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Account from Botond, conductor of the Choir of the Cluj University

It was hell of a ride, with many unforgettable experiences and memories and I feel that it is impossible for me/for us to phrase that how grateful we are for all of you for choosing us as partners in this incredible journey.
The funny thing is that every time we have departed, Wroclaw, Cluj, Chambéry I had this strange feeling inside of me that something has ended, although we all knew that we will meet again and we will do great things together again, BUT now I don’t have this feeling, because I feel that during these years, during these meetings we have formed many unbreakable connections between choir members, among us, through music and through new creations in music.
So these connections cannot be broken and we will be able to think about new ways to continue this journey together :)
This closing weekend was full with emotions, joy and unique experiences, the world premiere of the Mémorial created a very unique atmosphere in the church, I felt more emotions and feelings in the performance compared to both previous concerts; and the Requiem on Sunday was the perfect ending of the weekend.
I feel that these two concerts together induced change in our hearts and the memory of the whole VoCE will live forever in our souls.

We can only say « Thank you! Merci! Danke schön! Dziękuję! Hvala! Köszönjük szépen! » and with this we wish you all the best in the future and we strongly hope for further collaborations and meetings.

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Ce fut une sacrée aventure, avec de nombreuses expériences et de nombreux souvenirs inoubliables, et je pense qu’il est impossible pour moi/ pour nous, d’exprimer à quel point nous sommes reconnaissants envers vous tous, pour nous avoir choisis comme partenaires dans cette incroyable voyage.
Ce qui est drôle, c’est que chaque fois que nous nous sommes séparés, à Wroclaw, Cluj, Chambéry, j’ai eu le sentiment étrange que quelque chose était achevé, bien que nous savions tous que nous allions nous revoir, et que nous allions faire encore de grandes choses ensemble. MAIS, aujourd’hui, je n’ai pas ce sentiment, parce que je sens qu’au cours de ces années, au fil de ces rencontres, nous avons construit beaucoup de liens indestructibles entre les membres des chœurs, entre nous, à travers la musique et la création musicale.
Dorénavant, ces liens ne peuvent plus être rompus, et nous serons capables d’imaginer d’autres manières de poursuivre cette aventure.
Ce dernier week-end a été rempli d’émotions, de joie et d’expériences uniques. La création mondiale de Mémorial a apporté une atmosphère inouïe dans l’église, j’ai ressenti plus d’émotions et de sentiments dans notre prestation en comparaison des deux concerts précédents; et le Requiem dimanche fut parfait pour achever le week-end.
Je pense que ces deux concerts ont provoqué des changements dans nos cœurs, et le souvenir de tout VoCE vivra longtemps dans nos âmes.

Nous pouvons dire seulement « Thank you! Merci! Danke schön! Dziękuję! Hvala! Köszönjük szépen! » et avec ces mots, nous vous souhaitons le meilleur pour l’avenir, et nous attendons impatiemment de futures collaborations et de futures rencontres.

©Nathalie Damide Baldji corona 1

Press articles about Berlin meeting

On Bosnian website « Start On Line »

Sarajevski Ansambl Corona na dva prestižna koncerta u Berlinu

Sarajevski ženski Ansambl Corona održat će 15. novembra samostalni koncert u Berlinu u okviru projekta VoCE – Glasovi i putevi Europe, kojim se obilježava 100. godišnjica završetka Prvog svjetskog rata.

Projekt VoCE bit će završen koncertom 17. novembra također u Berlinu, kada će se okupiti svi horovi koji pored BiH dolaze iz Poljske, Francuske, Mađarske, Rumunije, Belgije i Njemačke. Tim će koncertom ponovo podsjetiti čovječanstvo da se ne smije ponoviti ništa slično Prvom svjetskom ratu.

Dirigentica Ansambla Corona Tijana Vignjević kazala je Feni da će članice na koncertu predstaviti tradicionalnu muziku Balkana, s posebnim akcentom na tradicijske pjesme Bosne i Hercegovine. Istakla je da nikada nisu bile dio važnijeg projekta, osim kada su kao tinejdžerke pjevale za djecu opkoljenog Sarajeva.

- Među horovima VoCE projekta smo najmlađe, ali smo i jedine koje poznaju rat iz ličnog iskustva, pa nas ponekad slušaju pažljivije kada govorimo i kada pjevamo – naglasila je.

