the Roland Barthes essay (misunderstood by everybody according to Schmelzer) that would give the emblematic name to the group. What interested Schmelzer in the ‘grain’, in the ‘grittiness’ was not the timbre as such, or the voice technique (although it’s a strange phenomenon why certain voices sound completely neutral to us and others reveal worlds, histories, territories, climates…). In the second part of the essay Barthes compares two opera protagonists, Boris and Mélisande, and writes about la mort au travail: one understands that the grain is not a state of being, but a way of acting, of doing. The voice should not be engaged in representing a repertory, but in immediate injection, producing what Barthes would call a non-pathetique pathos, a savage pathos. The grain is the condition of the voice to become a voice of the past, of the other, of an automatism, of a gesture.
Y 2002 marked the beginning of some public performances, invitations by and collaborations with people crazy enough to believe in such a weird formation as graindelavoix. We recall the small but very intense festival De Klankfabriek, curated by Paul Lambrechts and Guy Vandromme, the labo-projects and concerts, in Antwerp, Wismar (Germany), Leuven and Brugge2002, with Schmelzer’s former teacher Patrick Denecker, the encounter with Paul Vandenbroeck, like Schmelzer, a pupil of the great Belgian charismatic anthropologist René Devisch. The same year Björn Schmelzer met Jan Van Outryve who would become principal partner in crime in these years and with whom he would start building an ‘instrumental section’ of the ensemble.
Y Crucial was the supporting impulse of Yves Rosseel, at that time director of De Bijloke in Ghent, one of the few people in Belgium, who immediately understood the group’s potentiality and its director’s vision. Through him contacts were made with Carlos Cester and his Spanish music label Glossa. This would lead to a long term and on-going collaboration and the release of 9 cd’s which according to many became instant cult...
Y Another important encounter took place with Eddie Guldolf of C-Mine in Genk, one of the only concert organizers who dared to program graindelavoix, despite the first scepticism of Flanders’ early music scene, and who would make C-Mine an important partner and venue for new concert programs. The encounter with Guldolf would culminate in the production Muntagna Nera, much years later…
Y The release of the first recording, the interpretation of Ockeghem’s Missa Caput, was like a little bomb on that same scene, unchaining musicians and early repertoires from the moral and classical aesthetics, freeing the intrinsic potentials of these repertoires and opening them to previous unheard dimensions. The first to understand this, were not the musicologists or the curators, but artists themselves, painters, dancers, actors and of course, the audience, curious people, who believed in a very concete way that the past can operate as a fertilizer for the present and the future… From that moment on, every new cd of graindelavoix was expected with curiosity and every release was followed by around 30 international reviews, of which many were apparently contaminated by the approach of the group, resulting in an often colourful, equally polemic redaction.
Y Ockeghem’s Missa Caput, graindelavoix’s first cd, was recorded by Jo Cops, a fan of the first hour and regular sound engineer of Capilla Flamenca. The cd was made on some evenings ‘after hours’, in the gothic St Paul’s church in Antwerp, where also La Magdalene would be recorded, some years later. Björn Schmelzer did the montage together with Jo Cops. On the moment of the recording there was no plan to put it out, and no label. There was just the feeling that the recording had to be made.
Some of Björn Schmelzer’s aesthetic statements in the booklet of the first cd:
“The idea: a new sound should be given to Ockeghem’s music. A tone that can justify the monumentality of the work, the fragility of the solo passages and the separate voices, but above all that should appeal to the listener as a direct injection of the internal dynamics and movements.”
“A recording which can be considered as fieldwork by an ethnomusicologist, uniquely recorded in the original acoustics of a flamboyant Gothic church: Saint Paul’s in Antwerp (near Our Lady’s Cathedral where Ockeghem had sung for one year), sometimes waiting for the time until children playing outside went to sleep...”
“To liberate Ockeghem’s music (and 15th-century polyphony in general) from its pseudo-ethereal connotations, its pseudo-professional correctness and its pseudo-historical tedium: this is the challenge of our execution.”
“To work with professional ‘non-singers’: ‘singer-mediums’ who make the work function rather than only make themselves function. Singers who are genuine – we should be able to substitute the concept ‘singer’ – and make something audible in the work that until now has not been heard. Singers were selected for the unusual sound of their voices, for their improvisation and ornamental talents, for their capacity to push the vocal lines to the limit, for their elaborate and ‘smoky’ sound.”
