Music. Pêr Vari Kervarec, “Enacting, Telling, Transmitting These Stories”
They are in their thirties, not steeped in the Breton language or culture from a very young age, but they have become its ambassadors. Their musical work has taken them from collections to archives, from history to art, and they don’t intend to stop there. Journal Breton people It invites you to follow these artists, music bootleggers, self-discovery talents. A section of portraits to sing and songs to discover!
32-year-old singer and hack originally from Bannalec, he has already played his shows in dozens of cities in France and Europe. the successes of Blood and aonof Noah and A people’s memory Exceeded all expectations of the former bagad caller from Lann-Bihoué. For him, Breton history is alive and resonates with our modern world.
Unearthing forgotten songs
At first glance, his business studies did not immediately lead him to historical research and the discovery of forgotten songs from the Breton repertoire. However, he now works regularly in the department’s archives, and has even been contacted to set up representations around him Barzaz Breiz and the work of La Villemarque.
” The trigger was the death of my grandmother during Covid. We didn’t have the right to say goodbye to him or give him a proper burial. I couldn’t mourn and I became interested in funerals in Brittany. I discovered the importance of legends and myths about death. I let the texts, the music, and the people I met surprise me. »
After his arrest, he produced a show on the subject, then an album dedicated to the memory of those who disappeared during Covid. ” As a trio, we revisited traditional songs. But what interested me more than anything else was reviving, telling and passing on these stories ».
Research it, document it, get to know it…to better pass it on in turn
Three young musicians encountering unexpected success prompts them to revamp their formula. ” What interested me and Noah were the Celtic traditions around the winter solstice. Not only Christmas festivities, but also dances, festive aspects and dark tales around this period, called the “black months” in Breton. ». The winter of 2021 is the winter of sanctity for Pêr Vari: “ Almost a show a day, almost everywhere Brittany ». It has reached the point that the heads of the administrative archives are applying to build a show on it Barzaz Breiz.
” I warned from the beginning that I am not interested in seeing what has already been done, taking inspiration from it, or using it as a basis for a political claim. ». There again, Pêr Vari examines documents and books; he gets to know personalities and bears witness.
” The common thread became the importance of culture, whatever it may be. What angers me is France’s treatment of the Breton language and people. It joins the universal thought about the place of so-called minority cultures. »
He listens to Pêr Vari on a daily basis gwerziwheretraditional songs, the fruits of collections, especially on the Dastum site. ” I listen more and more to other types of music. At the moment, for example, I am passionate about Armenian music ». Language barrier? Pêr Vari does not believe this. ” Long before I learned Breton at the age of 27, I felt significant emotions listening to Breton music ».
One foot in traditions, one foot in today’s realities
A memory smuggler, Finistrian unlocks forgotten texts and music and gives them meaning and life. One foot in traditions, one foot in today’s realities.
” I am currently working with pianist Caroline Faget on marriage, a mark left by women in the history of our region.*. The opportunity to discover or rediscover important figures, but also to see differently the world in which I thrived and inequalities persisted, no matter what people said.. »
Anchored in reality, she also holds down her job as a college supervisor. ” I like shows, tours. I’ve already tasted it with Lann-Bihoué luggage, but I have to ask myself to keep firm criteria. ».
* Also read: our file “Breton Matriarchy? »
in the magazine Breton people From June 2022.