Medieval Music in the Here and Now
Gert Anklam (Berlin) - saxophones ·
Rebecca Bain und Katherine
Hill (Kanada) - voice
Falk Zenker (Weimar) - guitar and live
Since its founding in 2003, Ensemble Nu:n's mission has been to blend the timeless beauty and spiritual power of Gregorian chant and Romanesque & Gothic polyphony with modern improvisation and experimental sound, thereby building a bridge from the very roots of Western music to the here and now.
The road to Santiago de Compostela in north-western Spain was one of the three great pilgrimages of the Middle Ages. In recent years, it has seen a renewed popularity. Falk Zenker, Ensemble Nu:n founder and guitarist, is himself a Santiago pilgrim. He and his three fellow musicians present a program of musical treasures from medieval monasteries on the various routes throughout Europe to Compostela, as well as from Santiago's own 12th century manuscript, the Codex Calixtinus. While their interpretations are respectful of historical detail and context, the songs are presented from the ensemble's unique musical perspective, with all the curiosity and spirit of the discoverer - modern pilgrims, whose personal sense of spirituality has lead them on a medieval journey.
The ensemble consists of Canadian singers Rebecca Bain (Montreal) and Katherine Hill (Toronto), leading experts in historical music, whose masterly voices fuse unequivocally with the powerful virtuoso saxophone-playing of Gert Anklam (Berlin) and guitarist Falk Zenker's (Weimar) impressive atmospheric sound. "Nu:n" proposes music from a forgotten time, rendered authentic and yet fresh and surprisingly new. A play on time, stretching the boundaries of the performance space, and of the audience's listening expectations.
"A fabulous medieval creature from sandstone comes to life,
snarls, and whips its tail dangerously. The creature softens as
sweet singing is heard. Rather than a fabulous creature, the saxophonist
Gert Anklam appears on stage. The musical presentation is supported
by guitarist Falk Zenker, who moments later enters into dialogue
with the sax and singers Rebecca Bain and Katherine Hill. Musical
worlds, separated by centuries, come together."
Helga Heilig, Naumburger Tagblatt, 07.11.03
"It was deeply moving music, filled with longing, intelligent
but light-hearted, sprinkled with humour, and the audience enjoyed
it thoroughly. Transfixed and transported to another world, at times
it felt as though one was floating..."
G. Meyer, Ostthüringer Zeitung, 10.11.03
"The concert was delightfully made up of continuous live experiments,
bringing together ancient ritual music and modern performance practice."
Thüringer Allgemeine, 02.08.05
"Sound coming from all corners, it almost seems as if the
old walls are vibrating…past and present unite in the moment…
The applause is never ending. "Wonderful" is whispered
through the audience. The musicians must bow repeatedly: another
moment in the here and now…"
Freies Wort, 01.08.05