Perpignan: Tres Vents cobla is dead, long live Tres Vents quartants!

“Lack of subsidies and uncertain succession”: according to its founder Olivier Marques, these are some of the reasons that led him to cancel the Tres Vents cobla (2002-2022). Today, he and four other musicians are changing their tune by launching the quartets Tres Vents, a “return to the sources of traditional Catalan music”.

Founded by 53-year-old Olivier Marques over the course of two decades, the cobla, interspersed with shows – surrounded by the training of eleven passionate musicians from the Perpignan Conservatory – gave between 90 and 140 concerts a year. Catalonia. “Aiming to interpret the traditional repertoire with high standards, we performed 75% sardanas, great standards. The remaining 25% is divided between jazz, world music and classical. It’s true, we liked to break the habit and the public followed us faithfully wherever we performed. explains Olivier without feeling nostalgic. “But hey, as of October 1st, Tres Vents and sardines are officially over,” – he says, hardening his tone.

Outdoor summer concert in Catalonia.

We gave ourselves a year’s grace

“We will not lie to each other, but Kobla, despite being a leader in his field, lacked financial resources. “Even if we had given ourselves a respite in 2021, economic reasons forced us to close.” . Olivier Mrarques lets go again “Finally, let’s just say that a few situations didn’t work out for us. The Sardan crowd got old and the youngest of our cobblers started to tire. They offered their services to other formations or groups. Not if they paid better. I doubt it, but I sincerely believe that , I have done my best to ensure that we all receive a fair reward. I also believe that the succession of traditional instrumentalists trained by the Conservatoire of Perpignan is really lacking. Finally, the last point, the Battle for lack of fighters has stopped. When the young people leave, we cannot replace our trumpeters and trombonists we lost. Not to mention the drastically reduced subsidies…”

After leaving the Conservatoire of Perpignan in the 2000s, when cobla started.

After leaving the Conservatoire of Perpignan in the 2000s, when cobla started.

However, Olivier and his tough core of four veterans and friends from Tres Vents decided to get back on track. “Come back”, he insists. “We release a new cob from Roussillon, more culturally authentic, back to the source, to the roots. From now on, we will be found at fairs, festivals, markets, mass events and mass walks… Audiences will be able to listen to it or discover it. fralla, tarota, flabiol and drum, also Catalan sticks called “Sacs de jamecs”. All in an inpatient station or in an outpatient clinic.

Tres Vents in Upper Canton.

Tres Vents in Upper Canton.

Vincent Vidalou, professor of traditional music at the Conservatoire: “Tres Vents will celebrate its era”

After the famous Max Havart as the head of the traditional Catalan music department, Vincent Vidalu, the gold medalist of the conservatory, expressed his thoughts. “unfortunately” By studying the melting of cobla created by Olivier Marques. Which is still according to the teacher “will be on time”. But he also saysI was a little surprised by this news”given “economic context” it pushes the cobbles of Roussillon”struggling to make ends meet.” He reminds “The Aging of Sardanist Organizers” whose average age is turning “Between 70 and 80 years old” as well as “the ability to adapt to public demand.” According to him, the heyday and golden age of professional coblons was in the 1980s, with summer tours.It can go up to more than 90 dates.“Finally, Vincent Vidalou, who trains 90 students a year in the study and technique of traditional Catalan instruments (table, flaviol, gralla, tarot among others), its part considers that“It takes about ten years to become a professional musician, but once they graduate, young people prefer a steady job to trying to live out their passion.”

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