Set on the sign of revival, this 2022 edition of the Festival d’Aix welcomed once again a Medinea session, but whose particularity is to allow 23 improvising musicians -instead of 12 in the past- to participate in what the musical director of this session, Fabrizio Cassol, calls a Collective Odyssey. Together, the young musicians composed and imagined a musical odyssey in several variations, woven around the Mediterranean cultural history.
For many years, the Medinea sessions, have brought together a dozen young improvisers from the Mediterranean basin for a two weeks residency around Fabrizio Cassol, composer, jazz saxophonist and musical director of the Medinea sessions, who guides them in their apprenticeship of collective composition and helps them to put their musical skills into action in order to encourage the exchange of knowledge and learning between peers. On the occasion of the 2022 edition of the Festival d’Aix, the Medinea session returns to the place of its creation, welcoming more musicians than usual, in a larger, more sophisticated and more ambitious format.
This session was, therefore, more ambitious and aimed at experimenting with a new form of learning, an axis dear to the Medinea network. Thus, a session was produced by the Festival d’Aix and the Mediterranean Youth Orchestra in April 2022 in Aix-en-Provence, during which 12 musicians -who had participated in at least 3 sessions in the past- came together to listen to and rework compositions created during previous sessions around the Mediterranean. These 12 musicians came back to Aix-en-Provence in July as young professionals to be joined by other musicians, less experienced, whom they accompanied throughout the two weeks to pass on their knowledge in a side-by-side arrangement.
This is a new step in the pedagogical and artistic support provided during the Medinea sessions. The beginning of a new era for the training of artists as well as for their career development:
-More musicians were able to benefit from this unique learning experience.
-Some were able to enhance their professional experience by having had a training role and acquired transmission skills.
-Others were able to continue their quest for excellence thanks to the collaboration with their Mediterranean counterparts.
The artistic accompaniment of this group included collaboration between young professionals and participants and a prolific artist of the contemporary scene, this year in the person of Claron McFadden, an American soprano who has received multiple distinctions and who has distinguished herself through multiple collaborations with jazz musicians and creative work on traditional Mediterranean songs.
A concert ended this session on 13 July 2022 at the Conservatoire Darius Milhaud and was part of the 5th Season, Aix-en-Provence Biennale. Following this, a concert took place during the Walden Festival on 16 July and was live broadcasted on the Belgian radio Klara.
The Mediterranean Youth Orchestra is supported by the Région Sud.
Photo credit: Vincent Beaume