Vignević je pojasnila da će završetak projekta VoCE obilježiti praizvedbom djela pisanog namjenski za taj projekt, u znak sjećanja na Prvi svjetski rat.

- « Memorial » francuskog kompozitora Thierryja Machuela napisan je na svim jezicima Evrope, a horski glasovi uz pratnju jedne trube i udaraljki govore o užasima rata, ljepotama života, nadanjima vojnika te nemoći zarobljenika – pojasnila je.

Podsjetila je da je Ansambl Corona 2014. godine postao dio projekta VoCE, čiji su idejni tvorci Francuskinja njemačko-ruskih korijena Mascha Join-Lambert i francuski horski dirigent Cyrille Colombier. To je projekt koji već petu godinu povezuje mlade i horove iz Evrope, a započet je mirovnom konferencijom mladih, organizovanoj u saradnji sa UG Obrazovanje gradi BiH i koncertom horova u Sarajevu, simbolično, jer je baš u Sarajevu ‘sijevnula iskra koja je, kao padajuće domine, pokrenula ludilo Prvog svjetskog rata’.

U godinama koje su uslijedile horovi su se sastajali u Belgiji, Poljskoj, Rumuniji i Francuskoj, širili poruke mira, učili o historiji zemalja domaćina u Prvom svjetskom ratu, razmjenjivali lične porodične priče, uspostavljali veze, sticali nova prijateljstva i pjevali zajedno.

Vignjević je istakla da je svjesna da konferencije na kojima se razmjenjuje kultura različitih nacija neće zaustaviti trenutne ratove u Siriji ili Palestini.

- Ali ako prestanemo upozoravati, ako zašutimo i okrenemo se svakodnevnici, ako zatvorimo oči i promijenimo tv kanal kada vijesti počnu bolno da nas podsjećaju na vlastitu historiju, okrećemo li glavu sami od sebe, od vlastite ljudskosti i vlastitog poimanja morala – ako ne nastavimo govoriti dok možemo, ko će govoriti za nas kad se naš glas ne bude više mogao čuti – zaključila je Vignjević.

In French newspaper « Le Dauphiné libéré »

Présentation du concert VoCE Berlin 2018

Concert VoCE Berlin 17.11.2018

DL201218Voix et Chemins d'Europe

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Débats/Debates

Le jeudi 2 août 2018, les participants à l’évènement de  VoCE 2018 se sont réunis pour débattre de différents sujets, qu’ils avaient eux-mêmes sélectionnés: l’Europe, l’Education, l’Ecologie et bien sûr la musique!
 Voici le résultat des réflexions menées par les différents groupes:

On August 2nd, the participants of VoCE2018 event have gathered to debate on different subjects they have chosen: Europ, Education, Ecologie, and of course music!
Here is the result of the reflections of all the groups:

Les groupes qui ont travaillé sur des thèmes se rapportant à la musique sont assez unanimes : la musique permet les échanges, les rencontres, que ce soit pour les personnes handicapées: musique et handicap
ou autour des musiques populaires: musique populaire

The groupes who have worked on topics about music are all agree: music allows exchanges, for the people who have handicap: music and handicap
or about popular music: popular music

Toutefois, il semblerait que de gros progrès restent à faire en ce qui concerne l’apprentissage de la musique à  l’école: Education musicale

Nevertheless, we still have to improve the musical education at school: learning music

La question des rencontres et du partage a été aussi au centre des débats sur les réfugiés: accueil des réfugiés
 Même chose pour le sujet de l’identité européenne: identité européenne

The issue of meeting and sharing was also in the mist of the debates about refugees: welcoming refugees
Same thing for the subject of European identity: European identity

D’autre sujets ont intéressé les participants, comme la place et le rôle des femmes: la place des femmes.
Other subjects have also interessed the participants, like the role of women: role of women
or ecology: ecology

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Summer Peace School in Chambéry

