The Laus Polyphoniae festival will be dedicated entirely to music copyist Petrus Alamire in 2015. Especially for the occasion, the International Young Artist’s Presentation will be rechristened the International Petrus Alamire Lab.
What meaning do the five hundred year-old manuscripts made by Alamire have for a 21st century audience? In what way can polyphonic Renaissance music be a source of inspiration for composers and musicians today, across styles and genres? Musica and AMUZ put out a call for promising musicians and ensembles to come up with original concepts as approaches to Alamire’s work. From the many, highly varied proposals, the jury consisting of Pascale De Groote (General Director of Artesis Plantijn University College in Antwerp), Frans de Ruiter (Director of the Academy of Creative and Performing Arts, Leiden University), Paul Craenen (Director of Musica), Herman Baeten (Chairman of Musica) and Bart Demuyt (Director of AMUZ), have selected five projects to embark upon a coaching process.
The Swiss ensemble for mediaeval music RUMORUM will confront a historic approach with the use of historic synthesizers.
The recorder quartet Boreas from Bremen will work with a light artist to bring the world of Petrus Alamire to life.
The two sopranos, cornett, double bass and percussion that form the Belgian ensemble Circling the Spheres will improvise with Alamire’s fascinating work. They will approach this challenge armed with considerable experience in jazz, early and contemporary music.
Victoria Bernath will also improvise, but as a soloist, tackling one of the works from the Petrus Alamire choirbook held in Britain. She will also draw inspiration from this specific style of motet for her own compositions.
Finally, the two young musicians in the ensemble Two Envelopes will present a daring concept for harpsichord, the sounds of writing and electronics.
These different projects will be developed over the coming months, mentored by specialists including Eric Sleichim and Raquel Andueza. Initial coaching will be held at AlbaNova (28 June, Alden Biesen; www.albanovafestival.com), with a presentation of the projects and discussion of the conceptual approach.
An intensive, three-day musical coaching session is programmed for the early music festival Laus Polyphoniae, at which the ensembles will also present their work to the general public. The ensembles will then also have the opportunity to introduce themselves to international concert organisers (including a delegation from the REMA). The networking session and the support of Musica and AMUZ will subsequently help them to continue extending their international careers.