Thousand and one ways of Santiago de Compostela
Claire Merigoux: voice
Jérôme Casalonga: voice and percussion
Gianni de Gennaro: fiddle, nay
Martin Bauer: gamba
Samir Hammouch, qanùn
Charlemagne had a vision.
He caught sight of a trail of stars in the sky starting in the North Sea, then running across the Teutonic lands, Gaul, Aquitania (now the North and South of France), the Basque country, Navarra, all the way to Galicia. It was the Milky Way, the field of stars, Campus Stellae, Compostela.
St James appeared before him and asked that he opened a route through the Muslim-led land so that Christians could reach the Apostle's grave. According to the legend, the emperor succeeded, thanks to extraordinary military feats and opened the path to an exceptional human adventure, that lasted nine-centuries .
With the Compostela program, ODO Ensemble travels the routes that ran across Western Europe since the Middle Ages, that men and women of all conditions have walked on, journeying thousands of kilometers. Entire cultures met: Christians of all languages and coming from all corners of Europe, Berbers, Arabs, Jews.
During these immense and often dangerous journeys, Mary was worshipped as pilgrims prayed for her protection and benevolence. Travellers kept their spirits up by listening to tales of the many miracles she performed for pilgrims in great danger on their way to Compostela. Pilgrims would make a stop at the Monastery of Montserrat in Catalonia and worship the Black Madonna there. Others would listen to monks improvise two-part harmony chant in Limoges or sing musically refined ars nova compositions in Burgos.
ODO Ensemble follows pilgrims on their way to Compostela: from Scotland, Maastricht from France, Italia, Corsica... In their respective journeys they came across many cultures and music: Scottish Celtic Music, Music by Hildegard von Bingen, sacred vocal polyphonies, Ars Nova polyphonies by the genius Guillaume Dufay, flowery organa from Limoges, Traditional songs from Auvergne right in the center of France, Trouvere songs, the song of Roland, polyphonies from the Llibre Vermell in Montserrat, Cantigas de Santa Maria, Corsican and Sefardic songs...
Upon their arrival in Santiago de Compostela, the three pilgrims could hear music to the glory of "Jacobus", as recorded in the Calixtinus Codex, the manuscript still on show at the Cathedral today, including the oldest three-part polyphony written in Western History, Congaudeant Catholici. Then they could hit the road back.
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