Carolus Luython

Lamentationes Hieremiae Prophetae

  • Feria Quinta
  • Feria sexta In Parasceve
  • Sabbatho Sancto
Pedro Ruimonte

Lamentationes Hieremiae Prophetae

  • Sabbatho Sancto
Graindelavoix
Björn Schmelzer
art direction
artistic director

The Old Testament Lamentations tell about the plight of the Kingdom of Judah in the time of the Babylonian invasion of 587 BC, when the dynasty of King David was overthrown, the temple was destroyed and Jerusalem was ruined. Lamentations are interpreted by the Catholic Church as a sign of the future Passion of Christ, which is why they appear in services celebrated before dawn in the Holy Weak, in the so called dark matins.

Graindelavoix, a Belgian vocal ensemble, presents a programme of six-voice Lamentations by two little known Renaissance composers: Carolus Luython (1557-1620) and Pedro Ruimonte (1565-1627). Lamentations by Luython, who spent most of his lifetime at the Emperor’s court in Vienna, are typical of the Franco-Flemish style and may bring to mind pieces by Josquin des Prés. By contrast, Ruimonte, who was associated with the ducal court at Brussels, was inspired by the Spanish mysticism of Theresa of Ávila and St. John of the Cross. Modelled after Lamentations by Orlande de Lassus and Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Ruimonte’s  Lamentations follow the tradition of great Spanish composers: Cristóbal de Morales and Tomás Luis de Victoria.

[Wojciech Stępień]


Graindelavoix

Graindelavoixis an Antwerp based, multidisciplinary company with a fascination for the voice, the genealogy of vocal repertoires and their relationships with the affective body, history and territory.  Graindelavoix was founded in the early 21st century by anthropologist and ethnomusicologist The first recording, Ockeghem’s Missa Caput, released in 2006 on the Glossa label immediately placed graindelavoix on the international scene. Schmelzer has developed with  graindelavoix a kind of affective musicology in action: every performance is an evocation and activation of the virtual forces and affects working in the surviving traces that serve as the starting point.

The performers of graindelavoix are drawn from different traditions with broad artistic backgrounds and expertise. During performance this heterogeneity is not polished away but carved even deeper.  Graindelavoix built a reputation as a pioneer of a completely new approach to old repertoires, beyoarond the museum or historically informed vision, with its bold and often controversial interpretations to which the many international collaborations, residencies, performances and CD awards will testify.

Graindelavoix won the much coveted Edison Award, two Klara Music Awards, the Caecilia Prize of the Belgian Music Press and several awards from international music magazines such as Classica Répertoire, Pizzicato and Scherzo.  Graindelavoix performed for the Zomer Van Antwerpen, Roma Antwerpen, the Laus Polyphoniae Festival, Moussem Festival, Berliner Festspiele, Early Music Festival Utrecht, Festival Alte Musik Regensburg, Radio France, Avignon Festival, Concertgebouw Amsterdam and many others.  From 2015, graindelavoix is in residence at the Fondation Royaumont near Paris, offering concerts and master classes.  Graindelavoix is structurally supported by the Flemish Community


Björn Schmelzer

Björn Schmelzerstudied anthropology and musicology but as a multidisciplinary artist he is primarily self-taught.  He is the founder and artistic director of graindelavoix, an artist company that starts from folds and faults in ancient repertoires to rehabilitate the fundamental anachronism of practices in time.

From this point of view, graindelavoix brings together artists of all disciplines: musical, visual and performative. Over the course of long research stays, Schmelzer studied primarily in the Mediterranean world, in Italy (Sardinia, Sicily), Spain, Portugal and Morocco, specializing in vocal repertoire and performance practice.  He studied several medieval vocal traditions in depth, their continuation and survival in later times, ornamentation styles, and the logic of operative knowledge.  He combines this work with insights from anthropology, history, human geography and ethnomusicology, resulting in various publications and concert programs.  He is regularly requested as a guest conductor and lecturer.  Björn Schmelzer has published several essays and articles for literary magazines, specialized magazines, academic publications and exhaustive CD booklets.  He is currently writing a book about vocal practices, derived from 10 years of expertise with graindelavoix.  With graindelavoix he has received several prizes and awards such as ‘Young Musician of the Year’ by the Belgian Music Press.

In 2011, Schmelzer became the first “Creative Fellow in Musicology”, a collaboration between the Utrecht Early Music Festival and the Centre for Humanities at Utrecht University.  Besides his activities as artistic director of graindelavoix, he makes films, both fictional and documentary, often associated with graindelavoix projects.  As a playwright and director, he created, among others, Cesena with Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker, Muntagna Nera with Filip Jordens and Jan Van Outryve, Ossuaires with Koen Broos and Wim Scheyltjens and Trabe Dich Thierlein with Margarida Garcia, Koen Broos and David Hernandez.  Most recently, he designed audio-visual and interdisciplinary installations with Koen Broos and Margarida Garcia in “The Hospital of Undersized Gestures”.