Main Stage, 20/07/2019

Occitan polyphony is the starting point for San Salvador – a French six-voice and percussion collective as they embark on their search for universal folklore, rooted in the region’s deep troubadour traditions yet circulating between cultures and musical genres. Their compositions use the Occitan language as a rhythmic instrument, combining poetry with hypnotic vocal harmonies cascading over shifting patterns of compelling percussion.

Occitan is also known as the lenga d'òc, roughly meaning "the language of oc", oc meaning "yes". The people of southern France adapted it from the Latin word hoc ("this"), and by the Middle Ages, Occitan developed a unique language apart from the French of their northern neighbors. Presently it stands on the verge of extinction, but in its best times, Occitan was the native speech of eg. Richard the Lionheart. It was the established tongue of the troubadours, the men (and women, called trobairitz) who repurposed music as a legitimate pursuit for the upper class. Before, the mere minstrel, like the actor, was perceived to fill a crude occupation. But later on it started to be fashionable for the highborn to compose and sing songs of chivalry and courtly love; especially the theme of forbidden love.

In their songs, San Salvador question the myth of an unalterable ‘heritage’, seeking instead ‘to answer the question of the boundaries between tradition and creation. An answer to those who say that music has a beginning and an end’. It’s a joyful quest that sees them following every path from the crossroads of trance, choral punk and global vocalese ; modern Occitan troubadours at large in the world.

Musicians:

Gabriel Durif - vocals, tambourine
Eva Durif - vocals
Thibault Chaumeil - vocals, tom bass
Marion Lherbeil - vocals, tom bass
Laure Nonique Desvergnes - vocals
Sylvestre Nonique Desvergnes - vocals, drums

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