More than 4,000 tuned in to "I Muvrini"
The voice of a lost land

I Muvrini
(in concert)
Yann-Fañch Perroches (in concert)


Photo Fred Tanneau.

Photo Fred Tanneau.

More than four thousand people came on Monday evening to the amphitheatre in the Place de la Résistance in Quimper to applaud I Muvrini in the first of the festival's evening concerts. The verdict on these Corsican polyphonics? The public were tremendously impressed, if not gobsmacked.. During the evening I Muvrini, the "mouflons" or wild sheep, shared their passion for the songs of their homeland, Corsica. In the crowd rippled flags showing a moorish head with white head-band, the symbol of a small country, rendered large by dint of the strong affection of its people to their roots, even if their story is not exactly a bed of roses.

So what do they sing, "I Muvrini"?. "Je viens de ces rivages qui n'ont pas su, j'invente un peuple heureux… J'aimerais dire : enfin, il fait beau ce matin". Jean-François Bernardini recited in French, in his strong and beautiful voice, the words of the songs he and his brother would sing. Accompanied by a group of singers and musicians, they hold a hand up to an ear as if to protect the sound isuing from the throat, but also from the soul, a sound as pure and hard as diamond.

These songs are really incantations: powerful, tearing the hot air and showering the summer evening. A male chorus sang then, a dialogue between two borthers Alain and Jean-François, in which contemporary rythms lend even more force to these tunes from the past. The piercing recitations alternate with gutteral songs, tenderness and violence are both there, skin deep.

A touch of humour in an interlude between songs : "I Muvrini" isn't our real surname… We thought of our mother, A famous son would be difficult, so why not two ! But if you put I Muvrini, Bastia on the envelope, it will reach us. There are two people who are always overworked in Corsica - the postman from Bastia and Francis over at Ajaccio. Have you heard of him? He's always full-up - at midday and in the evening. The Corsican polyphonies come from a long secular tradition, but they are firmly rooted in the present.

Michelle Sénant.



Copyright Technopole Quimper Cornouaille France-Ouest 1999