To open up to the Mediterranean is to listen to this vibrant reality; it is also being conscious of having a dialogue to build with a part of the world which is on the move, is bubbling over with energy, asks questions and never ceases launching new challenges at the present time. It is in fact a gamble. For welcoming another person and letting yourself be bowled over by him/her, is not necessarily evident. Training, vocational integration, creations, exchanges between artists and professionals: the Mediterranean project of the Festival d’Aix is on the move, with very real initiatives.
The Mediterranean Youth Orchestra (MYO) is the first example of it – and the most emblematic. Founded in 1984 and then attached to the Festival in 2014, this atypical orchestra relies on a network of partners and a unique expertise of interculturality. A big story which allows it to bring together in Aix-en-Provence, over a hundred young male and female musicians all coming from the Mediterranean basin, in order to train them and offer them the opportunity to perform together.
With Medinea (MEDiterranean INcubator of Emerging Artists), created in 2014, the Festival amplified the movement even further. Higher education centres, festivals, cultural centres artists: from one shore to another of the Mediterranean, this international network brings together and creates a dialogue between structures dedicated to music to encourage the emergence of young musicians – through encounters, workshops, creative and educational projects. And always making the intercultural dialogue pulsate further.
The Festival d’Aix propose a creative process which is unique in its genre. Here there is no merging, no juxtaposition or accumulation of forms or of sounds: the intercultural dialogue « made in Aix », is the increase in creativity and the influence of everybody for the creation together of a unique mixture, radically new. Both at the same time one and the other – and a lot more. The Mediterranean is also a plurality of aesthetics.
Parallel to the MYO symphonic sessions conducted by great international conductors, artistic richness comes out particularly during the intercultural creation sessions in which improvised music is put in the spotlight. Directed by the composer Fabrizio Cassol since 2015, these working residencies bring together, artist-improvisors both men and women who come from the world of jazz and traditional music, and who work together for the creation of a collective composition. For this 2019 season, four sessions are organised in the Mediterranean, inviting young artists to mobility by visiting partner institutions of the Medinea network: in Hammamet (Tunisia) in March, in Istanbul (Turkey) in April, in Nuoro (Italy) in August, and the Festival d'Aix in July.
In terms of personal enrichment, this training went beyond my expectations – both musically and spiritually. It was without the slightest doubt the most striking experience in which I have had the chance to participate.Amèle Metlini, participant in the intercultural creation session
Identify and invite talent, encourage encounters between artists, cultivate and encourage enthusiasm, supply the means to create: the Festival is this enabler of what is possible. The opportunities which it enables are unique. Through its resources, its influence, the networks which it can make use of, its reputation in the opera world, it offers an international sounding board to these new musical itineries born out of the encounter with the Mediterranean.
The Festival d’Aix and its Académie contribute to the creation of an artistic free trade zone which is unique of its kind. A Euro-Mediterranean space kept together by the pleasure of music and creative energy.
Come to share this interplay this summer at the Festival or abroad on the shores of the Mediterranean:
Opera THE SLEEPING THOUSAND (Adam Maor) — World premiere
6, 8, 10, 12 and 14 July — Théâtre du Jeu de Paume, Aix-en-Provence
Concert AMIR ELSAFFAR — Two Rivers Ensemble
15 July — Hôtel Maynier d’Oppède, Aix-en-Provence
Concert MEDITERRANEAN YOUTH ORCHESTRA — Symphonic session — Daniele Rustioni
19 July — Grand Théâtre de Provence, Aix-en-Provence
20 July — Châteauvallon - Scène nationale, Ollioules
21 July — Scène 55, Mougins
Spectacle LA CONFÉRENCE DES OISEAUX (Moneim Adwan) — Chorus Ibn Zaydoun & Antequiem
25 June— Hôtel Maynier d’Oppède, Aix-en-Provence
1st July — Château, La Tour-d’Aigues
2 July — Théâtre de la Sucrière, Marseilles (15th arrondissement)
17 to 19 July — Aix-en-Provence
29 to 30 March — Hammamet (Tunisia)
29 to 30 April — Istanbul (Turkey)
Opera ORFEO & MAJNUN (Adwan, Moody, Van der Arst)
Intercultural Ensemble of the Mediterranean Youth Orchestra
10 June — Wiener Konzerthaus, Vienna (Austria)
INTERCULTURAL CREATION SESSIONS
Mediterranean Youth Orchestra with the support of Medinea
18 to 31 March — Centre culturel international de Hammamet (Tunisia)
14 to 30 April — Université technique d’Istanbul / Centre d’études avancées en musique Dr. Erol Üçer - MIAM (Turkey)
16 to 30 August 2019 — Ente musicale di Nuoro (Italy)
— Could you please tell us about your musical training and background, which are completely atypical?
I was born in Chicago, Illinois. I started out by [...]