BALSAM is a tantalizing herb laboratory. An alchemistic concert in which music blends with unusual aromas, tastes and sensations. A concert in which sounds transform into images.
The intoxicating music takes you on a journey through traditional Portuguese, Greek and Icelandic songs to the mystical sounds of Hildegard Von Bingen and fifteenth-century polyphony and from there on to compositions specially written for BALSAM. Drawing on the Bible’s ‘Song of Songs’, on verses by Virgil and Horace and on the poetry of contemporaries of Baudelaire and Verhaeren, the lyrics tell of the game of love, of longing and sorrow, of the sweet fragrance of jasmine and the beauty of a tree. They are a tribute to the healing, stimulating and bewitching effect induced by herbs and plants. Above all, they celebrate nature, which is spellbinding and unfathomable.
Fascinating alchemistic processes unfold before your eyes. Drops solidify into edible pearls, a bud on your tongue produces an electrical sensation, a mineral turns out to be a sweet treat. Alchemists conjure up unfamiliar tastes and aromas. BALSAM sets you daydreaming. It is spiritual and sensuous, worldly and celestial. An ode to life and its mysteries.
Laika & Zefiro Torna
Musical concept, lute, baroque guitar, chitarrone and singing: Jurgen De bruyn
Sensory concept: Peter De Bie and Sara Sampelayo
Production finalization: Jo Roets
Singing and chatkan: Elly Aerden
Flute, soprano saxophone and composition: Philippe Laloy
Recorders, French bagpipes, bugle, percussion, ukulele, singing and composition: Jowan Merckx
Uilleann pipes, bawu, chatkan, kaval, Hardanger fiddle, overtone flute, Jew’s harp, duduk, singing and overtone singing: Raphaël De Cock
Bass clarinet: Jean-Philippe Poncin
Performance: Peter De Bie, Sara Sampelayo/Simone Milsdochter and Bram Smeyers/Arnout Vandamme
Costumes: Manuela Lauwers
Dramaturgy: Mieke Versyp
Contemporary culinary ‘injection’: Alexandre Gauthier
Technicians and production: Pieter Smet, Rik Van Gysegem, Anton Van Haver and Marlies Jacques, Tom Daniëls, Thomas Stevens
In association with Kopspel vzw.
BALSAM is a joint Laika and Zefiro Torna production coproduced with Le Volcan, scène nationale du Havre and Le Channel, scène nationale de Calais. It enjoys the support of The Flemish Community and the Federal Belgian Government’s Tax Shelter scheme.