Transhumances

Au son des voix et des percussions, A Hue et à Dia investit la scène pour une danse à travers prairies et montagnes. Que l’on soit en quête de nourriture ou parti faire paître les bêtes, le chant accompagne diverses transhumances. Les cinq chanteuses nous embarquent pour une traversée sonore à travers les frontières et le temps. Des mélodies centenaires en provenance d'Albanie, de Madagascar, d'Ukraine, de Serbie, d'Italie, de France ou du Rwanda prennent une forme résolument moderne, puissante, sensible.

 

Ces chants traditionnels et compositions originales racontent une histoire, forment des tableaux mouvants, colorés, puissants. Ils ouvrent des parenthèses où s'engouffrent peines et douleurs, rêves, errances et joies.

Pour créer ce spectacle, les 5 interprètes ont rencontré des femmes et des hommes de pays et de tradition très différents. Ces derniers leur ont appris des chants et transmis un bout de leur culture. Ce sont ces rencontres qu’elles partagent avec le public.

L'histoire du groupe
 

À Hue et à Dia réunit cinq chanteuses autour de chants traditionnels de différents horizons et de leur instrument : la voix. Loin d'une interprétation puriste de ce vaste répertoire, À Hue et à Dia réarrange, s'autorise quelques pas de côté, improvise, toujours au service d'un son d'ensemble qui se veut puissant et singulier. C'est une couleur intemporelle et inédite qui teinte alors les mélodies et porte les textes. Ces langues, les chanteuses d'À Hue et à Dia ne les parlent pas. Pourtant, ces langues inconnues côtoient leurs mélopées sans paroles pour raconter l'universel : les histoires d'amour, le dur labeur, la guerre, la beauté de la vie.

En 2011, les cinq chanteuses se rencontrent autour de l’improvisation : pas de paroles, mais la voix comme vecteur d’émotions et d’énergie. Les circle songs sont un mode d’improvisation qu’elles affectionnent, puisant leur inspiration dans les influences musicales de chacune.

Très vite naît l’envie de mêler improvisations et chants traditionnels. C'est tout d'abord une forte attirance pour la musique des Balkans qui les conduit à travailler en 2013 avec la chanteuse serbe Svetlana Spajic à Belgrade. Elles y approcheront l'énergie et le timbre caractéristiques de ces musiques. C'est ensuite une rencontre avec  le musicien malgache Joro Raharinjanahary qui les conduira à élargir leurs horizons musicaux et à aborder d'autres rythmiques, d'autres ambiances. Pour elles, la dimension orale de la transmission de ces chants traditionnels est primordiale : leur répertoire s'étoffe au fil des rencontres.

Illustration d'arrière plan : Suzy Vergez

Transhumances - created in 2018

The show

This musical show focuses on the place of singing in every day life. A Hue et à Dia invites us to explore all the musical traditions in the daily acts of ordinary lives in their liveliest and mostinvigorating expression. 

An invitation to live every day without routine, ordinary life without boredom. A Hue et à Dia takes us on a journey of sound across borders, across time, in a voyage within ourselves. Traditional songs and original compositions form moving, colourful and powerful paintings, some times troubled. The voice like a bubble of air, a valve. A space of freedom. 

"Transhumances" is a show composed of 15 pieces and lasts about one hour 15 minutes. Based on our first show, it is an extension with an increasingly personal musical approach. 

Interpreters

Elsa Bader

Julie Fandi

Alexandrine Guédron

Leïla Harmi-Meistermann

Claire Robert

Director : Roberto Graiff

Lighting : Eric Trépin

Sound : Romain Muller

Support : DRAC, Strasbourg Eurométropole, Le Point d'Eau (Ostwald, France). 

The show was performed for the first time in the autumn of 2018, at the Salle du Point d'Eau in Ostwald, following a residency on its premises. 

Song rooted in everyday life

Through this new show, we want to convey, in our own way, the deep foothold of singing in everyday life. For centuries, the rural world has followed the rhythm of the seasons, and in turn the songs follow this seasonal rhythm.

