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In Medias Res

In Medias Res first gathered together in 2010 on the initiative of Jean-François Favreau after the first VoicEncounters which focused on “The Phenomenon of Latin Confraternities”. The ensemble explores the tradition of ancient Catholic music through scores and archival sound recordings and – above all – through meetings and practice in situ with the bearers of oral tradition. Their all-Latin repertoire includes polyphonic chants sung by confraternities (Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily, the Italian Peninsula, etc.), plainchant (derived from the Byzantine heritage), Falsobordone and pieces from Baroque manuscripts.

The constellation that has developed around plainchant in Europe since the Middle Ages is a powerful resource, both in the field of music and as a human phenomenon. This constellation has welcomed, absorbed, and preserved traces of various influences, from pre-Christian practices and beliefs to the Catholic doctrine of penance, and has been coloured with Baroque motifs. As well as conducting musical research, the ensemble is engaged in a cultural investigation into the foundations of our civilization, based on a vocal dramaturgy of life and death.

The programme “Lessons of Darkness: Journey through the Holy Week” has been presented since 2012. “Lessons of Darkness” is a sound dramaturgy, a journey into the depths of loneliness and loss and into the roots of Latin Christian culture, based on a collection of traditional chants sung during Holy Week celebrations. Most of its sources can be traced to the popular traditions of Corsica, Sardinia and Sicily (between the pre-Christian and Baroque eras) but it also draws on plainchant, combining written sources with popular oral practice. The material, interwoven with quotations from Dante’s Inferno, represents the first step towards the ensemble’s next project dedicated to The Divine Comedy.

“Each song in our repertoire is a trace of a meeting with a real person, a master in singing and in life. We wish to thank all those exceptional people”.

Photo by Micha Piwowarczuk

Project leader: Jean-François Favreau
With: Barbara Ciemiga, Paulina Dziuba, Piotr Górka, Marta Grundwald Wilantewicz, Adam Skobliski (Poland); Alessandro Curti, Diego Pileggi (Italy); Jean-François Favreau, Pierre Genty, Marie-Geneviève L’Her (France); Orest Sharak (Ukraine)


Sat 12 September, 20:00
Fontfeyne Chapel, Saint-Frion near Felletin, Creuse, on the road D 10, France
Lessons of Darkness
A concert by In Medias Res ensemble with Pierluigi Tomasi, co-organized by Friends of Fonteyne
Tickets: 12 EUR, concessions 8 EUR (children, students and the unemployed)

Previous concertS

In Medias Res works under the auspices of the Grotowski Institute, the Site for Theatre Practices Lavauzelle and Le Théâtre de l’homme ivre (Janaillat, France) with assistance from ADAMI (research grant).

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