Into The Winds: Recording Medieval Dances from the 15th Century

Into The Winds recently recorded a series of dances from the 15th century for "La danse médiévale" project. The request aligned perfectly with their recent research on their first album "Le parfait danser," set to release in May.


The ensemble Into The Winds, known for playing rare instruments such as shawms, sackbut and slide trumpet along with percussions, was asked to record a few pieces for Catherine Ingrassia and Christophe Deslignes‘ project.


They will be focusing on the first sources of dancing from the 15th century… Which matches Into The Wind’s upcoming album perfectly: ‘Le Parfait Danser’!


One unique aspect of this project is its emphasis on the dancer…


Interpretation choices are made in real-time based on choreographic experimentation during the recording.


Dancers wear historical costumes to experience specific constraints or degrees of freedom, unique to the attire used during each dance.


…Microphones were even placed on the floor to capture the sound of footsteps and fabrics during the recording!


The basses-danses repertoire in the 15th century poses a unique challenge, requiring additional work to reconstruct the counterpoint, which was completed by Christophe Deslignes.


Only long melodic phrases, known as “teneurs,” were preserved in manuscripts or treatises, while other voices were improvised by musicians during the dance. Christophe proposed rewriting the missing voices based on the constraints specific to their instruments.

The ensemble recorded a handful of pieces, which will be combined with recordings from other vocal and instrumental ensembles participating in the project.


The project will also include a book describing the sources and choreographies put into practice during the recording!


Overall, the project offers a fascinating glimpse into the world of 15th-century dance, with an innovative approach to historical dance interpretation.

Can’t wait to share more about it!

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