These unusual statements provoked sceptic reactions in some specialized press (historical music performance is a serious matter, not to be confused with an artistic creative process) and were also largely misunderstood, changing ‘professional non-singers’ into ‘non-professional singers': some critics couldn’t see any difference, but it didn’t make Schmelzer ask new singers for their conservatory diploma.
Y In the beginning the biggest problem was to find singers and musicians that could fit in the project, that were willing to try out some new things. That was not always easy (to find these professional non-musician) and most of the time future collaborators were in fact encountered on the road, people who Schmelzer met at concerts and had affinity with the démarche, who were also bored by the sérieux of the classical music world, the lack of intensity and even in a way the lack of naivety, and the constant hiding behind pseudo-qualitative parameters, forgetting the most important: developing alternative performance practices and bringing the material to live!
From the first cast, graindelavoix continued working with Bart Meynckens, Arnout Malfliet, Paul De Troyer and Lieven Gouwy, very soon joined by Yves Van Handenhove and Thomas Vanlede, all singers from Flanders.
Y For the next projects Schmelzer invited Patrizia Hardt,
a singer with whom he was able to develop, for the first time, a new, expressive and virtuosic ornamental way of phrasing and he called Silvie Moors, a singer of folk music who could transform abstract polyphonic lines into touching, almost spoken, concrete gestures. They both would feature on the next cd Joye, with songs of Gilles Binchois, creating a vocal contraposto in the same repertory…
Y The cd Joye started with some statements, ‘universals’ of lamenting traditions, in which also the songs of Binchois are inscribed:
“In the history of the lamenting three physical locations have been of great importance: the nomadic camp, the feudal court and the café. These three mark crucial changes in Western social and cultural order without however affecting that which joins them: the art of lamentation, the elegies concerned with lost memories and impossible love.”
Schmelzer wanted for Joye a duo of fiddlers, who could improvise, play à l’oreille and make heterophony of the polyphonic lines: he invited Liam Fennelly and Thomas Baeté to join. Both would become regular collaborators.
The beautiful, uncommon sound of Bill Taylor’s bray harp and the funny situation that the 'historical informed' musicians play the gothic harp with the brays off, because ‘it sounds ugly’, strengthened Schmelzer to invite him, forming a duo of plucked instruments with Jan Van Outryve, and build a small ‘orchestra’. The result you can hear on the Joye cd.
That only a few critics were aware of the work and novelty of the instrumental involvement in this kind of music, says something about the way these old repertoires are still ‘judged’, aiming, as it is common in ‘classical music’, to the perfection of a given ideal. Mostly, instrumentalists play colla parte, just doubling the line of the voice. Here musicians play constantly around the line, more à l'oreille, following a virtual score, that is not per se realized by the singers. The result resembles the way the singers of graindelavoix ornament their lines, creating a sort of heterophonic polyphony, a style nobody developed before, recalling some Mediterranean instrumental approaches.
James Manheim in his critic of this cd for All Music Guide summarizes well the novelty of the approach:
“(…)Björn Schmelzer tries to bring to the performance of early Renaissance music some of the passion and freedom associated with the historical-instrument movement in Baroque repertory. The effort has two aspects. First, Schmelzer asserts that the most important question in regard to instruments in the case of Binchois and fifteenth century secular song generally is not whether instruments should be used but rather how they should be used if they are used. His answer is startling: the small group of accompanying fiddles, harp, and lute does not simply double the vocal lines (or play the notated lines other than the cantus) but accompanies the vocalist heterophonically and gently, creating a kind of tonal cloud. The effect is medieval, for the performance comes off as an elaboration of a group of monophonic lines, and in general Schmelzer's conception of Binchois' music stresses its connections with its medieval antecedents rather than looking forward to the humanistic discoveries about music and text that were already in the pipeline. Schmelzer's second innovation has to do with ornamentation : noting that Binchois' music seems to rely structurally on contrasts between plain and ornamented phrases, he sets the (mixed-gender) singers free to ornament emotionally intense phrases in ways that go beyond what the composer indicates.”
