A Filetta / Corsican voices

A FILETTA (Corsica)

© Armand Luciani

The music of A FILETTA is a journey… One could say that it is a demanding, daring contemporary polyphonic vocal proposal, born of a powerful oral tradition.

It was in 1978 that a group of very young people, driven by a fierce desire to contribute to the safeguarding of an oral heritage in full decline, set out on their journey… and their road has been long, sometimes winding, but punctuated by discoveries and exceptional encounters. The singers readily admit that “encounters” are part of their musical DNA. This probably explains why they did not want to limit their journey to their roots. Driven by the shores of an inherited tradition, they very quickly opened up to other territories, other disciplines, other artists: performers, composers, directors, choreographers.

Their repertoire, produced today by this male vocal sextet, is a faithful reflection of what has been, since the beginning of the 1980s, its forward march: a trajectory outlining a movement initiated in an age-old orality and asserting itself in the meanders of a writing that is uninhibited and free of any filial obligation. Sacred or secular songs with diverse influences, film music by Bruno Coulais, compositions for choreographies by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, excerpts from the chorus of an ancient tragedy or pieces from a requiem commissioned by the Saint-Denis festival are all present.

Music that serves a vision of the world that unambiguously rejects any kind of identity-based withdrawal and whose philosophy could be summed up in this beautiful aphorism by René Char: “The purest harvests are sown in a soil that does not exist; they eliminate gratitude and owe only to the spring.

Every time I have the opportunity to thank an audience for the warm welcome they have given us, I do so by reminding them that we are an old band (born in 1978), admittedly, but made up of incorrigibly young individuals! This is no doubt because, day after day, we realise just how great a privilege it is to sing our way through time; to sing is to exchange, to meet, to embrace, to gather, to have and share a vision of the world.

When we started out, we were convinced that we would change the world by opening its eyes, and what makes us young-old or old-young is that we’re still just as convinced that we need to be determined to do so!

Our starting point was a powerful vocal tradition. We quickly became curious: to understand how the vast world that is the smallest of confetti can bring together so many diverse people, all from the same clay: our humanity!

Encounters with other traditions from all over the world, other disciplines (dance, theatre), other musical genres (classical music, jazz, world music, film music) have made us a group capable of transforming, amalgamating, merging while remaining deeply rooted! The cross-fertilisation that so frightens the advocates of identitarian withdrawal is our credo, quite simply because the history of the world is all about this great voyage of colours.

Jean-Claude Acquiaviva
Founder & Composer

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Jean-Claude ACQUAVIVA: seconda, author and composer
François ARAGNI: seconda and bassu
Paul GIANSILY: terza
Petr’Antò CASTA: bassu
Maxime VUILLAMIER: bassu
Jean-Do BIANCO: bassu

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