Pekka Toivanen & Yr Awen

Pekka Toivanen & Yr Awen (University of Jyväskylä/Department of Music):
’Unavoidable Recontextualization of Early Music, and its Impact to Performance and Research  – An Advantage or a Problem?’ (lecture and concert)

”Music travels. To what extent it can be translated? Travellers in music are busy translators.” (Wim van der Meer)

In this presentation (together with a concert performance given by ’Yr Awen’) some issues, from viewpoints of both performer(s) and researcher(s) – often inseparable – on how to approach a musical repertoire which, in its heyday, was part of orally transmitted and memory-based music, and which, often have prevailed only in fragmentary and sparse form for posterity, are discussed. The focus in this joint presentation and concert is on a song cycle from mid-13th. century Iberia called ’Cantigas de Amigo’, attributed to Martin (Martim) Codax. The original MS consists of seven songs, six of which are provided with notation.

In this presentation some approaches of hybridicity are presented, at the same time stating that ”the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth” of music of the past is a historical fallacy. Thus one  key issue in our joint effort is to emphasize that there have been various processes of hybridization in music via oral and memory-based transmission processes (not excluding more literal-biased transmission processes).  throughout the ages – ours is no exception. The ’original’ MS of ’Cantigas de Amigo’ is the source for our musical interpretations, although not without some contemporary additions (including some newly composed ”medieval” music) – ending up with renditions that keep varying in each performance..

’Yr Awen’ – a group of busy musical translators –  consists of:

Minja Niiranen (voice, percussion)
Sanna Salminen (medieval fiddle)
Ulla Sippola (recorder)
Timo Kovanen (lute, percussion)
Pekka Toivanen (harp, lute)

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