“Chansons de fou”, a transversal composition by Jan Van Landeghem & Emile Verhaeren

The “Chansons de Fou” were composed using 7 poems from “Les Campagnes Hallucinées” by Emile Verhaeren.

The  “Chansons de Fou” were symbolic pamphlets, with a strong emotional charge that nevertheless bring a very contemporary message. Written in 1893 (the year that multiple voting rights were introduced), they carry in them the misery of the rural population. These dispossessed people fruitlessly sought their consolation in cities that were already rapidly expanding due to industrialisation.

The “Gesamtkunstwerk” unfolds over an hour and a half performed by
soprano solo (Emilie De Voght), violin and viola (Jenny Spanoghe), organ solo and composition (Jan Van Landeghem) and the “Landini string quartet” (Bence Abraham & Eva Pusker, Paul De Clerck, Herwig Coryn).

The young Greek choreographer Alexis Kyriakoulis directs the dancers of the “La Verita” dance company.  The poems will be illustrated by both the projection of symbolic canvases from the time of Verhaeren and by current press photos.

Jan Van Landeghem brings a universal text, which is too little known, to a powerful contemporary setting. The poems of Emile Verhaeren are some of the literary highlights of the Flemish poets, regardless that Verhaeren wrote in French, the official language at the time.

Jan Van Landeghem has been working on this project for 5 years under the inspirational guidance of Prof. dr. David Gullentops of the VUB, Prof. dr. Kathleen Coessens of the Royal Conservatory Brussels and the VUB and Prof. dr. Peter Swinnen of the Royal Conservatory Brussels.
There will also be  a performance in the church of Sint-Amands, the birth place of Emile Verhaeren, on 30th of September at 8.30 pm as well as in the Nicolaaskerk (Sint-Niklaas) on 6th of October at 8 pm.