About a fifteen minute drive from our home is the charming little village of la Tour d’Aigues. The stunning chateau sits in the middle of the village, mostly in ruins, but enough remains that concerts are put on there in the summer in either the courtyard or the side terrace. We went to a couple of concerts that were in the basement in the winter. It’s a moving experience sitting in the chateau looking at the sun setting casting golden light on the old stones and towers with music adding a delightful element to it all.
This is the view on the side terrace. I hadn’t been in this section before.
The concert was by a group from Corsica called A Vuciata. Corsica is an island, part of France, fairly close to Italy and north of Sardina which is Italian. It has a fascinating history and the type of singing that the group did is called polyphonies. The singing is mostly done without music, although they did do pieces with a violin, a flute and a guitar. The polyphonies chanting is very unique with questions as to its origins. It sounds like religious chanting in many ways, sort of Spanish, maybe Arabian. It’s not happy music, by any means, but very melodic and soothing. It has an ancient sound, song as old as rhyme, tune as old as song as a contemporary song says. When the group did the polyphonies, they stood close together and each put a hand to one ear, a very Corsican thing for this type of singing. I think these singing groups are usually men but this one had a woman as well. Once I was with a group of French people and they started singing some Christmas hymns. One man was especially good with a booming, deep bass and Maurice told me that he was from Corsica where there are many good singers. Who knew?