The 4B building is the first one you will see when you get down at the last but one bus stop of the A Line, from Chambéry’s train station. It seems quite insignificant at first glance, doesn’t it ? Particularly as it may keep its shutters resolutely closed when you go and see it…
But don’t get upset, no, don’t. You should rather use the small grey table to read next to the front door. Or go under the nearby trees to perform some Yoga moves, Even wait for a bunch of friends, lay down in the grass, with some music and a notebook.
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If you have an artistic sensitivity, find out if you can photograph the poetry around you, using the little you have. Or do a couple of theatre exercises : fall down in slowmotion, distort sounds, play the mirror game and, when you seek some freshness towards the shy 4B building, I hope with all my heart that it will open its door, just as it did for us.
« Us » refers to the Hungarian, Bosnian, Pollish, German and French young adults who took part in the social side of the VoCE project. As for me, I am a young girl who got lucky enough to become a link in this chain.
I lived an actual journey in the 4B building, and I did not even have to leave Chambéry ! This project now represents an experience that left me more grown up, and richer. Because how busy were we during this week !
I met new people, I learnt a bit more about their cultures, their habits, their phrases. We learnt how to overcome the limits of words to understand one another, and this way I made friends. I even caught a glimpse of my future, as I am now welcome to Germany and Polland.
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In Saint-Maurice de Rotherens, and during the choirs practice, I have been taught how to really listen. As a consequence, I could open my ears to all the voices surrounding me from then, voices of singers, of dancers, of organizers. Whether these voices spoke my langage or not.
I understood that every human being needs affective links. That it could only be profitable to let useless barriers go away, that is to say these barriers we build each day, to be unnoticed or to satisfy social expectations. This encouraged me to be more tolerant with the others and with myself, to show my affection more often, to take steps towards the others.
We could also benefit from the presence of professionnals, inspired and inspiring, who allowed us to create many things. I think that thanks to them, we truly could feel what the soldiers from WWI had lived, and what peace really means, through photo and video montages.
I also danced, and I felt useful.
To finish with, of course we were not all the time in osmosis. Of course we sometimes had to face tensions, or dissents. But it is no big deal. Because there were very beautiful moments, by which we were all different, but all together. Very beautiful moments, which became very beautiful memories for us all, I don’t doubt it.

Thank you (:

Laure

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After 4 years in VoCE project…

Letter from Seng Sana, member of the Summer Peaceschools, to Mascha Join-Lambert, president:

I was meaning to write because I haven’t managed to thank you in person ever since the beginning of the project. I started this project when I was 18 years old, and now I am 22.
In Bosnia, in Sarajevo, I was not very open to the people around me, as I felt blocked by the language barrier. And you have always been there to help me express and understand.
Thanks to you I began taking an interest in each country’s history, I started to go to museums and events, whereas I would not have imagined going there before. All the prejudices I had concerning these countries have now disappeared, as I learnt how to believe what I see and not what I hear.
I had the opportunity to make many friends all over Europe, I learnt their cultures and their ways of life. Some countries had a very moving history, and we are not taught this at school !
It allowed me to surpass myself, and more importantly to get motivation to speak other languages and talk with them. Though I am still far from reaching this goal, I made a significant progress. Now I am able to understand what is asked, but I can’t answer because of a small mental block : the shame of making mistakes when I talk.
There were ups and downs, but what I keep in mind are the moments of sharing and joy we all had. Since these meetings I am always eager for us to be reunited. And, for each departure there always is grief on everyone’s face, and in everyone’s heart.
Just to tell you that I am happy to have taken part in this project with you, thank you for organizing it. Each meeting makes us better persons. You are always near to guide us in our lives and show us the right path. You saw us growing up and I won’t forget it, and all this is thanks to you, thank you very much.
You only need a tiny seed of hope to plant a whole field of happiness… and a bit of patience to give it the time to grow. We are your seeds, the ones you planted and watered to see us grow up. Thank you very much Mascha.

Photo de J.Pierre Dupraz

Mémorial, Thierry Machuel’s music work for VoCE

Born in 1962, Thierry Machuel is a French composer and pianist who devotes most of his work to choral art, on texts by contemporary authors in many languages. His repertoire weaves specific links between poetry, languages and cultures and music. It covers more than 40 countries and territories. His entire work is a vibrant humanist advocacy based on openness to others.

To that extent, Thierry Machuel has long been interested in the first hand accounts, written by resistance fighters or communities with singular life experiences, such as those collected from prisoners between 2008 and 2011 (Clairvaux box set; Or, les murs…, Grand Prix de l’Académie Charles Cros 2010). His work for schoolchildren, L’Europe de mes rêves, written in twenty-seven different languages and created by 800 schoolchildren from all over Europe last May, was elected by the Académie musicale Villecroze and the Fédération Nationale des Chorales Scolaires to be made available to rectorates free of charge for five years. First composer received at the Villa Médicis (Rome, 1996-98) and at the Casa Velázquez (Madrid, 1999-2001) for a project exclusively for a cappella choir, he was awarded the Sacem/Francis and Mica Salabert prize for vocal music in 2008, the grant from the Beaumarchais Foundation in 2009 and a commission from the Ministry of Culture in 2010 for the creation of his opera Les lessiveuses (the washerwomen), as well as the Grand Prix Lycéen des Compositeurs 2011 awarded with a very large majority by students and their teachers from a hundred high schools throughout France. His choral works are sung in Europe, Asia and the Americas.

