The expression of the Corsican soul
Come and take a seat in one of the churches of Balagne, who have opened their doors to you. Lights illuminate the architecture. Then, there is a moment of complete silence in the nave. Finally, the singers appear. First, they welcome you and thank you for sharing this magical moment with them. Then, everyone takes their seats, some hand-in-hand, others gently stroking their loved one’s face… time stands still. The first notes softly fill the air. To the melodies of a Seconda, a Terza and u Bassu, the place is filled with this perfect combination of soft notes and poetry. The paghjella unrolls before your eyes and you will be filled with emotion and respect. You are now at one with the singers of Balagne.
Precious memories to be shared…
You too can be a part of these events which showcase the true excellence of these voices, listed as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Firstly, A Filetta will share with you the treasures of this style of singing which takes you on a voyage to discover polyphony from Corsica and elsewhere. Then, A Core Datu is a special invitation to come and meet the group. Then, the Rencontres des chants Polyphoniques of Calvi represent polyphony from all over the world, harmonised with traditional Corsican singing. This global influence can also be seen at Festivoce in the magnificent village of Pigna, at the beginning of the summer season. Voices from Corsica and all over the world come and bring the streets of the village to life until the early hours of the morning.
An ancient tradition…
Corsican voices have been heard for centuries. They have always been a very important part of daily life for the locals in Balagne. The Nanne rocked the children to sleep, the Serenati spoke of love, and the Tribbieri encouraged the harvestmen. Finally, the Voceri mourned for lost souls. These voices have now disappeared from the villages, but the local people remain fiercely proud of the melodies.
During the village festivities or on the terrace of a village café, it is not uncommon to hear voices resounding in unison. The paghjella gathers both men and women and the Chjami è Rispondi resembles an improvised poetic jousting, practiced by the most talented of musicians.
Finally, during the processions, the strong and composed voices of the brotherhoods of Balagne chant i Versi, the sacred polyphonic chants; them and only them are able to portray their true beauty.