WOMAD 2009 Featured Artist: Lo Cor de la Plana
WOMAD 2009 Featured Artist: Lo Cor de la Plana (France)
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Brooklands Park & TSB Bowl of Brooklands, New Plymouth
Visit http://www.womad.co.nz for more information
Six male voices from the La Plaine quarter of Marseille combine complex harmonies with boisterous percussion, foot stomping and hand claps to revitalise songs from the ancient and disappearing Occitan culture and language. Veering away from traditional arrangements, they add saucy contemporary freshness and paint brilliant, vital new colours into the songs of yore.
Founded in 2001, the group has revived and recreated the popular Occitan culture and language. With unrivalled passion they sing all repertoires, from the most religious to the most unfettered, the repetitive to the occasional (quite often at the same time!). Lo Còr has a desire to do away with ‘traditional’ song, to cross swords with vocal music and polyphony, even if it means stirring up those who would like to see these music forms die a death in chapels.
The group says : ”Our singers are everywhere : in churches, factories, bars, festivals or theatres, and do not hesitate to mix disconcerting paganism of old Occitan backgrounds with the preoccupations of Marseille musicians of today. They do not renounce any influence, from Bartok to Massilia Sound System, or any origin, from Oran to Rove, as their only ambition is to evoke and resonate in their music all that their city and the world around it has given them in terms of sounds. A police siren, a newborn baby, the remains of a paradise or a fantasyland, a drunken party, sheep, wolves… in short, the peaceful or heady passion of day-to-day life! ”
“Their intricate, overlapping harmonies form roaming, obscure Occitan labyrinths with a humorous trail laid down for the adventurous listener to follow. The approach of Lo Còr de la Plana is complete : ”From their involvement with the community to their satyrical CD artwork. They are not just a band, they are a philosophy.” Andy Kershaw.
“Although the melodies and lyrics are drawn from popular song, they are shaped into something perfectly contemporary. This is not Marseille ‘tradition’ but genuine reinvention, using several voices to recompose what used to be a single melody, enriching the old rhythms with new, painting, new colours into the songs of yore. Lo Còr takes all the diversity of life and puts it into their music.” Denis-Constant Martin – POLITIS