Arts-Scène Diffusion

Canticum Novum




Western and Eastern European music of the fifteenth century

For 20 years now, Canticum Novum develops a musical project built around interculturality. It seeks to value music as a source of reciprocity and listening, as an opportunity for peoples and cultures to meet through a catalyst for cocreation and dialogue. Through these projects, each musician that belongs to this collective, with the limitation of his or her instrument, appropriates the other’s culture to be a resonance of said culture. Like an “ark” that welcomes the diversity of our cultures, of our instruments, of our melodies and of our temperaments, Emzara tries to show this setting in motion of musicians towards each other and to give the opportunity to hear this lively resonance of singular encounters;  listening to songs and dances from Italy, the Balkans and France of the 15th and 16th centuries, a period of European history marked by great migrations, of a Europe in full transformation and on the brink of great cultural movements of the Renaissance …

Emzara (name given to the spouse of Noah in the book of Jubilees) questions in a sensible manner that which puts people in movement by making an undeniable echo to the contemporary situation.

The philosophical approach to the EMZARA program
The Mediterranean world was and remains a place of profound changes, only a difference in scale really separates the upheavals of today from those of yesterday. The Mediterranean has always been a zone of intermingling. The medieval period saw the developments of migrations, with characteristics that are similar to those of the great human displacements of contemporary times: the ebb and flow of Italian merchants that installed themselves in overseas trading posts; forced migrations of Armenians in Cilicia, or of Spanish Jews that looked for refuged in the Ottoman Empire, etc. The motivations are many, just as the itineraries that were undertook. With EMZARA, Canticum Novum wishes to question not only migration but also the welcoming land and put into perspective three Western European territories (France, Italy and Spain) and three migrant cultures (Armenians, Greeks and Andalusian) subject to exile after the fall of Constantinople (1454) and of Granada (1492).

The EMZARA program is built around two Lamentations, the lament for the fall of the Church of Constantinople of Guillaume Dufay – a grand musical personality of the beginning of the Renaissance – and a lament for the fall of Constantinople that came from the popular tradition of the Greeks from Thrace (oriental point of Europe). Around these two works, the musical choice is to be diversified: lullabies and dances from Armenia, Andalusian mystic poems (Syrian Mohasha), popular Greek tradition, monodies and polyphonies from Western Europe – which gives a many-sided and colorful portray of these territories from Western Europe that welcomed migrants from the East and that pushed to exile the Sephardic Jews and Andalusians to the East and South. In every case, music tells us – across human history and in particular during these periods of movements of the end of the Middle Ages – that the welcoming receives and that the welcomed transmits; creating in this way rich exchanges and leaving a strong legacy on the welcoming territory.


Distribution :Emmanuel Bardon, Barbara Kusa, Hélène Richer, Maria Simoglu voice
Aliocha Regnard nyckelharpa & fidula
Emmanuelle Guigues vièle & kamensheh 
Valérie Dulac vièles & lire 
Spyros Halaris santour 
Gwénaël Bihan flûte à bec 
Philippe Roche oud 
Isabelle Courroy flûtes kaval 
Henri-Charles Caget, Ismaïl Mesbahi percussions 


Emzara - Teaser

Emmanuel Bardon, Barbara Kusa, Helen Richer, Maria Simoglu singing
Aliocha Regnard Nyckelharpa & Fidula
Emmanuelle Guigues Vièle & Kamensheh
Valérie Dulac Vièles & Read
Spyros Halaris Santour
Gwénaël Bihan Recorder
Philippe Roche Oud
Isabelle Courroy Kaval Flutes
Henri-Charles Caget, Ismaïl Mesbahi Percussion



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