Artistic Theme

Music and Exile

Proposed by KlarafestivalBrussels, Belgium

Composition for string quartet and tape.

When people travel, for whatever reason, their music travels with them. With the title ‘Music & Exile’, MusMA 2017 takes a look at the musical consequences of exile, migration, refuge, diasporas, asylum and displacement.

Music is often the most vivid reminder of home and probably the last thing to be forgotten. When composers migrate, they use their music to enter into a dialogue with a new audience. Nowhere in the world does one-sided ‘pure’ music or culture exist. It is always a matter of inter- and transcultural processes and exchanges. It is precisely this dynamic that brings cultures to life and music contributes to its beating heart. How do the roots of a composer influence the culture and music of the host country? What remains of the original cultural context? And what if composer returns from exile, back to his or her home country?

We have selected the poem “The violins” of the Palestinian Poet Mahmoud Darwish as a point of departure. Every new piece should take this poem as a source of inspiration, should reflect on it. This can be literally or less clear. Mahmoud Darkish one of the most important voices in the Arabic poetry world.

The violins
The violins cry with the gypsies going to Andalusia
The violins cry over the Arabs leaving Andalusia
The violins cry for a lost time that won’t return
The violins cry for a lost homeland that might return
The violins burn forests in that far, far darkness
The violins bloody the horizon and smells my blood in the vein
The violins cry with the gypsies going to Andalusia
The violins cry over the Arabs leaving Andalusia

The violins are a horse on a string of delusion and water
The violins are a field of wild lavender that gets far and doesn’t draw near
The violins are a beast, tortured by the nail of a woman that touched it and went away
The violins are an army, building a cemetery from granite and music
The violins are the chaos of hearts gone mad in the wind in the foot of a dancer
The violins are flocks of bird, fleeing an incomplete flag
The violins are the complaint of the wrinkled silk in the night of a lover
The violins are the sound of the faraway wine and its previous desire
The violins sing here and there for revenge against me
The violins search for me everywhere to kill me
The violins cry for the Arabs leaving Andalusia
The violins cry with gypsies going to Andalusia

(Translated from Arabic by Ali Harb)


The Musicians

Amôn Quartet


The Amôn Quartet was formed in 2008 by four fascinating musicians, wishing to pass on, share, and communicate their passion for music. They began at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels in the class of Guy Danel and shortly after joined the training ProQuartet-CEMC in Paris, and residence of the Queen Elizabeth Music Chapel, which allowed them to receive the guidance of the Artemis Quartet, Louis Fima (Arpeggione Quartet), Paul Katz (Cleaveland Quartet), Eberhard Feltz, Valentin Erben et Hatto Beyerlé (Alban Berg Quartet), Vaclav Remes and Joseph Kluson (Prazak Quartet). Recognized in Belgium, Amôn Quartet receives funding from the French community of Belgium.

Since its creation, the Amôn Quartet has strived to create projects involving other arts, such as theater and dance. They played with comedian Ivan Golovin, presenting music and 20th century Russian poetry, and in 2012 participated in the project “DanseXmusic”, hosted by  » La Monnaie « , in association with dancer and teacher Teresa de Keersmaeker. In 2015 the quartet was a part of the world premiere of “Spring Quartet, a piece created by Simon Thierrée, for string quartet and two dancers.

For the Amôn Quartet, it is essential to regularly collaborate with other musicians, and to explore a broad range of repertoire. Among the musicians they have worked with are: Guy Danel (founding member of Danel Quartet), violist Paul De Clerck (professeur at Conservatoire Royal de Bruxelles), clarinetist Jean-Michel Charlier (National Orchestra of Belgium), clarinetist Pierre Génisson (Bretagne Symphony Orchestra),Jeroen Reuling (concertist and professor at Chapelle Musicale Queen Elisabeth)
Since its debut, Amôn Quartet has performed throughout Europe: France (Festival de Saintes, Festival International de Musique de Chambre en Poitou,  Festival “ Musique dans le Grésivaudan”), Belgium (Festival des « Midis-Minimes » of Bruxelles, Festival de l’Eté Mosan), and in Luxembourg (Festival du Château de Bourglinster).

In october 2015, the Quartet was invited to Asia, performing 15 concerts in China and Hong Kong. For their new season of concerts in 2017, they will play in Bozar, Flagey, ( Brussels), Liège, Ostende, Concertgebouw Brugge, tour in Danemark, Poland, Italy, And Sweden, taking part of the MusMa project.

In 2011 the ensemble was laureate in the 25th European Chamber Music Competition of Fnapec in Paris.


Date: 15th March 2017 (location: Flagey, Studio 2)

8.30-12.30 & 19.30-22.30 WORKING SESSIONS OF 5 COMPOSERS

Date: 16th March 2017 (location: Flagey, Studio 2)

10.00 – 11.30 MusMA Partners Meeting 

11.30 – 13.00 Radio Meeting

13.30 – 14.30 Lunch MusMA Partners

20.00 MusMA Concert (Flagey, Studio 1)

major details to be released soon.