Melancholy, a recurring theme in literature and music for several centuries. Our days, it is often related to a state of mind close to sadness, or even depression. But in Dowland’s time, one sought to reach the melancholy state because it allowed one to bring one’s soul closer to the sacred, it was almost a spiritual step, in no way negative. To achieve this state, music and writing were the best mediums. Melancholy is everywhere in Dowland’s music and lyrics. It is sometimes very dark, sometimes almost joyful, and it rhymes with anguish, anger or even hope.
What strikes us with Dowland is also the timelessness of the feelings he expresses and the themes he addresses: the passing of time, the approach of death, the end of love … so many themes that we find in today’s music in various forms.
This recital proposes to mirror Dowland songs with more recent songs, revisiting all of them sometimes in a pure luth-voice version, sometimes adding an electric guitar, a drum, a flute, or colouring it by modern electronic sounds. A sound journey and meditation on the theme of melancholy across centuries and genres, from Dowland to Lana del Rey, Johnny Cash or Metallica, from baroque to rock.
Video extracts of the rehearsal, summer 2019, in the church of Pully