Cerbère, a few stops from Portbou where Walter Benjamin took his own life, experienced a period of prosperity at the start of the XXth century due to its station. Holidaymakers travelled though it up until the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. This concert is an exaltation of popular traditions, means of access to Catalonia and audio accounts of the town and those that live there.
Inaugurated in 1932, the Belvédère du Rayon Vert hotel in Cerbère was the first ever building to be made with reinforced concrete. The architect Léon Baille based its design on steamers of the time. The building accounts for the title of the piece Variations Belvédère by Pierre-Yves Macé. In it, we find a mixture of sardanes et contrapàs, certain Cançons i danses by Federico Mompou, an old recording of La Santa Espina (an anti-fascist hymn made illegal by Franco), as well as a music documentary featuring the spoken voice of a female inhabitant of the village of Cerbère. She evokes its history, and in particular the many dances that were held in its main square. Alessandro Bosetti also explores the sardane, via spoken voice recordings, including those with whom he learned this dance. He also investigates its musical dimension, the counting of the beats of the instrumental ensemble, known as the cobla, and from which are derived the steps, long and short. In a prelude to these two new works, and which shares with them a similar interest in Mediterranean cultures, will be Naturale by Luciano Berio. This piece transcribes, analyses and deconstructs lullabies and work songs from various regions in Sicily. We thus find ourselves once again surrounded by dance and music, together with recordings of the voice, from 1968 onwards, of Peppino Celano, in his revelry of market songs.