For Clemens Goldberg the result is convincing and grasping the essence of the repertory:
"This is a sensational cd. Graindelavoix tries a unique new way of colouring and ornamentation of the singing voice. The instrumental voices try to improvise in the style of Ars Subtilior. Whether this is fully historical remains to be discussed, it comes much closer to the spirit of this music than anything I have heard before."
In his review for the Berliner-Brandenburger Rundfunk Bernhard Morbach wrote:
"Darüber hinaus hat das Ensemble, das die Liedsätze auf ganz unterschiedliche Weise vokal-instrumental darstellt, aus der Grundlage von historischen Quellen ein subtile Verzierungstechnik entwickelt, die sich ideal mit der aufgezeichneten melodischen Substanz verbindet: Eine der genialsten CDs mit weltlicher Vokalmusik der Renaissance."
Lieven Gouwy, Silvie Moors, Yves Van Handenhove and Bart Meynckens recording Ockeghem's Mort tu as navré
The exhaustive cd booklets that Schmelzer writes became as legendary as the music itself, praised by some, severely critiqued by others who misunderstood and described them as unreadable…
Y For the summerfestival Zomer Van Antwerpen in 2006, graindelavoix created a large baroque performance, based on Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso, with marionettes, traditional music and madrigals by the 16th century Antwerp composer Jacquet de Berchem among others.
For this performance theorbo-player Regina Albanez would join, together with the performers Philippe Genet, Benedikte Van Steenkiste and Diony Hoogenboom, who would also make the stage design.
Y The cd Poissance d’amours, around the music culture in Brabant in the 13th century, recorded in the Predikherenkerk in Leuven, would receive some important awards: in Belgium two awards of the Classical Radio Klara, and in the Netherlands the prestigious Edison Award. Jolande van der Klis wrote in the jury report:
“Bij Schmelzer gaat intensiteit van de uitvoering uitdrukkelijk vóór homogeniteit van de samenklank. Hier gelden andere idiomatische wetten die, als je eenmaal gewend bent aan de merkwaardige sensaties in je trommelvliezen, verrassend snel overtuigen. Björn Schmelzer en de zeven zangers en drie instrumentalisten van graindelavoix verdienen lof voor de moed die nodig was om dit eigenzinnige pad te bewandelen en voor de ongehoorde resultaten waartoe dat heeft geleid."
Y Graindelavoix started to perform more and more abroad, in the Netherlands, Poland and Spain. The Flemish lute player Floris De Rycker joins the group.
Y At the festival of Jaroslaw in Poland, Schmelzer meets the actor and singer Marius Peterson who would integrate the group soon after. Also the Spanish soprano Olalla Alemán joins at that time. Both singers would give a decisive articulation to the ensemble's sound for the years to come.
Marius Peterson, contemplating the carpet at his beloved Studio 106 at Radio France, Paris, 2014
Y Björn Schmelzer starts a collaboration with Moroccan sufi-singers living in Belgium: Rafik El Maai in Brussels and Hassan Boufous in Antwerp, who would become an important collaborator for many projects, opening questions on vocality, vocal traditions and the possibility of a comparative approach.
Y In 2009 graindelavoix and Björn Schmelzer receive the award of young musician of the year of the Belgian music press. An occasion for many interviews about the démarche of graindelavoix and its rising international reputation.
Read the interview by Michèle Friche with Björn Schmelzer, Le Soir, 21 october 2009 and Flanders Today article of the same day.
Read the interview by Stef Grondelaers for De Standaard with Björn Schmelzer.
Y Björn Schmelzer corresponded with baroque specialist Sigiswald Kuijken. The letters were published afterwards and discussed in a public debate. The subject: the future of early music. You can download the letters here, in the Dutch original, or in an English translation. A note on the debate in Dutch can be read here.
Y An interesting review by musicologist Cristina Fernandes appeared in the newspaper Publico at the first concert of graindelavoix in Portugal. Read it here.
Y Graindelavoix releases its fourth album at Glossa, called La Magdalene. It is the first album with soprano Olalla Alemán.
