Back from the Middle East (Cyprus, Lebanon and Syria)

My trip to the Middle East has come to an end and was a very joyful experience. It started with a five weeks residency with the Goethe Institute, namely two weeks in Cyprus with the Amalgamation Choir (dir. Vicky Anastasiou) followed by three weeks with the Fayha Choir (dir. Barkev Taslakian). A great opportunity to learn more about eastern vocal music and experiment new ways to compose for choir. After this, I went straight to Damascus – a city I love very dearly – for three weeks, even giving a impromptu little workshop to a handful of young talented singers. Here is a little souvenir:

In Lebanon with the Fayha Choir

After Cyprus and a joyful collaboration with Vicky Anastasiou and the ladies of the Amalgamation Choir, my trip in the East continues in Lebanon with Maestro Barkev Taslakian and the Fayha Choir. The mission remains the same: to celebrate the voices of the Middle East and look for new ways to revitalise the western choir music which I find too often desperately conservative.

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In Cyprus with the Amalgamation Choir

Today is the day, I am leaving Berlin for a long trip in the Middle East where I will collaborate with different a capella choirs within the frame of a composition and research project supported by the Goethe Institute. First stop: Cyprus with the female choir Amalgamation conducted by Vicky Anastasiou. Wish me bon voyage!

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“L’Homme contre l’Homme” for the 100th anniversary of WWI armistice

Today is the 100th Anniversary of the armistice of WWI and the premiere of L’Homme contre l’Homme, a choir piece performed by 200 singers -including a children choir- within the frame of the official ceremony occurring on the very field where the last soldiers died on the 11th of November 1918. I have been working on the project for more than a year with the support of the François Sommer Foundation who commissioned the work and financed the whole creative and rehearsing process. Thank you very much to them, as well as to the team of Ardenne Métropole and the choirs and choir directors of Charleville-Mézières and Sedan involved in this project for their dedication and hard work. A video should be available soon.

 

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