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Mémorial is a profane oratorio in 24 languages for 9 European a cappella choirs in memory of the victims of the Great War.
The piece is structured in 4 parts. Some short texts, haikus of soldiers, punctuate the various parts and recall the context.

1. Flame(s) evokes fire and devastation in the ranks of all parties, from one side as much as the other.

2. Mémoire(s) (memory(ies) talks about death with several pronouns and points of view, from the one who died and sees himself or herself going to the stars to those who mourn the disappearance of a loved one. In the centre is a choir transcription of an organ choir by Johann Sebastian Bach, on which I have placed the Latin texts of the Office of the Dead (Requiem) and Psalm 130 (De Profundis).

3. Vie(s) [Life(ves)] shows the moment when one recognizes in the other a brother, where the inner movement initiates a movement towards him to include him in humanity.

 4. Lumière(s) [light(s)] evokes the values around which life in common, « living together », seems possible to us. Here, of course, this project of values takes on even more meaning through singing.

Nevertheless, it is the hope that I want to transmit here, and the commitment that all must carry to the highest level in order to make possible, despite the threats of today’s world, a living and generous Europe. Thierry Machuel.

See all the texts of the music work (French and English versions): memorial francais english

 

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Adress to the audience at Chambéry Cathedral, August 3, 2018

Welcome to All among the large family of VoCE 2014-2018, which has been joined this year by the Festival des Nuits d’Eté.
We are grateful for your presence, Mrs. Koczinska-Vrebes, General Consul of the Republic of Poland, Members of regional parliaments and of the Town of Chambéry, while Mr.Michel Dantin MEP, Mayor of Chambéry, apologizes for not being able to attend the concert, and I also wish to apologize for Monseigneur Philippe Ballot, Archbishop of Chambéry, who would have liked to welcome us in his seat.

Dear Friends,
the singers of VoCE 2014-2018 you will hear tonight as well as the members of VoCE Summer Peace School you might meet in front of the Cathedral, travelled here from Romania, Hungary, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Poland, Germany, Belgium and France.

VoCE 2014 – 2018, litterally means « Voices and ways from Europe ».
It is the 5th year that it’s members pursue their pilgrimage through all those countries. Remembrance of the fratricidal World War I  became for them a way of identifying a common belonging as Europeans, today and tomorrow.
In 2018, all the nations will remember the ways out of the war. And these memories are multiplied :
The great western democracies remember their victory and contemplate the sacrifices their peoples had endured.
Germany painstakingly faces her memories.
Middle- and Southwestern European countries give rebirth to their national renaissance after the War. But they must face all the contradictions those national principles erected between them – still alive today.
The diversity of memories accompanied us all the long of our ways through Europe since 2014.
But we were lucky to have among us young men and women from Bosnia-Herzegovina. These members of our VoCE-family , intimately hurt as they are by war, still war, unveiling the essentials, always led us back on a common track : instead of competition of memories, they taught the common memory of the will to live, the memory of hope.
They designed the memories of the confidence in a better and fraternal future, undestructible desire of humans.
I am very sure the memories of this desire will still serve as a compass in the middle of doubts about our European civilisation.
repe2Photo J.P.Dupraz
And we shall never thank enough the French composer Thierry Machuel for having deeply echoed our purpose, and translated it into poetry and music. Thank you for being with us tonight.

Last not least, I wish to thank those who supported us, be it for the current project 2018, or be it on the long run.
Firstly, the Town of Chambéry which supported this event with unlimited enthusiasm. We are grateful to the Région Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, the Département of Savoy, Hippocrène Foundation, the University of Savoie-Montblanc, for the financial help of VoCE 2018.
We thank those who trusted us from 2014 on, the French Mission du Centenaire, the OFAJ/French-German Youth Office, the Toepfer/FvS-Foundation, and utmostly the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

But the bulk of the commitment including the financial one, has been supported by all the players of this project in the seven countries, by every single person, and therefore also by you who attend this concert, and we convey our great gratitude to you.

