Working between historical sources and the oral tradition, Lucidarium is dedicated to a multicultural approach to early music, bringing the voices of the “others” – those who lived in the shadows of the great institutions – back to life in an entertaining, engaging way designed for 21st century audiences. Although the research for the various projects is the responsibility of its two directors, the final product is developed collectively, the result of rehearsals where each musician is fully involved in the creative process. This combination of cutting-edge research, creativity and an energetic, spontaneous performance-style has brought has brought both popular and critical acclaim to the ensemble.
Lucidarium’s work is currently divided between different projects:Ars Italica, which explores different aspects of Italy’s culture through its music and poetry, and Ars Hebraicae, dedicated to a reconstruction of the soundscape of the Jews in Renaissance Europe. Innovative programs that explore the links between oral and written transmission, the mechanisms that brought tunes, texts, and dances across Europe and beyond are one of the group’s hallmark. In 2012, LUCIDARIUM launched a new project: BABEL, a cross-cultural collaboration with young artists from around the world. THE BABEL PROJECT is an attempt to cut across traditional musical stereotypes – Eastern and Western, old and new, popular and classical, plugged and unplugged – in the search for a new, shared musical language.
Next to performances in prestigious early and classical music series, LUCIDARIUM also makes frequent “crossovers,” playing in Jewish and World music festivals throughout Europe and North America. A selection of past appearances includes: The Boston Early Music Festival, Vienna Konzerthaus/Resonanzen, Holland Early Music Festival/Network (20+ concerts), Santander Festival, Seattle Early Music Guild, Flanders Festival (10+ concerts), Primo Levi Center New York, Regensburg Early Music Festival, York Early Music Festival, Royaumont Foundation (6 concerts), the Ashkenaz Festival (Toronto), Freunde alter Musik Basel, Getty Museum, Jewish Music Festival of the East Bay, Figures Méditerranées” (Radio France), Yiddish Summer Weimar, the Chicago Art Institute, I Concerti della Pietà de’ Turchini (Naples), I Concerti di Palazzo Venezia (live RAI recording), Jewish Summer Festival (Budapest), Les Amis de la Musique Juive (Geneva), Early Music Festival of Velez Blanco, Voix et Route Romane, Toronto Consort Series, Unione Musicale (Torino), the Universities of Arizona, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
In addition to a series of award-winning CDs, LUCIDARIUM made numerous radio recordings and live broadcasts (BBC, Croatian National Radio, Klara, Radio 4 Nederland, RAI3, RSR, RSI, Bayern 4 Klassik, Radio France, etc.) television appearances, as well as documentaries for Dutch, Italian, French and Swiss television.
Recent highlights include two 7-concert tours, one in North America and the other for the Early Music Netwerk in Holland and Belgium; “Hombres de Maiz,” featuring Mexican harpist-vocalist Barbara Ceron for the Festival Caminos at the Quai Branly Ethnographic Museum; “Ninfale” at the Boston Early Music Festival; and “The Babel Project” at Yiddish Summer Weimar, the latter a collaboration with two rising stars on the Jewish/New Music scene, Sasha Lurje and Ilya Shneyveys of the Latvian “Yiddish psychedelic rock” band forshpil. The ensemble’s latest project, Shurùq, is a program exploring the links between the traditional Arab repertoire and the music of the Italian trecento, featuring Osama Abu Arafeh (oud) and Mohammed Ghosheh (violin), two young musicians from the Edward Saïd National Conservatory of Music of Palestine.