Present from the beginning of Trobar (the poetry of the troubadours ), the sirventès is a protesting style that describes the violence of its century, the stupidity of powerful people and the fleetingness of human feelings. It is a difficult exercise where the poet makes a fool of the princes, laughs at the Church and questions the Creator, giving him friendly advices as well as merciless criticisms.
Far from the cliche reducing the "troubadour" to a tearful lover in his ivory tower, the sirventès sets the image of a poet-musician involved in his time, facing turmoil and war, beside his contemporaries. As he is the master of this art that he uses as a Lord, in the middle of the the great wars of his time.
Three musicians chose to honour – by developing them or being inspired by them - the original melodies deposited in the end of the XIIIth century by the last troubadours.
They will take advantage of their respective experiences fed by collaborations between oriental and occidental musics, popular and art musics, former and contemporary ones to investigate all the potentialities of the medieval Occitan monody.
Mastering digression and improvisation, they will also propose a courteous, intemperate and especially unexpected answer to those who know - like our troubadours - what music and poetry can do to help us easing the nonsense of the world.
Manu Théron - vocals, composition
Gregory Dargent - oud, musical direction
Youssef Hbesich / Etienne Gruel - percussions
an album by Accords Croisés (dist Harmonia Mundi)
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The troubadours of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries readily hawked, in the language of the oec, a satirical and contentious speech contained in a particular poetic form, the sirventés. The gourmand and libertarian soul of the Occitan singer Manu Théron could only find enough to drink for a long time. In these fiery songs of the pays d'oc, the original melodies of the poems are respected but the oud and the percussions of Grégory Dargent and Youssef Hbeisch invent an oriental background. With nothing incongruous, this accompaniment draws the chant of Theron from a rough medieval sobriety.
Louis Julien Nicolaou