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Moodio TV, 2008

In SECRET MASSES, Eric Sleichim presents a unique program for saxophone quartet and voices based on the forbidden masses and gradualia of William Byrd (1543-1623). When in 1534 the Act of Supremacy was issued by King Henry VIII, the English Church split from Rome and became an independent state-church. With the introduction of the Edwardian Book of Common Prayer, the state-church received an explicit Protestant character. William Byrd, a Catholic who was for a mere part of his life employed by the Court, would closely experience the effects of the political events. Ca. 1580 the persecution of Christians had severe consequences. Many important Catholics were being executed. These events did not withhold Byrd from composing several Catholic masses. This music was to be performed though in highly secrecy. Leaving from this clandestine atmosphere, BL!NDMAN presents you its Byrd-program.

Eric Sleichim: artistic direction, concept and arrangements
Marnix De Cat: rehearsal director

BL!NDMAN [sax]
Koen Maas: soprano saxophone
Roeland Vanhoorne: alto saxophone
Piet Rebel: tenor saxophone
Raf Minten: baritone saxophone

BL!NDMAN [vox]
Griet De Geyter: soprano
Gunther Vandeven: counter tenor
Kevin Skelton: tenor
Tiemo Wang: bass

SECRET MASSES is a BL!NDMAN production commissioned by the Festival of Flanders Bruges (MAfestival 2008), in co-production with the Brigittines (Centre for Contemporary Art-Movement and Voice, of the City of Brussels) as part of BL!NDMAN’s [vox] residency at the Brigittines in 2008/2009.
With thanks to Peter Vanheyghen, Percussion Group The Hague, Gemma Jansen and Eric Decossaux.