Founded by Kiya Tabassian and Ziya Tabassian, over the last ten years Constantinople has been exploring the oral traditions of Mediterranean cultures and the musical manuscripts of the Middle Ages. [...]
They spoke about it
A thousand and one questions affect our relationship to the world. Excessive consumerism, spiritual unrest, clinging to identity, diminishing exchanges, emergence of new divisions, blurring
of borders… In this apparent disorder, can the origins of an other era be unvailed?
As artists, we endlessly replay our utopias, with Babel as a backdrop. The territory to explore is infinite: cultures and memories whose lines we like to shift so that they finally converge. We also make migration and the mixing of cultures our territory. Perhaps it is our early exile that led us to return to the source, to follow the traces of our predecessors, to tirelessly search for creative allies. This awareness of belonging to several space-times is as basic to us as respiration, as inspiration.
This is what we wish to share through our itinerant music: our desire to grow, to learn from others, from ourselves, to live better lives.
In line with a previous project, Early Dreams, it is the pages left by another marvellous composer and singer that Constantinople has taken the liberty of reinventing this time around. A worthy heiress of Monteverdi, Renaissance Venetian
madrigalist Barbara Strozzi created a secular vocal repertoire that intoxicates the senses. A joyful and salutary delirium for music lovers!
For this project, the rich imagination of the beautiful artist with a demonic reputation is embodied by the velvety smooth vocals of Acadian soprano Suzie LeBlanc. Her poetry is enhanced by the brio and bold improvisations of our fi ve musicians.
Also on this passionate program are pieces by another Italian genius, of German ascent: Johannes Hieronymus Kapsberger (1580-1651). His spontaneous changes, sharp contrasts and unusual rhythmic groupings provide fertile ground for the musicians of Constantinople, who always welcome the chance to free themselves from the cultural codes of old Europe.
Love poetry and the music of those composers are supported by our musicians’ keenness on improvisation, their verve and a certain lightness tinted with a touch of audacity. Under the theme of musical metamorphosis, this recording refl ects our desire to take a glimpse at music of the past with our modern eyes. Through the works revisited here, we try to rediscover the subtlety and the wisdom with which men of the past took time, looked for things and touched one another. We want to be inspired and feel enriched by these qualities, to be able to share them with our society.
“For the flames of lovers, I know that
all the oceans are not enough.”
– Sebastiano Baldini,
Cantate Sino Alla Morte de Barbara Strozzi