- Chan Centre EXP
- Tarta Relena
"This is music of primal essence and unnameable longing, full of frequencies that seem to tap an ancient ache in one’s bones"Pitchfork
Co-presented with Vancouver New Music
Catalan duo Tarta Relena reimagines song traditions across generations and geographies. Making their Vancouver debut, contralto Marta Torrella and soprano Helena Ros effortlessly blend modern and ancient sounds into spellbinding harmonies and hypnotic polyphony. Drawing from Gregorian chants, Mediterranean folk music, and songs from Crete, Corsica, Mallorca and Menorca, the vocal duo sings the stories of powerful, mythic women from Hildegard of Bingen and Virgin Mary to the Paixu tribe of women in Afghanistan.
For Tarta Relena, folk music is a living, mutable form — at once connected to the past, but simultaneously moving toward new futures. The duo’s magic lies in their live performances, which channel the stark simplicity of haunting vocal techniques derived from flamenco, traditional, and jazz, laced with subtle, pulsing electronics, and percussive patterns on a ceramic amphora. Tarta Relena have released three acclaimed albums, Ora Pro Nobis, Intercede Pro Nobis, and Fiat Lux, in which they sing in multiple languages ranging from Spanish, Catalan, and Greek, to Latin, English, and even the Judeo-Spanish language of Ladino, also known as Sefardí. Though the origins of their songs can be millennia old, “their vision of folk is no museum piece; it is contemporary, alive, and buzzing with portent.” (Pitchfork)