Année de composition
Instrumental, vocal et electronic
For mixed choir, soprano/alto saxophone, percussion, cello, acoustic/digital piano, 1 acoustic guitar, 1 electric guitar, 1 electric bass and storyteller

Achumawi Distant Voices / adapted from Jaime de Angulo is the product of workshops carried out in 2023 and 2024 by music degree students at Aix-Marseille University, under the direction of the composer Jean-Christophe Marti, as part of a research project entitled CAR. Our starting point was the handwritten field notes produced by Jaime de Angulo in the 1920s and 30s, which are transcriptions of Amerindian songs from the Achumawi peoples of north-eastern California. As de Angulo himself admits, these notations can only give a very imperfect idea of the particular sounds of these songs, which are often collective and linked to long rituals. Healing songs, vocal jousts between tribes playing jacks, funeral songs led by ‘shamans’… de Angulo’s musical notations are complex and fragmentary. That’s why they require us to reinterpret them. These are the ones we are presenting to you. We have thought about how to respect these cultural sources from the Achumawi peoples, while at the same time shedding new light on them. Ethnomusicological documentation and reflection have been the basis of our rereadings, carried out with musicians from the Ensemble C Barré, using instruments that are certainly not those of the Achumawi peoples (drums and flutes, locally-made whistles), but with which we are trying to reach the outlines of these musics, of these Achumawi “distant voices”. We have also shared this work with the university’s student choirs. The ensemble’s musical director is Philippe Franceschi.

Supported by Aix-Marseille Université and the  Société Française de Musicologie (SFM)

Création mondiale
April the 2nd 2024 | Théâtre Antoine Vitez | Aix-en-Provence, France

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