Olalla Alemán singing a Spanish romance of the Cecus program, on the Sarrebourg Festival, july 2015 with Liam Fennelly, Thomas Baeté, William Taylor, Jan Van Outryve, Floris de Rycker and Katy Olsen
Other songs are performed again by Patrizia Hardt and Silvie Moors. For the polyphony a new bass, Toni Fajardo, is called in and becomes a fixed member for many years.
The cd received many international awards. Markus Stäblein, giving it a ‘Stern des Monats’ for the German Fonoforum, called it a ‘real revelation’, a ‘little revolution’ and a ‘discographic milestone’:
“weil die Musik der Spätrenaissance bei ihnen plötzlich in einem ganz neuen Licht erscheint und unsere Hörgewohnheiten komplett auf den Kopf stellt. Anders als viele der etablierten Formationen setzen die Belgier nicht auf einen überkultivierten, glatten und körperlosen Klang, sondern bevorzugen eine körnig-raue und sehr erdige Farbgebung.”
J.F. Weber (Fanfare) discovers a conceptual line of thought and a line of creativity in the work of graindelavoix:
“Schmelzer is becoming one of the most interesting program makers in the field of early music. Once you discover what he is doing, you will not want to miss one of his recordings. Start here, and then go back to the earlier ones, if you have missed them.” .
Stéphane Renard writes in the same way in l’Echo:
“En ces temps de flânerie musicale, on s'en voudrait de ne pas explorer l'un des projets les plus originaux de la dernière décennie.”
But he ends with an interesting listening advice to approach the aesthetic choices made by the group:
“Mais ce cd s'impose surtout, et plus encore que les précédents sans doute, par la volonté réaffirmée de Schmelzer de ne pas seulement redécouvrir des oeuvres oubliées. Pas davantage question pour lui de les sacraliser au nom de l'histoire. Ce qui l'intéresse, au contraire, relève bien plus de la création que de la fouille archéologique. Au risque de ne pas se faire que des amis parmi les orthodoxes de la notation musicale, il invite son choeur à dépasser ce qu'il y a d'écrit sur de bien vieilles partitions. À charge pour chacun de laisser parler son subconcient autant que son savoir-faire, à developper en somme sa propre subjectivité.”
From the magazine Pizzicato, La Magdalene received a ‘Supersonic award’. Pierre Schwickerath explains:
“Graindelavoix est un ensemble vocal tout à fait unique au monde dont la façon de chanter se reconnaît de suite. Aucun autre ensemble n'a développé comme lui, l'art d'ornement, tout comme aucun autre ensemble n'a jamais réalisé un travail aussi poussé sur l'émission du son vocal, aucun autre ensemble ne produit des voix si riches en harmoniques qu'elles donnent parfois l'impression de chanter en diaphonie.”
Also Georg Henkel affirms the consolidation of graindelavoix’s approach and position in the international scene, exactly by questioning the ‘routine and common ideas’ of historical music appreciation:
“Graindelavoix gehört gegenwärtig zu den interessantesten und innovativsten Ensembles für Musik des Mittelalters und der Renaissance. Jede neue Aufnahme stellt routinierte Interpretations- und Hörgewohnheiten in Frage.” Against the pure impression of the music on paper, Graindelavoix proposes an impure realisation: “Einer möglichst puren Abbildung der gedruckten Fassung stellt Graindelavoix seine sehr viel offenere, „unreine“ Interpretationspraxis gegenüber.”
But impurity implies a synesthetic colourfulness what Henkel describes well and enthusiastically in the following passage:
“Vollends überwältigt wird man als Hörer freilich durch die wahrhaft flamboyante Darbietung des Ensembles. Selbiges steigert den latenten Manierismus dieser ausdrucksvollen, für Kenner komponierten Musica reservata durch improvisierte Ornamente, die die vokalen Linien „kräuseln“ und der Musik einen chromatischen Schimmer verleihen. Ein Schimmer, der an die vielfach gebrochenen Blau-Rot-Violett-Töne gotischer Glasfenster erinnert. Unüberhörbar sind weiter die Parallelen zu den elaborierten Maltechniken der Zeit. Die kontrapunktische Verflechtung der Linien ist nur eine Dimension dieser Musik und erschließt sich vor allem in der Lektüre. Bei einer Aufführung sind nicht weniger wichtig die steten Metamorphosen der Klangfarben, die Ausbildung harmonischer „Felder“ oder Weichzeichner- und Hell-Dunkel-Effekte, die der Musik ausgesprochene Sinnlichkeit, aber auch einen überreifen Hautgout verleihen.”