Cyrille Colombier, Chef de Choeur ,  Artistic Director of VoCE 2014 – 2018  and President of the Festival des Nuits d’Eté,  will introduce himself to you, as well as Thierry Machuel, composer of « Memorial ».

Mascha Join-Lambert
President « Voix et Chemins d’Europe »

Tuesday 22 August: first rehearsal

Tuesday 22 August 8 am. On the sidewalk in front of the building where we sleep, many chorists are already there. Some frenches I know, some others belonging to the other choir, Vocalam, I don’t, some people from other countries I’ve seen the day before. Time to meet new people! Yipee! Before the bus reaches the station, the little badges we all wear help to know what the name of each other is and where we come from, it helps to start discussions; even if this is not really required: it looks like we are all on the same page, hungry of getting to know all these new people music gathers here. tuesday01 Reaching the place where the breakfast takes place, here we are! same place as yesterday evening, many tables, almost as chic and beautiful as in a wedding, sitting at tables where we could speak German, Hungarian or Polish if I would be able to; English will fit! Excitation almost replaces coffee, and eating the wonderful continental breakfast is not an issue to discuss with many guys and girls from here or there. tuesday02 In the amphitheatre the number of chorists is impressive. And they say we are not all here yet! Wow! Some music directors introduce themselves, but we really meet and get to know them when their hands are in the air, when after some instants of silence the music starts from more than one hundred of many different people’s mouths, when hundred of gazes are on the same point, and when we follow their direction in this morning of enjoying work together. repetition2
We all have sometimes redden, sometimes worked, in our own countries, all the songs we sing. But changing of conductor is like changing the country where we are: still the same as ours, but some slight differences, some nuances in some different places, some new requests not to breath here or where to make a silence all together, etc. While we work, complicity with my neighbors starts, with some eye contacts, some remarks, some advices…repetition3

Between the conductors too as far as we can see, when we see them discussing how will the day happen, what they think on this or that score part… And how will the week happen. But this is (a lot of) other stories, see the following reports! ;)

Christophe, french singer in VoCE project

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Journey in Peronne (France)

Already five Summer Peace Schools for the VoCE project!
See the pictures
This event, which stood between 21 and 27 of the month of may 2017, has been constitued by a work of poetry and theater, in some places of very high symbol and emotion. Péronne, in France, has got one of the most important museum and monuments devoted to the memories of the First World War.
The words written by the Bosnian Young people who took part of the project are the best account of the time they shared together:

War – every war is the same.
Killed, wounded, tortured….
Starving…
Ruins…..
But, in the end, war finished.
Then the only thing left is sadness, pain and wounds that are hard to heal but will pass one day  : you are the living experience for that.
100 years ago you have passed through hell, hate and conflict,
But now you are the leading and brotherly forces in Europe.
After all you’ve been through and what your ancestors thought, today you progress, move forward.
During these few days you showed that to us.
You were spending time together, visiting monuments, talking about the past together. You are well aware of what had happened.
But you, new generations, are together again and keep history not to be forgotten.

But we….
Small country Bosnia and Herzegovina, which lots of people never heard about, we are experiencing sadness for 20 years, and we are counting.
We lost our families,
We are growing up without parents, brothers or sisters.
We try to move beyond but our wounds are still fresh and they do not pass.
Mostly because of our Presidents.
All monuments, cemeteries, museums that we have seen here awakened compassion and sadness within us
And we would love our country to do the same.
How could we show you, one day, our history one-hundred-percent
And make you feel like you made feel us!
We want to tell you that in front of GOD we are all the same, brothers and sisters, and that all children are OUR children, and that all dead people are OUR people.
We think that we must not separate by percentage people who died for their country and freedom.
Therefore we need to raise a monument for them and not allow them to be forgotten.
We hope that our politicians one day will do the same thing, and that they will understand that only if we are together we can do anything good and make a better future for us.
But as long as they separate us, still talking about war and encourage us to hate, we are bound to stay on spot.
Because, even after 22 years, the main question and topic among our political leaders is: “Who is guilty?”
Is that still important?
Guilty – are all the people who created that war…
And after all we are here to uphold the legacy, memory of our dead ones, to rebuild our country but for peace and love among us as decided by a higher force.