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Artists overview

Voxtra

The Encounter of Vocal Heritage

The album ’The Encounter of Vocal Heritage’ was released in September 2016

This ambitious project brings together the most incredible vocal traditions. This amalgamation – not exactly a fusion, since each tradition is still perfectly recognisable – showcases Albanian iso-polyphony with its plangent quality, the cantu a tenore of the Sardinian countryside, Beko blues singing of southern Madagascar, Finnish yoik and rune singing and the Belgian récit chanté.

Voxtra is about the exploration of common ground between different traditions: a particular rhyme, similar harmonies, a melody that reminisces another one… The Sardinian tenore don’t yoddle like a Malgash, but rather they create a vocal tapestry that supports Talike’s singing. Anu doesn’t sing in Albanian with the Gjini-ensemble but the songs of her youth in Finland resound as an echo of the Albanian polyphony. Voxtra allows the traditions to engage in a dialogue with each other, the similarities come to the surface, but the emphasis lies on the uniqueness of each tradition.

Line-up

Raphael De Cock: Belgium
Anu Junnonen: Finland
Talike Gellé: Madagascar
Tenore de Monte Arvu: Sardinia – Domenico Nanu, Ivo Deledda, Tore Deledda, Manuela Deledda & Giovanni Carta
The Gjini Family: Albania – Gramoz, Brihans & Ylber Gjini

Albums

Videos

Press

Tenore de Monte de Arvu

From their village at the foot of Montalbo moutain, in the North-East of Sardinia, those singers emigrated in Belgian Limburg. The name of their band, Monte Arvu, comes from their common roots in the mountains. Monte Arvu is the heir of the polyphonic a cappella tradition fron Sardinia. The singers witness the love for their native land: in Monte Arvu, the nostalgic scope is ubiquitous. Their repertoire not only includes the shepherds’ polyphony, the “Canto a tenore”, but also “the singing with guitar” and the traditional folk songs from Sardinia.

 

Talike Gelle

Talike Gellé is a songwriter, singer ,storyteller and percussionist. At the age of 13, inspired by the Sairys (Antadroy griots) she formed her first band in her native village Ifotake. In 1985, she constituted a band with her brothers and sisters, and won the 1st price for a competition in Fort Dauphin. In 1995, in Belgium, she created her first feminine a cappella vocal trio, Ny Ajaja. Two years later, this polyphonical a cappella trio was reformed and called Tiharea. With Kilema, she created the duo Talilema thanks to which they won the third place at Sharq Taronalari international contest, in Samarkand (Ouzbekistan). She was also part of Blindnote, multicultural band, whose album was rewarded with a Musical Octave in 2011.

 

Anu Junnonen

Coming from a family of musicians, Anu was able to sing before she began to talk, according to her mother. She learned to play the piano and the flute, and began to love jazz music by playing saxophone. After College, she landed in Belgium where she discovered David Lunx’s voice, and followed classes with David, Diederick Wissels, Kris Defoort, Jeroen Van Herzeele and others at the Conservatoire Royal de Bruxelles. She got her diploma in 2004 as well as her teaching aggregation. She also followed classes and master classes with Deborah Brown, Mark Murphy, Bobby Mc Ferrin, Fay Claassen and Lydia Van Dam, and taught Finnish traditional singing.

Famille Gjini

Gramoz, Ylber & Brihans Gjini belong to a talented family of Albanian descent. Gramoz, the father, was part of Tirana Ensemble, including six male singers and one female soloist coming from different Albanian regions, whose intention was to honor the rich and unknown Albanian polyphonic repertoire. The songs waver between elegies, historical and epical pieces and tackle themes like love, seduction, migration, loss and death. The leader indicates a melodic basis over which the chorus creates a sweet but strong emotional response. Ylber, the uncle, is a lyrical singer whose bass song conquered the opera’s world. Due to Ylber’s powerful voice, the Albanian trio finds a stability that emphasizes the beauty of the ensemble. Brihans, the son, is a naturally talented singer who knows the traditional repertoire very well via his father ; and he also sings many other styles.

Raphael De Cock

Raphael De Cock is a multi-instrumentalist, singer in various traditional styles, and is part of Belgian and internationals musical projects. With Remi Decker he co-founded Griff, a band in which he plays numerous bagpipes and flutes. In 2009 he formed the duo Nadisuna with Vladiswar Nadishana. He sings and plays the gaita (Galician bagpipe) in the ensembles Neboa and A Contrabanda. With the trio Osuna (Emre Gültekin and Thomas Baeté), he plays the Siberian zither (chatkhan) and does throat singing. He joins in with the Irish-Scandinavian project Northern Lights and organizes multi-ethnical workshops with Waira in schools. Actually, he was invited by Graindelavoix to join the Belgian-Italian vocal project Muntagna Nera, and Melancholia.