Traditional songs punctuate the breath, they set the pace, blur the distances, open parentheses where hardship and pain, dreams and wonderings are engulfed.

We choose songs that move us deeply. We reclaim them, transform them, mix our compositions and improvisations.

Plunging into these melodies and rhythms is intense and invigorating for us and for the audience. Fractions of life explode to the sound of drums, voices, and moments of silence, all permeable.

These songs flood the space to make room for joy. They are the expression of life par excellence.

Oral transmission

For us, it is essential that these songs tell a story. We choose them for what they evoke in us, by their melodies, lyrics and rhythms. Often they are the result of people we have met and we do our utmost to learn by oral transmission.

With each song we receive a piece of life, a part of culture. A precious gift.

For this show, we met men and women from very different countries and cultures. This transmission creates exchanges which enrich us beyond the song itself.

The Group

A Hue et à Dia is a vocal group made up of five singers who desire to revisit traditional songs from different regions of the world. In phonetics, the expression [a y e a dja] has the effect of phonemes of a foreign language on the ear.

It is however an expression of the French language.

The songs chosen by A Hue et à Dia reflect the multiple cultures that coexist in daily life.

Far from a purist interpretation of the traditional repertoire, the group A Hue et à Dia arranges and complements improvised songs, instrumental and body percussions to find the precision of its language. It is a timeless and original colour which tints the melodies and carries the texts.

Whether they come from cassava fields or wheat fields, many traditional songs come from women and men over the world, whose voices vibrated together while working hard.

The Group’s journey

It was around improvisation that the singers met in 2011. No words, just the voice as a vector of emotion and energy. Circle songs are a form of improvisation that they love, drawing inspiration from the musical influences of each of them.

To go “à hue et à dia” is to go alternately in opposite directions. Like the carters of yesteryear, A Hue et à Dia finds its way from one direction to another, immersed in one signer then another.  

Very quickly the singers wanted to mix their improvisations with traditional songs, in order to draw sound material from different cultural sources.

Particularly attracted to Balkan music, in 2013 they went to Belgrade to work with Svetlana Spajic, renowned Serbian singer who passes on vocal traditions from the border regions of Serbia and Bosnia. This was a decisive meeting for the group which gave birth to their desire to extend their approach by learning traditional songs orally, through their different encounters, and then to make them their own. 

Since 2013, their repertoire has grown as a result of their encounters with singers of Romanian, Turkish, Malagasy, Iraqi, Italian origin. Improvisation remains present in the artistic approach of the group and compositions are born.

The interpreters

The singers of A Hue et à Dia have very contrasting musical backgrounds, in styles as varied as classical music, jazz, reggae, traditional music. They have taken different paths: academic, self-taught, instrumental, vocal. Whether by voice or with an instrument, they have all at some time experienced improvisation.

And it is A Hue et à Dia that coherence is built: thanks to the particularities of each one, sound emerges and equalises in contrasts.

 

Workshops around the show

A Hue et à Dia offers voice discovery workshops. These workshops are intended for all ages. We propose to lead workshops of 8 to 12 participants, composed of children, or adults and adolescents over 14.

No prerequisites, neither in song nor improvisation are necessary to participate in the courses. The groups are made up of people who want to sing in groups and take a few steps in vocal improvisation.

Far from any concern for vocal performance, participants can enjoy bringing their voices together and exploring sounds. We offer games of rhythm and harmony, playing with everyone's sound palette. A significant part of the exercises is devoted to acquiring an appropriate listening attitude.

We quickly approach the anatomy of the phonatory apparatus thanks to our playful pop-up model.

We transmit traditional songs of various origins, in polyphony, and can integrate moments of improvisation.

As a group we can use the technique of circle songs, improvisations based on the superimposition of small repetitive musical phrases. Participants have the opportunity to be, in turn, improviser, conductor, spectator, soloist.

This intervention, usually carried out in pairs, lends itself to different formats, ranging from initiation (1 and half hours) to a more complete training: 24 hours divided into 12 sessions of 2 hours, or a 4-day course with 6 hours training per day.