Polyphonic Sounds in Corsica

Well, we meant to sleep in...but with the time change, we were up at 6:30, and happy to be awake.

I have to say, I LOVE hotels that provide coffee makers and irons in the rooms. It is such a treat to have that first cup of coffee available...and both that iron and coffee help to make you feel comfortable and at home! Happily, La Signoria agrees...so we started the day with coffee in the room before heading back to the beautiful terrace for breakfast.

It felt like a good time to snuggle in and catch up with writing, sip tea and enjoy the view while Julian went out with Olivier for a great adventure. They flew around the island VFR and had the Corsican equivalent of a BBQ lunch to boot! It was fun to hear them land at the airport next door, and almost see the landing. They had a wonderful time.

Some days before I had mentioned to Olivier that one of the things that I personally wanted to do on Corsica was to find a group of polyphonic singers, something the island is famous for (as well as other cultures like Mongolia, the Balkans, parts of Africa and Russia and more). I had tried to find a concert when we arrived but was unsuccessful, so was happy to go with the flow of other things. On our last night in Corsica, we arranged to have dinner with Olivier, and Julian mysteriously mentioned that there was a surprise coming after dinner and that I would love it.  I honestly couldn’t imagine what it could be, but sure enough, after dinner, we drove about 20 miles north, and it wasn’t until we walked up the steps of a church and I saw the poster...that I realized that Olivier had found a polyphonic concert! And with one of the best known Corsican groups, A Filetta. This gift moved me to tears!

We had some time before the concert, so went for a walk in the park, watching some bouts of pétanque, a French game involving throwing metal balls near a target. The men playing let us have a try, and Julian was obviously the skilled one between the two of us. Following a walk by the sea, we found our spots on the second row in the church. In no time every seat was taken, and six men dressed in black stood in front of us and without ceremony began more than 90 minutes of stirring, moving, magic and sometimes otherworldly music with only their voices, their focus, and energy. Polyphonic singing is the meshing of several melodies that engage off and on with each other in an interweaving of sound. In fact, the name of the group, A Filetta means thread...and this experience was very much like hearing the weaving and stitching of threads into a tapestry of music. This evening was such a magical ending of our time on the Corsica. Many many thanks to Olivier for making it happen!

Today au revoir, tomorrow, ciao!