Interesting is also Henkels comment and his understanding of the complex layers of style perception that connects the music with our time:
“Schmelzer schreibt von den geradezu neo-gotischen Stiltendenzen der damaligen Kunst, in der traditionelle Elemente ohne Funktion in manierierter Übersteigerung begegnen. Den Eindruck einer phantastisch wuchernden „modernen Archaik“ erweckt auch Champions Messe.”
To summarize, for Henkel this cd is a new standard for the performance practice of renaissance music:
“Eine Platte, die nicht nur einen vernachlässigten Komponisten wiederentdeckt, sondern Maßstäbliches zur Aufführungspraxis der Renaissance beiträgt. Die Interpretationen sind elektrisierend, das Klangbild ist präsent.”
Guido van Oorschot in De Volkskrant is happy with the result and connects the beauty of the cd with the vitality of the performance:
“Is dat mooi? Jazeker. De vitaliteit is zelfs hartveroverend. Zingende pruillipjes kent de oude muziek al genoeg.”
Stephen Pettitt praises in the Sunday Times the “stunning decoration" of the polyphony:
“This bold approach, justified by careful reading of contemporaneous sources, gives the music a singularly dramatic lift.”
Y The next year, 2010, Graindelavoix receives a Belgian Caecilia Award for La Magdalene. Read the laudation speech here…
Y The new release in 2010 is Cecus: Colours, blindness and memorial / Alexander Agricola and his contemporaries”, once more for the Glossa label. The cast is mainly the same as on the previous cd, except for Lluis Coll i Trulls who plays cornetto here: his wonderfully intimate playing in often very low registers reveals uncommon sonorities of the instrument and is more than once specially mentioned by the critics.
members of graindelavoix listening to Cecus recording takes in the sacristy of the church of Duisburg (B), winter 2010
Giovanni Cappiello writes in Eptachordon:
“L’esecuzione si dispiega così in una tensione continua, sprigionata nelle microesplosioni degli inconfondibili passaggi “in maschera”, tipici dei Graindelavoix, che iniettano una inaudita vena popolare nella distillata sapienza del contrappunto. Il tutto completato da una presa del suono di eccezionale presenza, che pone il punto di ascolto nel centro del palcoscenico sonoro generando sensazioni descritte al meglio da una frase delle stesse note di copertina: “l’orecchio sta toccando; vedendo, quasi”.”
Georg Henkel on ‘Musik an sich’ continues his detailed descriptions of soundcolors in the approach of graindelavoix:
“Allerdings hat der Stil von Graindelavoix durchaus etwas Rebellisches. So hat man die kunstvolle Polyphonie des 15. und 16. Jahrhunderts eben noch nicht gehört: So exotisch. So farbig verziert. So impressionistisch schillernd und synästhetisch aufgeladen.(…) Diese kunstvoll mit Verzierungen und chromatischen Zwischentönen durchwobene Musik entwickelt in ihren wechselnden Texturen geradezu taktile Qualitäten und "blendet" gleichsam beim Hören die Ohren durch schiere Überforderung.”
And he is convinced about the interpretations, which for him are not more speculative than other ensembles:
“Angesichts der perfekten Darbietungen erübrigt es sich, den spekulativen Anteil der Interpretationen veranschlagen zu wollen (der ist bei anderen Ensembles auch nicht geringer): Es ist schlicht wieder einmal durchweg überzeugend, was Graindelavoix hier an unerhörten Potentialen ausschöpft.”
Bernhard Morbach accentuates in his review for the Kulturradio the visionary approach that will have its influence on the future performance on renaissance music:
“Hier ist es Björn Schmelzer gelungen, einige Quellen zu erschließen, welche die Ornamentation (improvisierte Verzierung) des aufgezeichneten Notentextes betreffen. Eine besagt, dass der Sänger dazu aufgefordert ist, durch improvisierte Figuration große Intervallsprünge zu überbrücken und melodische Konturen abzurunden. Wie man staunend vernimmt, kann man so auch eine neue emotionale Dimension der Komposition erschließen.
