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'Walking in Beauty' - Ensemble Variances/ Thierry Pécou on North-American tour

October 12, 2018 | By Ensemble Variances

"Walking in Beauty" - Ensemble Variances/ Thierry Pécou on North-American tour from October 26th to November 2nd (Detroit, Cleveland, Vancouver)

Some people write travel journals; Thierry Pécou uses notes instead of words and turns his travels into scores. Being a traveller-composer, he has repeatedly visited the American continent, a recurring inspiration in his oeuvre. After touring Europe with ‘The Beauty Way’, Thierry Pécou wanted to bring it back to its native soil: the American continent. At a time when scientific and technological progress is revolutionizing our world and our consumerist society, we seem to be losing touch with it.

The new score by Thierry Pécou, Changing Woman, cantata of the Four Mountains for two contraltos and ensemble, is inspired by his encounter with the culture and spirituality of the Navajo Indians. Their fascinating healing ceremonies have the function of restoring the Hózhó, a word that is difficult to translate: it signifies harmony, balance and beauty. For the Navajos, health has many facets: physical, mental, spiritual and social, because the individual must be cured as well as the entire community, to find a state in which «one feels that everything is in its place».

Six centuries earlier, Glagolitic clerics of the Dalmatian islands, a kind of half-shamans, halfpriests, wrote down a curious mixture of pagan and Christian lore: prayers, exorcisms, formulas of magic and traditional medicine, descriptions of amulets, maledictions for chasing bad spirits or diseases, bad weather and the possessed. Their notebooks full of clumsy drawings are the basis of a new creation by Katarina Livljanic and Ensemble Variances in the form of dramatic miniatures, the musical language inspired by the tradition of the Dalmatian Glagolitic chants. It reminds us of the time when Europe also had a spirituality connected to the earth and nature, and forms a perfect historical counterpart for the Navajo tradition that is still alive today.

This program is designed as a ritual, creating an atmosphere in which the healing powers and wisdom of shamans and priests will be brought to life. Come closer, gather around the fire. It’s time to listen...

Since its founding in 2009 by French composer, Thierry Pécou, Ensemble Variances has focused intensively on current issues in their music, be ecology, migration, colonization or medical-ethical matters. The ensemble thereby draws upon the contemplations of French philosopher and poet, Édouard Glissant (Martinique), which stand for cultural diversity and the enrichment of life through diversification. In this spirit, the programs by Thierry Pécou and Ensemble Variances that primarily focus on contemporary music, unfurl all musical aesthetics.

October 26, 2018 Detroit, Detroit Insitute of Arts
October 31, 2018, Cleveland
November 2, 2018, Music on Main Vancouve
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