Toasaves is a Belgian music collective passionate about the folklore of Flemish folk songs and their relation to Early Music and Eastern music. In their first album Zwerver (Muziekpublique 015), Toasaves covers compositions from the Groot Liedboek (Great Songbook) of Wannes van de Velde (1937-2008 the singer-artist who breathed new life into the oldest surviving ballads and litanies in his home town of Antwerp.
In the spirit of Wannes, our troubadours take the listener in tow to various European ports and the sounds so typical of the sea. The journey starts in the cosmopolitan port of Antwerp, where Wannes was influenced from his youth by all kinds of different cultures. Through their language, history and music, they left their mark on his thinking and his musical development. The journey also passes through the symbolic home port of Brussels, which people come to visit from everywhere in the world.
Starting from the folk repertoire of Wannes van de Velde, the collective is also inspired by early music, traditional dance music from the Greek islands, classical court music (makam) from Istanbul and even folk music from Afghanistan. Their emphasis is on a clever mix of traditional instruments from East and West – medieval flutes, drums, cistres and fiddles, oriental violin, Turkish lutes (lavta and oud) and frame drums (daf, bendir, pandero cuadrado), hurdy-gurdy, Flemish and Irish bagpipes, Indian dilruba and bansuri, Afghan rebab and Persian santur. Their virtuoso performances shed new light on the sources of musical traditions which, separated in time and space, often contain the same poetic and musical secrets.
- Tristan Driessens: oud, lavta, vocals, arrangements, artistic direction
- Raphaël De Cock: vocals, mouth harp, bagpipes, uillean pipes
- Harald Bauweraerts: hurdy-gurdy, vocals
- Miriam Encinas Laffitte: recorders, santur, daf, fiddle, dilruba, percussion
- Michalis Kouloumis: violin
- Michaël Grébil Liberg: medieval lute, fiddle, bowed cistrum, Afghan rebab, vocals
- Dick van der Harst: percussion