Couvent de Corbara
Couvent de Corbara

Nadine Cesari offers a 6-day Corsican polyphony workshop, open to all, at the Convent of Saint Dominique in Corbara. We'll be focusing on the Passion repertoire.

A final concert is scheduled at the end of the course, and for those who wish to continue the adventure, a church tour with 4 concerts is scheduled for the following week, giving you the chance to meet up with friendly Corsican villages and brotherhoods!
All concerts are filmed and broadcast on social networks.

For the workshop, it's essential to bring a recorder and headphones, and to book accommodation with the Couvent Saint Dominique in Corbara.
Course times: 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 3.30 p.m. to 6 p.m.
In addition to these hours of attendance, there is also time for individual work with the recorder. One day a week is devoted to independent personal work.

Dress in black or white for the end-of-course concert.

Tradition isn't just something that existed in the past and needs to be preserved as it is. It's an inheritance, a legacy to be collected, assumed and preserved, but also nurtured and nurtured through renewal, in order to build a bridge between past and present: the present prolongs the past, the past lives in the present, which prepares the future, and for that future the past and present will become the past.

A tradition that is not recreated, assimilated and adapted to each new era is a dead tradition. Living tradition is transmission: it requires updating, a creative aspect. This contribution must respect the spirit of tradition, which is an absolute that transcends time. By appropriating the tradition, his tradition, the disciple takes his place in a long chain of which he is one ring
among an infinite number of others, before and after him. Traditional music, i.e. oral music, contains a sap from the depths of the ages, and only the spoken word, only sound, only orality, communicates its spiritual essence. It preserves the
the living, moving character of tradition. The initiation through which it is passed on requires direct contact, from man to man, for the spiritual influence inseparable from all initiation to be passed on.
Tradition is therefore first and foremost memory, our living roots, our center of gravity. What are we without the memory of our origins? Man condemns himself to spiritual death if he cuts the link with tradition, with his tradition.
Music has its own memory. These are musical traditions, which live in and through orality.

The path of Corsican polyphony. It incorporates the primordial elements and archetypes that underlie all the world's musics, making them so many voices of a single "song of humanity".
of humanity'. The archaic, positively valued, is not the ancient or antique perceived as antiquated or distant. It refers to that which is original in the ancient, that which escapes the destructive grip of time and exists in a perpetual present. The archaic refers to a primordial, eternal beginning, outside
of time.

The values of the original, of the archaic, are no more current in one era than in another. They inspire new creations. According to Claude Levi Strauss, "the archaic is part of anthropology, which aims for a global knowledge of man". Each tradition provides men belonging to such and such a culture, such and such an era, with a mirror in which they can imprint a living reflection of their essential being, because they carry within them the imprint of that tradition, and because each tradition is a true image of eternal man. We find the
tradition within man, in his spiritual being.
This transmission of knowledge is none other than initiation, which actualizes a knowledge that the being virtually possesses. Initiation is thus access to tradition itself, and goes beyond the framework of the particular tradition it transmits.
Archaism makes it possible to be beyond all the roles and masks of appearance, because it enables the expression of a primordial tradition:
"The center of the world is that elusive place where traditions are born, where everything that is traditional converges or emanates".
Tradition invites us to take another look at modernity, because by rethinking the values of tradition and the archaic, we rethink and legitimize modernity. True modernists are wary of rejecting the past in the name of a blind flight forward.

Corsican polyphony holds melody, pure vocality, song.
The voice emerges from the body, and the breath produced by the lungs makes it resound. The singer performs a vital act. The act of singing creates an intimate relationship with the vocal organ, allowing emotions and affectivity to flow spontaneously through the sound of a simple or complex song, like an overflow that aspires of its own accord to flow out of us.
aspires to come out of us. It's not about the ego, and we can take the example of riuccades or melismas in Corsican polyphony. It's dangerous to sanitize the practice of this tradition without losing its meaning, its soul, because in both the sacred and the profane, riuccades are often the expression of a strong emotion linked to the history of this song.
For example, it can express the 'pietoso' of mourning, or the sorrow of lost love, but it can also be the weariness of hard work, both animal and human.

When he modulates his song, man emits a sonorous reflection of his own being.
Corsican polyphony, like all traditional songs, harmonizes voice and body, so that the song sounds full and powerful. It's less about singing "beautifully" than singing "truly". A traditional singer uses his voice as a means to an end, not as an end in itself. It is therefore necessary to rediscover "traditional vocality, the physical anchoring of the voice, and the spiritual significance of this act".
To sing with the body is to rediscover a primal force that becomes potential music, the original core of all melody.

Nadine Cesari


One price: 250 € (6-day course.).

Workshop and tour: 350 euros (15 days).

In the event of cancellation 1 month in advance: half the amount will be reimbursed or credited towards a future course.


  • Opening period

    From Monday 22 to Saturday 27 April 2024.
    10am to 12pm and 3:30pm to 6pm
    A final concert is scheduled at the end of the workshop, on Saturday April 27.