BIOGRAPHIES

Catherine Braslavsky


Catherine Braslavsky

photo Roswitha Guillemin


Singing is a quest which demands no less than everything of me. I love both utter simplicity and extreme complexity, labyrinthine melody as well as rhythmic power. Yet more important than musical forms, I try to go beyond my limits, and share this with others. I began composing in childhood, but it was only when singing came into my life that I discovered the medieval and Mediterranean repertoire. Since then, my music has always had two aspects: interpretation of traditional musics, and composition.

After her master's degree in mathematics and biology in 1985, she began to change careers, finally devoting herself entirely to music. During the next five years, she studied:
- classical voice (Magali Damonte; Philippe Ballois)
- Gregorian Chant (Catholic Institute in Paris, Strasbourg University)
- Medieval Chant (Centre de Musique Médiévale in Paris, Gennevilliers Conservatory)

In 1986 she began intensive studies of the music of Hildegard of Bingen, which now holds a place in her repertoire almost as important as that of Gregorian chant.


1986-1992 : Studies
o Lyric Singing : (Paris) Magali Damonte, Philippe Ballois from "A Sei Voci"
o Gregorian Chant : at the University of Strasbourg, France; and at the
Catholic Institute of Paris with Sister Marie-Claire Billecoq, a Vatican
specialist in Gregorian Chant
o Medieval Music : Center for Medieval Music in Paris with Dominique Vellard
o Indian Music : In Paris, with Pandit Nageswara Rao (Carnatic Chant)

1989-1995 : The Harmonic Choir of David Hykes
Soon after their meeting, David Hykes invited Catherine Braslavsky to join his world-renowned
Harmonic Choir. Later, she served as assistant director in his workshops.
This collaboration led to extensive concertizing in major concert halls in Tokyo, Los Angeles,
Barcelona, Prague, Warsaw, Zurich, Zagreb, Amsterdam, Glasgow... and in France :
Théâtre de la Ville in Paris, Festival d'Arts sacré of Paris, and the Thoronet Abbey in
Provence, among others.
In 1995, she left the Harmonic Choir to devote herself full-time to her music.

1995-1996 : First album, "Alma Anima", first major concerts in trio
It was Pierre Toureille, founder of the prestigious Ocora label of Radio France, who encouraged
Catherine Braslavsky to record her first CD, Alma Anima, on the quality traditional music label, Al Sur.
That same year, he arranged a concert for her and her group at Radio France. The following year, she
performed at the Périgord International Festival, sharing the billing with artists such as Lakshmi
Shankar and Stéphane Grapelli.

1996-2012 : Six more albums, and many major concerts. Catherine Braslavsky also directs groups of
musicians, including "Terra Sancta" (a ten-member women's choir), the group "Credo" (representing
Jewish, Christian, and Muslim traditions), and the "Catherine Braslavsky Group", a world-music
ensemble. She has performed and recorded with artists such as Alain Kremski and Steve Shehan, and
also composes and performs music for theater and theatrical concerts. She has recorded for films and for television documentaries, both as singer and as composer.
She directs rehearsals sin Paris, and continues to pursue her research into ancient, medieval, and
contemporary musics, and is currently working on a new album (release scheduled for autumn, 2016) as well as on music for television and films.

 

Joseph Rowe         

Joseph Rowe

Of American origin, Joseph Rowe studied pure mathematics, philosophy of religion, transpersonal psychology, and classical guitar. He also studied classical Middle Eastern oud with Hamza El Din, a master whose unique marriage of voice and oud, and of Nubian and Arab influences, has been one of the pioneers of what is now called "world music." He has performed several times onstage with Hamza, notably in a concert with the Grateful Dead in San Francisco.[Go here for a personal memoir of Hamza El Din] He also concertized extensively with other Arab, Persian, and African musicians, as well as with medieval groups. During extensive travels in Africa, he learned and performed with musicians from the Congo (percussion, flute), and with Mideastern dervishes (percussion, voice, oud), as well as with Afro-Brazilian percussionists and healers.

During the 1980's he worked as a radio producer for National Public Radio stations, and was among the first designers of programs combining classical, jazz, world, and new music, and interspersed with cultural and public affairs interviews.

He now lives in Paris, where he has turned more and more to music and theater, working as musician, writer, composer, and actor. Besides his extensive work with Catherine Braslavsky, he has collaborated with Marc Zammit at the Théâtre Molière in Paris, and with Alain Kremski and Michael Lonsdale at the Cluny Museum (Paris Festival of Sacred Art). He has composed music for a number of theater pieces by authors such as Samuel Beckett, T.S. Eliot, Jean Giono, and Roland Dubillard. He has also composed and recorded music for French television and documentary films. A writer and storyteller, he writes texts for theatrical performance pieces with music. He has published a number of short stories, poetry, book reviews, and magazine articles. Currently, he is working on a novel, scheduled for publication in 2017.

In his work as literary translator, he has translated books by authors such as Henry Corbin, Jacques Attali, Régis Debray, Jean-Yves Leloup, Pierre Rabhi, and books on Thich Nhat Hanh and the Dalai Lama.

He is also active in research and practice in the areas of creative-potential therapy. This makes frequent use of rythmic exercises inspired by dervish practices, as an aid to deepening of meditation. He regularly conducts workshops, often with Catherine Braslavsky, which offer a musical approach to meditation, drawing on many of the great wisdom-traditions. He has developed his own system of exercises called "Holorhythm," a synthesis of body movements, vocalizations, percussion, speech, and meditation, which help unlock the gates to deep listening, inner and outer attention, and creativity. He leads rehearsals, practice sessions, and meditation groups, and offers individual consultations in France and abroad.

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