SongRoutes Corsica

May 26-June 7 2025 - Corsica

with Jean-Étienne Langiani, Frederic Vesperini, Cathy Graziani, Lysander Jaffe, Sophie Michaux & Adam Jacob Simon

REGISTRATION WILL OPEN

 

SongRoutes Corsicawill be an intensive 13 day exploration of traditional Corsican Polyphony. Led by musical tradition bearers - Jean-Étienne Langiani, Frederic Vesperini and Cathy Graziani, this adventure will open new pathways to understanding this rich, unique and beautiful polyphony tradition. Lysander Jaffe, Sophie Michaux and Adam Jacob Simon will help us understand, break down and rehearse the songs during our practice sessions.Lysander, Sophie and Adam will also teach us a set of ensemble pieces from other vocal traditions to round out our concert offerings to our Corsican audiences. 
This intensive workshop will take place primarily in Canari where we will sing and eat at our home base of I Fioretti, a convent that was founded in 1506 and converted to a retreat centre in 2003. We will hold classes and eat our meals at I Fioretti and singers will either be housed at I Fioretti or share airbnbs that are all within walking distance. Canari will be our home base for the whole trip but we will be taking several day trips to visit nearby towns and beaches. We will spend 2 days in the middle of the trip in the seaside town of Ajaccio where we will learn from and perform with Spartimu.
Through the partnership, inspiration and mentorship of  Village Harmony SongRoutes is thrilled to be able to return to Corsica and we are working with Village Harmony's Director Patty Cuyler on the logistics and planning of this trip.

Dates: May 26-June 7 2025
Where: Canari & Ajaccio, Corsica
Teachers: Jean-Étienne Langianni, Frederic Vesperini, Cathy Graziani, Lysander Jaffe, Sophie Michaux & Adam Jacob Simon
Price: $2000 USD + $125 USD Registration Fee + GST (based on double or triple occupancy)
OR
$2375 USD + $125 USD Registration Fee + GST (based on single accommodation for 10 days in Canari and shared accommodations in Ajaccio. If you require a single room in Ajaccio (2 nights) there will be an extra fee and this will depend on availability)
Price includes full tuition, accommodations, all meals in Canari (10 days), breakfasts in Ajaccio, ground transportation within Corsica and three pre-trip study sessions with Lysander.
Does not include transportation to and from Corsica and a few meals will be on your own in Ajaccio.

SongRoutes Corsica

Corsican Music - What to Expect

Traditional Corsican Polyphony is challenging music with elaborate ornamentation and precise intonation. We will be learning this music by ear and singers will need to be confident enough to sing one on a part in a small ensemble.

Below are some examples of this beautiful polyphonic tradition.

Secular Music

A Filetta - Paghiella

Tavagna - Terzetti di Russia

Sacred Music

Jacky Micaelli, Jean-Etienne Langianni, Marie-Ange Geronimi

Kyrie/Sanctus/Agnus Dei

Spatimu - Agnus Dei

Teaching Method

We will mostly be learning by ear but we will also use some written music. Here are some examples of what the music might look like.

Jean-Étienne Langiani

Jean-Étienne Langianni is a well-known singer, composer and teacher across Europe, is at home as much with contemporary popular music and all periods of European classical chant as he is with the traditional folk and sacred polyphony of his native Corsica. He leads workshops of Corsican singing both in Corsica and throughout western Europe. A member of Tavagna (the Corsican folk music group) and Organum (the ancient music ensemble led by Marcel Peres), he is a talented composer whose works reveal a deep understanding of Corsican folk and sacred music.


