Voce Ventu passes on the flame .. past, present and future

Voce Ventu

In 2015, this Corsican group will celebrate their twenty years of existence. Twenty years, within which their have been moments of pause too, but, isn’t this an even more forcible reason to sense a certain necessary/renewed awareness? I believe so. Not that this would be automatically the case, however sometimes it is fundamental in order to ignite a new/alternative perception and comprehension. Voce Ventu created in 1995, and composed of six – taking a pause in 2011 and now returning in 2014 with renewed enthusiasm.

I had the pleasure of meeting Fred Poggi recently; composer, singer, musician, Corsican language university teacher, translator (films), coach for the Corsican language and also, actor – and who has even found the time to dabble in photography.

It was extremely evident when listening to him, that one of their major preoccupations lies in the correct transmission of the Corsican language, as maintaining a certain heritage is crucial for future generations. The Corsican ‘soul’ is a very important point for Fred, and through compositions, legends can be related, speech, advice and testimonies naturally handed down. Distortion/deviation arrive rapidly within every language as well we know, therefore all the more reason for those who have the possibility to inform and convey, to remain vigilant and to correct. I found this also related to what Rinatu Coti had previously told me earlier on this summer.

During the 70’s, an energetic cultural movement ‘Riacquistu’ took place here in Corsica, and this was also to be an active influence for the group; where defence of traditions, dialects and identity leading a cultural movement was born. This entailed commitment within the villages too, both physical and cultural. Voce Ventu wished to somewhat continue this movement, and Fred spoke highly of ‘Scola di Cantu’, where Natale Luciani worked towards teaching the younger generation through practise, by the use of their natural polyphony and again their traditions. Since this movement, the musical evolution in Corsica has taken flight and developed, and an authentic living art is present and flourishes.

Remaining in constant contact with Japan which they have visited in recent years, and more especially Okinawa, with special thanks to Didier Pierrat, Director of the CAFJ in Paris, and where continuing projects are to see the the day between Japan and Corsica. Here again, we note the inter-cultural interests and expansion/exchange between countries/islands that are worlds apart, and yet not so – where heritage/culture always find a way to link and converge.

An evidence from the past resides in the fact that polyphonic groups were reserved to men, mainly through tradition/habit. However, with the arrival of the 90’s, feminine groups appeared and today, one can also enjoy their participation, with growing support and significant ability.

Fred Poggi travels when he can and has been to the US several times in the past, meeting up with the Corsican American Association and attending the Acting International Workshop. Commentator with FR3 for five years over the past, his involvement and qualities in communication have undoubtedly had their influence and have allowed his desire to diffuse to become more precise. During their period of pause, Fred continued to write regularly, the Corsican language being his medium, for just about everything. He has adapted scenarios into Corsican and has of course, played them. At the Corsican University in Corte, his students learn all about cinema too, in Corsican. A profound conviction of the capacity for transmission through music has been continually growing over the years, always desiring to transmit a message with each of their compositions and we are indeed well aware of the opportunity for artists to proclaim their beliefs, truths, visions, sentiments and essential commitments if/when  possible. Voce Ventu doesn’t differ here, but, with years of experience standing behind them, their capacity and sensitivity has matured naturally through cultivation – participating in several tours throughout the world, apart from mainland France: Germany, Palestine, Sardinia, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Greece, Canada and Japan. One can say, their music involves both traditional and contemporary Corsican singing, where tones, sensitiveness and sensations are a call to the emotional senses. A notable encounter with a Chilean group ‘Quilapayun’ has had its influence, for they adapted one of their songs from their second album and in 2012, this group actually came to participate at the annual chestnut fair in Bocognano.      41Devf5eW4L._SS135_SL160_

What would he like to see in the future ?

Here sprang the desire to see the creation of a Mediterranean cultural base whereupon a thought provoking question followed; why not develop closer relationships with our immediate neighbours, naming Sardinia and Italy amongst the closest. Also, the need for more associations being continually active for traditional development, as he feels at times this small island can be somewhat forgotten, and in order to advance we need expansion of culture and heritage – remaining conscious all the same of the fact that there is presently much happening, where events and cultural outings are involved. In his opinion, there appears to be a lack of critics here, those who would dissect/analyse and inform the public, with open-mindedness and straightforwardness, bearing in mind a number of younger groups who often lack maturity, basically because they haven’t, as yet, acquired it.

Who does he admire in the musical world ?

Chjami Aghjalesi, U Filetta, Canta U Populu Corsu … names anchored in memory, both on and off this island. Fred has also been singing with Chjami Aghjalesi since last summer and has been composing with them.

What can we expect from Voce Ventu, soon ?

An evening with Antoine Ciosi, who has invited Voce Ventu in February in Ajaccio, to sing his own music with him. His name is known to all here and overseas, for he has been singing his love of this island for so many years now, and has been a figurehead of influence.
A brand new song for the 40th anniversary of the recording studio – ‘Ricordu’ is scheduled –
and of course, Voce Ventu’s 20th anniversary in 2015, and when we may very well discover a new album !
Camus stated, that culture was the cry of men in face of their destiny .. and, I would add values are what constitute the true quality of life – if we wish to understand today, must we not also search from yesterday ? and again one may recall what Mahler once brilliantly said – ‘tradition is not to preserve the ashes, but to pass on the flame ..’

Leave a reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>