Agenda (BE)
05/06/2015
Benjamin Tollet

“Une soirée pleine d’émotions et de danses envoûtantes qui laissera certainement les spectateurs bouche bée devant tant de beauté produite par la voix humaine”

RTBF - La Première (BE)
24/08/2015
Didier Mélon

“C’est un mélange très attachant et très patrimonial qui nous est proposé avec le projet Voxtra”

Babelmed.net (FR)
Nadia Khouri-Dagher

“l’oreille se régale d’entendre tous ces chants, basés sur des traditions anciennes de plusieurs siècles, toujours vivants heureusement.”

fRoots (RO )
15/01/2017
Andrew Cronshaw

“Each singer is full of individuality and ability, and there’s not a weak or even similar-sounding track on an album that flows beautifully through its bountiful 23 tracks”

Songlines - March 2017 (RO )
01/03/2017
Garth Cartwright

“World music ’fusions’ are something I tend to loathe, but I have to admit that one of the finest releases I’ve been enjoying is a fusion album – Voxtra’s the Encounter of Vocal Heritage.

Vrije Geluiden (Nl )
12/10/2016
Charlie Crooijmans

“Dans chaque morceau, les différentes traditions de chant se rencontrent. C’est très beau et bien dosé [trad.]”

De Subjectivisten (NL )
24/10/2016
Hector Zazou

“Ils vous laissent une impression éternelle et leur éclat mondial vous donne une chair de poule monumentale ” (traduction)

Written in Music (NL )
26/11/2016
Philippe De Cleen

“….a very beautiful release, which above all will also sound live very well.”(traduction

Mixedworldmusic.com (NL )
10/02/2017
Ton Maas

“Geen enkele combinatie lijkt te dol. Althans op papier, want bij beluistering blijkt telkens weer hoe zorgvuldig alle contrasten zijn gekozen en uitgewerkt.”

Vrije Geluiden (NL )
09/03/2017
VPRO
Le Monde en Musiques (FR )
22/01/2017

Une bien belle initiative, et un disque déjà salué et récompensé !

TRAD’ Magazine (FR )
Etienne Bours

Quand la retenue se fait juste, elle dégage bien plus de puissance que les démonstrations forcées de prouesses vocales. Ce disque en est une démonstration parfaite, avec des chanteurs qui nous rappellent ce que musique veut dire et ce que musique traditionnelle (ou musique du monde) précise encore, si on veut bien sortir des clichés pour en revenir à l’essentiel

Ekultura.hu (HU)
05/03/2017
Galgóczi Tamás,
Blogfoolk (IT)
16/12/2016
Ciro De Ros

“L’esplorazione prosegue con combinazioni di stili, di repertori e di timbri. Qualche innesto strumentale, ma sono le voci nude a trionfare negli attraversamenti dal nord iperboreo, attraverso la pluralità culturale belga gli eccezionali patrimoni immateriali del Mediterraneo, fino agli altipiani dell’isola dell’Oceano Indiano. Sperimentazioni tradizionali. ”

Radio Rap107fm (ES)
01/02/2017

Past concerts

03/11/18 Wakker voor Vrede (Langemark, BE)
29/07/18 Folk Holidays ( CZ)
27/07/18 Glatt&Verkehrt (Krems, Austria)
20/05/18 Klangwelt Festival (Toggenburg, Switzerland)
18/05/18 Faascinating Concerts (Rorbas, Switzerland)
10/12/17 De Doelen (Rotterdam, NL )
03/12/17 Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ (Amsterdam, NL )
02/12/17 Neimënster (Luxembourg , LU)
14/11/17 CC Jacques Franck (Bruxelles , BE)
07/10/17 C-Mine (Genk, BE )
30/09/17 Mixity (showcase), (Bruxelles , BE )
08/07/17 Brosella Festival (Bruxelles , BE)
23/06/17 Festival des 5 Continents (Martigny , CH )
21/05/17 Eupen Musik Marathon (Eupen, BE )
01/03/17 Vrije Geluiden Live - Tivoli Vredenburg (U, NL )
01/03/17 Vrije Geluiden (Utrecht, BE )
08/10/16 Muziekpublique (Bruxelles , BE)
02/10/16 Cultuurcentrum, (Bruges, BE )
24/09/16 De Werf, (Alost,, BE)
01/07/16 Szczezin ( Poland)
03/10/15 De Centrale (Gend , BE )
21/08/15 Festival d’Art de Huy (Huy , BE )
06/06/15 Muziekpublique (Bruxelles , BE )
Booking

Muziekpublique

Lynn Dewitte EN/FR – lynn@muziekpublique.be

Louise Janssens NL – louise@muziekpublique.be

Square du bastion 3 1050 Brussels Belgium

0032 (0)2-217.26.00