Frederic Vesperini


Lysander Jaffe

Lysander Jaffe is a violinist, violist, and vocalist based in Boston. Equally at home in classical music, traditional music, and cross-genre projects, he has appeared at venues such as the Kennedy Center and Shalin Liu and on national television in Kosovo, Greece, and Georgia. Lysander holds a Masters in Contemporary Improvisation from New England Conservatory, where he studied styles ranging from free improvisation to Hindustani music with Warren Senders, Joe Morris, and many others. He is a Co-Artistic Director of the chamber orchestra Palaver Strings and a founding member of Culomba vocal ensemble. Lysander has worked with masters of traditional music in Corsica, Bulgaria, Kosovo, Greece, and Georgia, and has twice received the MA Cultural Council's Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Grant to support his work on the music of Epirus, Greece. He has taught with Village Harmony since 2013 and toured internationally with its affiliate ensemble Northern Harmony, and currently serves as Artistic Director of Boston Harmony, SingPositive, and Congregation Kahal B'raira. For more information, visit lysanderjaffe.com


Teaching Assistants

Lexi Ugelow

Lexi Ugelow is a lifelong learner and lover of intergenerational community singing. She is a professional singer, a song writer and tours with groups such as Culomba, Road Dogs, and Northern Harmony, performing and teaching workshops to adults and children. While currently working towards a Masters in Expressive Arts Therapies, she is the music director of the Boston based community choir Sing Positive, and founder and organizer of EAWS, an expressive arts workshop series at Lesley University. Her interests and experience with music spans from funk, to world folk music, to classical and her heart really lies with anything a capella. A firm believer that our bodies are our instruments, she encourages the practice of non-judgement during exploration of musical play.


Liam Kantor

Liam Kantor is a vocalist and instrumentalist based in Evanston, IL. From an early age, he was steeped in the world of traditional music, learning fiddle tunes and folk dances from his teachers and family alike. During the pandemic, he spent a year in Marshfield, VT, working with the world music organization, Village Harmony, to organize workshops and perform online concerts with their touring ensemble, Northern Harmony. Currently pursuing a degree in ethnomusicology, Liam's musical interests span a wide range of traditional folk styles from around the world with a focus on New England-style and Celtic fiddle music and traditional ballads of those regions. Liam has a particular passion for finding ways to bring people into community through art and, particularly those who might not think to find connection through art. Thus, drawn to community-based musical traditions, he finds himself most at home singing in choirs, playing in jam sessions, and trading songs around campfires.


Karla Mundy

Karla Mundy is a vibrant, soulful and diverse vocalist, pianist, arranger and choir leader. Karla directs Rhythm ‘n’ Roots and Harmony Mountain Singers in Vancouver, the City Soul Choir and the Island Soul Choir on Vancouver Island. Karla leads harmony singing workshops throughout BC and organizes many singing camps, workshops and singing study trips abroad. Karla is a founding member of the No Sh!t Shirleys, TriVo, Cleia, Plough,  Tanglewood Trio and Big Whoop! Karla is passionate about teaching harmony singing, getting the music off the page and digging deep into new musical territory.

Karla has been running singing tours since 2017 and has taken groups to Cuba, North Carolina, Ireland and New Orleans. Karla has teamed up with Patty Cuyler from Village Harmony to lead tours in South Africa, Cuba and the Republic of Georgia. She is thrilled to be taking a group to Corsica with the guidance and help of Patty Cuyler!


Organizers

Patty Cuyler

Born in California, educated at Princeton University, long-time resident of Vermont and currently living in Chicago, IL, Patty is an energetic, dynamic workshop leader and choral director and is internationally-renowned for her expertise in teaching Corsican, Georgian and South African music. She has been co-director of Village Harmony since 1995 and over the years spear-headed the expansion of the organization’s reach into the four corners of the globe.

 

 

 


Karla Mundy

see above!

Schedule

CANARI - June 13-23

June (12th) 13th - Our program officially begins on June 13th with a session with Lysander, Lexi and Liam. However, people can arrive on June 12th. June 12th will be a busy day of picking up rental cars, getting groceries and setting up the spaces for cooking, eating and singing.  Extra sets of helpful hands will be wonderful! We will spend some time getting to know our immediate surroundings and the town.

June 14-16th (morning) - We will work intensively with Jean-Étienne Langiani. We will sing for 5-7 hours a day on the Wed & Thur and then spend the Friday morning reviewing what we have learned.

June 16th (evening)-June 18th - we will work with Frederic Vesperini for 2.5 intensive days.

