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The song of women in the Mediterranean


Claire Merigoux, vocals

Dimitri Boekhoorn, Celtic and ancient harps

Gregory Coston, nay

Samir Hammouch, qanoun

Martin Bauer, viola da gamba

Carlo Rizzo, percussion

Jean-Lou Descamps, bowed fiddle, oud, etc.

The crossing...timeless, universal, beautiful escape...


Like the endless undulation of the waves, History repeats itself...


MESOGEIOS is a creation for peace in the Mediterranean, in homage to those whose crossing was of another dimension.


ODO goes back in time, and takes us back to the 14th century, to Ravenna in Italy, a major strategic place and place of exchanges in the Middle Ages.


​ In a context marked by struggles, he invites us on a journey to the Mediterranean, to meet women and their songs.

This music is the feminine expression of universal life experiences, springing from another time, whose sincerity of their messages remains very current.


​With MESOGEIOS, ODO Ensemble creates a unique sound by bringing together musicians from diverse backgrounds with their traditional instruments.


He travels the Mediterranean with these ancient and traditional songs that have passed through Antiquity and then the Middle Ages, during commercial exchanges and various invasions:


​Music from Italy with excerpts from the Codex Rossi, saltarella, tarantella, then troubadour songs, Arab-Andalusian music, Aramaic song, traditional Corsican songs, Sephardim, Egyptian lullabies, Turkish songs, Greek and Syrian music...


​Civilizations meet from North to South, from East to West, from yesterday to today. 

​ With the winds, the song of the roses takes us on...

Claire Merigoux, 2017

 Preface by Alain Weber, extract from the CD booklet of ODO Ensemble - MESOGEIOS - Le Chant des Femmes en Méditerranée


"Created by Claire Merigoux,  the ensemble "Odo"   refers to Saint Odoe, this musician and Benedictine monk who was de_cc781905-5cde-3194-6193-6bb3b-badcf58d_926 to 942 the second abbot of Cluny. This very idea of "musician monk" evokes a time when pilgrims of the soul, poets and wandering mystics, crossed mountains, seas and deserts in search of knowledge.   They reflected this idea of "timeless, universal crossing..." expressed by the "Mesogeios" project. 

The sacralization of nature and life that nourished the imagination of a traditional world, faced with over-cleared lands, fled like a hunted beast. It is in music and poetry that the notion of the sacred seems to take refuge more nowadays, where plenitude and transcendence are still expressed.  

The Odo ensemble, in its many creations, draws the map of an ancient world populated by myths, tales (like the Turkish Sephardic song "El Rey de Francia"), love stories or tragedies that have become legends thus defying the limits of the human condition. 

Faced today with the narrowing of this invisible geography, it is towards the hypnotic brilliance of the Orient that we often turn, forgetting the epicenter represented by “Mare Nostrum” “our” Mediterranean sea bordered by 3 continents.


  Through these women's songs, from the Langue d'Oc to the Aramaic language, from Constantinople to the Qadisha Valley in Lebanon,   from Sephardic Andalusia at the gates of Istanbul, from the Egyptian Nile to the  Greece, from Corsica (where this project was born in Pigna)  to Ravenna, a strategic high place and exchanges in the Middle Ages, Mesogeios landed us   on shores where ancient or  bergers, intertwine in an ode to life, its beauty and its mysteries.


Would it be caricatural to say that thanks to a wide sphere of oral transmission and a great finesse of inspiration, beyond a certain complex symbolic jumble reshaped over the centuries in the light of Christian spirituality, a particularly feminine incentive knew how to carry a heritage where sacred, passion, determination and tenderness coexist?


In this same spirit of transmitting a heritage that has shaped our history and our identity, this wide range of expressions takes us from the power of possession rituals such as tarantism (evoked in the famous song "Tarantella del Gargano") to the tenderness of universal lullabies like the Egyptian one of “Nami Nami” or the Corsican one of “O Ciucciarella”"


Alain Weber, 2021

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