Amor Lontano – Musical Culture at the Court of Emperor Friedrich II of the Hohenstaufen Dynasty

Friedrich II was probably one of the most enigmatic, successful and remarkable rules in German history.  Speaking various languages - but, curiously, only a little German - he loved above all Arabian poetry which had been at its zenith in his home country of Sicily. Provençal troubadours and German minnesingers were permanent guests at his court and accompanied him on his numerous journeys. The court in Palermo was a center of culture and scholarship beyond compare.

ESTAMPIE has reawakened this multicultural focus and the melting together of various styles along with Arabic musicians to create a program that recreates the music as it would have been heard in the courts of the great Staufen King.   For this purpose, two tried and tested colleagues from Morocco have joined the group: the excellent kanun and oud player Aziz Samsaoui and the fantastic vocalist Iman Kandoussi. In this manner, the distant mirror of the Middle Ages tells stories from the beloved homeland, from joy, from sacrafices and the melancholy in exile, and from the perpetual possibility music has to build bridges and incorporate something new into one’s own world.

Secrets of the North – Scandinavian Ballads of the Middle Ages

Estampie goes North...with this new program, the ensemble takes listeners on a journey to a fascinating, boreal world of sound. The nordic ballads tell tales of knights, trolls, and mountain kings, of enchanted nightingales, magic horses, and dancing bears. As in fairy tales and fables, animals reflect the multifaceted strengths of man, with magical beings such as elves and mermaids intervening in their destinies.

Estampie will whisk you away into the timeless Nordic world of love, betrayal, and longing, spinning silver, musical threads and teaching us once again to wonder and marvel in amazement.

The fascinating voices of the singers, who slip in and out of different roles in this bizarre world of fairy tales, lead the listener multifariously through these melodic worlds, weaving and sounding as if they were just conceived. Abundant instrumentals with their groovy, thrilling, wild dances and intuitive interludes allow the virtuosic instrumentalists their time in the spotlight.

“Between a glistening Midsummer Night and a wintery darkness. An album full of exciting facets.” - Peter Heymann, Sonic Seducer

“Estampie not only rediscovers the secret magic of Scandinavia - they recreate it as something new. In both senses legendary!” - Christoph Kutzer, Miroque

Marco Polo – The Sounds of the Silk Road

ESTAMPIE, together with musicians from the East, searches for mutual roots in this contemporary Crossover Project.  Their musical journey along the Silk Road is one of discovery, as it was for Marco Polo: a research project of the original unity and resonances between the European middle ages and the musical traditions of the Orient.

With this program, ESTAMPIE encounters musicians from Persia, India, and Mongolia, and just as one does while traveling, they journey on together musically.  Songs from various cultures weave themselves together and result in a new musical language; a slideshow with expressive pictures from Asia expert Bruno Baumann offers an intensive, optic framework.

“Dazzling voices, brilliant percussion, excellent expertise on medieval and oriental instruments in combination with the photo projection to create an overall work of art.” - Deutschland Radio (German Radio)

Ondas – Waves – Medieval Songs of the Mediterranean

Over the course of multiple centuries, the Mediterranean region was THE cultural melting pot whose radiance spanned far over the directly bordering countries (Spain, France, Italy) through to mid- and northern Europe.  The influence of the deliberating Arabic culture brought incredible innovations to the the areas of art and science. In the field of music, new instruments, a comprehensive music theory, and new musical forms (Troubadour and Minne lyrics) were developed.  

Estampie presents the music of the Mediterranean region in it’s program ONDAS, in which the the worlds of sound from Europe and the Orient meet and melt together in a fascinating musical world.  The lyric of the troubadours and trouvères, the famous songs of wonder: the Cantigas de Santa Maria, Italian laude, as well as Arabic and Jewish instrumental music combine themselves in a fascinating kaleidoscope of foreign musical cultures.   

“A stirring homage to life and love, borne on the dynamic and rhythmic momentum of the instrumentalists who kindle an iridescent fire of sound.  A heavenly experience of early ‘world music’ from an ancient time.” - Mittelbayerische Zeitung (Mid-Bavarian Newspaper)

Gaude gloriosa – Sacred and polyphonic Music of the Middle Ages

ESTAMPIE dedicates itself to the sacred music of the Middle Ages where the “vox humana” takes center stage; the voice through which, according to contemporary belief, the human soul can be examined; surrounding it, the vielle, harp, lute, and flutes, contributing to the monumental versatility of medieval music.  And yet, the primal core of the sung word will not be brought into question, it’s tangibility nor expressivity unaffected.  The arrangements are sparing and delicate, the voices of the singers developing in the sacral room.  

With this program, ESTAMPIE follows the conviction not only to provide a sensational “Event”, but to simply offer the originality and clarity that the size and depth of medieval music make tangible and enable the listener an intense experience.

“Estampie challenges listeners to open themselves to a music that can barely be described with words.  Sounds from another time, another world, and yet still new.” - Bingener Zeitung (Bingen Newspaper)