Gestützt auf die Einsicht, dass der Notentext nur das Fundament einer über ihn hinausgreifenden "Klanggestaltung" ist, gelingt es Graindelavoix, einen neuen, wenn nicht revolutionären interpretatorischen Akzent zu setzen – der freilich denjenigen Hörer provozieren wird, der sich an dem gängigen Renaissancebild orientiert. Der interpretatorische Ansatz Schmelzers wird die Auseinandersetzung mit der Vokalpolyphonie der Renaissance in der Zukunft nachhaltig prägen.”
Matthias Lange, on Klassik.com, praises the adventurous continuity of work and the profundity of the new developed sounds on the recordings:
“Björn Schmelzer und seine Formation Graindelavoix zeigen sich musikalisch souverän, interpretatorisch kreativ und konzeptionell mutig. Damit knüpfen sie an vorangegangene Projekte an. Und sie verweigern sich konsequent dem musikalisch Sicheren, Risikolosen – der einzig denkbare Platz dieser Musikerinnen und Musiker ist die vorderste Stuhlkante. Repertoire wird hinterfragt, aufmerksam neu gedeutet. Das schärft auch bei den interessierten Hörern alle Sinne für vielleicht schon vertraute Musik, die sonst von vielen Ensembles einfach nur auf vordergründig perfektem Klangniveau geboten wird.
Y In 2011 the cd Cecus is awarded Flemish cd-production of the year by the Classical Radio Klara. In the same year graindelavoix embarks into many different staged projects such as Cesena and Muntagna Nera.
Cesena was a large collaboration with Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and the dancers of Rosas, a production that premiered at the Court d’Honneur of the Avignon Festival 2011;
Six singers of graindelavoix would join the project: Olalla Alemán, Yves Van Handenhove, Albert Riera, Lieven Gouwy, Marius Peterson and Tomás Maxé. Through the collaboration Schmelzer encountered the dancer/choreographer and singer David Hernandez who would become a member of graindelavoix.
Read some interviews with Björn Schmelzer on the dramaturgy and musical choice of the Cesena production here:
Brussel Deze Week, 'The War between the popes' in English
De Volkskrant in Dutch
Munt/Monnaie/Magazine in French and Dutch
And one of the first reviews, by Pieter T'Jonk for De Morgen.
Y The Cesena cd, the ‘soundtrack’ of the production with Ars subtilior music performed a capella, a cd that didn't stress the mathematical structure but more so the affective power of the late 14th century style, was released by Glossa. Although vocal performances of this music are mostly better accepted by the 'specialists', the uncommon sound and sonority of many songs were not received without controversy (see the controversy chapter).
The cd contained also extra songs that were not used in the dance production. On some tracks you can hear Thomas Vanlede, Toni Fajardo and Eurudike De Beul who were not on stage.
Y Muntagna Nera, a music theatre production that put the protagonists of the Limburg coalmine-blues again on stage after 30 years, was a collaboration with C-Mine Genk. Muntagna Nera was also graindelavoix’s answer to, and reaction on, the all too aesthetical, often tacky Italian-folk-recuperation in the early music scene.
While Cesena became a big international success, Muntagna Nera toured in Flanders and The Netherlands. The project was followed by a live-cd, released at EMI/Warner, that was very well received and got into the hit parade for some weeks. The reviews of this production can be read on the cd page of Muntagna Nera.
Here you can read some interviews and articles on the project and its protagonists:
- An interview in Dutch for De Morgen with Maria Morgante, diva of -the Muntagna Nera
- An interview voor Staalkaart with Muntagna Nera protagonists in Dutch
- The C-Mine exhaustive brochure with interviews and texts by Stef Grondelaers on the members of Muntagna Nera
Olalla Alemán and Yves Van Handenhove singing and sliding down at Palais des Papes, Avignon 2011
Y In the same year, Björn Schmelzer became the first creative fellow in musicology of the Utrecht Center of Humanities, an initiative of both the University and the Utrecht Festival of Early Music. The fellowship consisted in some lectures and seminaries given at the musicology department and finished with a public lecture in which Schmelzer summarized his activities and made a plea for a musicology in action bridging the academic and artistic work.
Schmelzer’s lecture in Dutch can be watched here. (video)