June 19-20 - working with Lysander, Liam, Lexi and Karla, we will dive into practicing what we have been learning. We will work on incorporating our new learnings, getting lots of chances to sing it on our own and getting more comfortable with the repertoire. On these days we will also enjoy some time off with local sightseeing and a trip to Bastia and possibly to another nearby town.

June 21-22 - we will continue to rehearse during the day and at night we will perform! We will present a concert in the town of Canari and a nearby village in the evenings. Of course, we will celebrate post concert!

AJACCIO

June 23-25 - we will drive all the way to Ajaccio with stops along the way. We will check into our seaside hotel and spend the Friday evening exploring. On Saturday June 24th we will have a workshop and performance with Frederic's ensemble - Spartimu. That will be our official last night and we will have our big celebration that night. On Sunday June 25th, we will say our goodbyes and make our way back to the airport!

 

 

Accommodations

CANARI - June 13-23

In Canari, the group will be split up between I Fioretti and three near by AirBnBs. Most of the room set ups at the AirBnBs are geared towards single rooms or couples while the rooms at I Fioretti will be used more for shared spaces.


I Fioretti

We will be studying and eating our meals at I Fioretti so it will be our main home base for our time in Canari. The accommodations there are split between small apartments and former simple convent accommodations.

You can read all about it HERE

 


AirBnBs

To supplement our accommodations and to give us lots of space, we will have three full homes rented. They are all within a short walking distance to I Fioretti and we will have the whole home to ourselves. There will be about 5-6 people in each place


AJACCIO

 

June 23-25 

In Ajaccio we will all be staying at the Hotel Fesch and Spa.

This hotel is in the old city, has a rooftop pool and, yes, a spa! We will have some time off while in Ajaccio so you can spend some time enjoying the town, the spa, the beach... Breakfast is included! The rooms here are more set up for sharing so if you require your own room for these two nights, let me know and I will see if we can book another room (for an additional cost)


FOOD

While in Canari we will be eating our meals at I Fioretti (with a potential restaurant outing here and there). In Ajaccio, our breakfast will be provided by the hotel and we will be on our own for the other meals for those 2 days.
Sora Harris-Vincent and Riss Buie will be our fearless food leaders for this trip! They will be planning our meals, spearheading the cooking and helping to oversee our daily volunteers in the kitchen.
This will be Sora and Riss' second time in Corsica as menu planners and cooks for the program and they are so excited to be returning to Corsica to join this team and musical adventure!

Sora Harris-Vincent

Sora Harris-Vincent is a postpartum doula, lactation consultant, and singer based in Minneapolis. Having grown up in Vermont and a member of the singing group Village Harmony since she was 12 years old, community singing is an integral part of Sora's life. Sora has travelled and toured internationally with Northern Harmony, Village Harmony, and is a member of the Boston based group Culomba, and has taught singing camps and workshops for singers of all ages. Whether it's at home with her wife Riss or in the homes of clients, Sora is often in the kitchen creating delicious and nutritious plant-based food while singing and writing new songs to sing with friends. In recent years Sora has taken on the role of menu planner and grocery shopper for many of the Village Harmony summer camps and loves the creativity that is required for feeding large groups of people. Graciously accepting the title once given by a friend of  "Food Doula", Sora is thrilled to be returning to Corsica for the third time to coordinate, organize, and cook food for this trip of singers!

Riss Buie

Riss Buie is an improviser, recipe tester, cook, and baker from and currently living in Minneapolis, MN. While her true passion lies in sourdough bread baking, Riss can be found in the kitchen baking bagels, cookies, and croissants, fermenting veggies from her garden, and teaching baking classes on Zoom. Previous to working as a baker in Minneapolis, Riss was the kitchen manager and a recipe tester for Buzzfeed Tasty in Los Angeles. With experiences working in a variety of food settings, as well as having a comedy and theater background, Riss brings humor and a wide breadth of knowledge into any kitchen setting. Her first trip to Corsica was back in 2018 when she spent three wonderful and busy weeks making food for a Village Harmony camp of 45 people. While Riss' primary focus and joy is all things food, she is also a singer and loves learning and singing songs while cooking with friends. Riss can't wait to get back to Corsica to cook alongside her wife, Sora, in the adorably tiny kitchens of I Fioretti.