San Salvador

San Salvador is a musical collective from the village of San-Salvadour in France, that sing in the Occitan language. 

Occitan polyphony is the starting point for the six-voice and percussion collective San Salvador as they embark on their search for universal folklore, rooted in the region’s deep troubadour traditions yet circulating between cultures and musical genres. Their compositions use the Occitan language as a rhythmic instrument, combining poetry with hypnotic vocal harmonies cascading over shifting patterns of compelling percussion to create their own universe.

Trained by Gabriel, the band leader, the singers harmoniously balance the percussion, the clapping of hands, and the voices. Responding to or confronting each other, they alternate whispers and dramatic rises. Drunken rhythms follow slow songs, on various themes: spring, religion or war. There is never any monotony in these interpretations, but rather a real staging of each piece.

In the performance work “La Grande Folie”, they question the myth of an unalterable ‘heritage’, seeking instead “to answer the question of the boundaries between tradition and creation. An answer to those who say that music has a beginning and an end.” It’s a joyful quest that sees them following every path from the crossroads of trance, choral punk, global vocalese and math-rock constructions; modern Occitan troubadours at large in the world.

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