Yann-Arthus Bertrand has agreed to lend his images from the sky to violinist and composer Yann-Gaël Poncet for Shajara, a worldwide musical creation that defends an environmental cause.
This is exceptional: the famous photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand gave access to all his image banks, coming from the documentaries of his series Vue du ciel as well as other unpublished videos to accompany in images Shajara, a musical creation by violinist, singer and composer Yann-Gaël Poncet.
It was played for the first time on 2 August at the Chartreuse d’Aillon in the heart of the Massif des Bauges Regional Natural Park (Savoie) before a tour of Europe and the Maghreb countries.
Poetry of the verb and beauty of the image
On stage, six musicians and the Tunisian singer-poet Mounir Troudi, great voice of the Arab world, who interprets a text of a Sufi poet of the Middle Ages speaking “of love and and fusion between space and man”. During the concert, the images of Yann Arthus-Bertrand – especially those shot in Morocco and Algeria – are projected on an eight-metre screen.
The tree at the heart of the show
If Yann Arthus-Bertrand agreed to participate in this creation, it is not a coincidence.Because beyond the musical aspect, there is a commitment of Yann-Gael Poncet linked to the protection of nature. In Arabic Shajara means tree. At the heart of the musician’s artistic project is the desire to recall “the importance of the tree in a world that is deserting”.
Music, ecology and humanism
The musician is an environmental activist. To the question: “How to change the world on my scale?” , he replied in music with a concept, the Transcontinental (TNL’s). Its objective: to meet traditional cultures and low-profile communities to create shows involving musicians from the countries concerned.
NTL’s has become a family of projects that now includes three creations. The first, called Calypso and launched in 2011, was dedicated to Costa Rica. The second, Charango (2014), focused on the problems of the Andean community in Argentina and the third Shajara intends to participate in the fight against desertification in the world and particularly in the Maghreb (90% of Morocco’s land, 75% of Tunisia’s land is threatened).
Modernity and tradition
Each time, the process of creation is the same: violin in hand, Yann-Gaël Poncet carries out a journey of immersion in the chosen country, to meet, exchange and collect sounds and images. Next comes the writing work from these samples. It leads to the creation of a living show that embodies the meeting of electro-jazz and traditional music.
“It’s a modern music that comes from what we’ve been looking for in the field.”
~ Yann-Gaël Poncet
The power of images
Each show is accompanied in images with videos made by Yann-Gaël Poncet during immersion trips. Sahajra breaks this rule.
“Now I find myself sympathizing with Yann Arthus-Bertrand. He has done an extraordinary job of showcasing the planet and showing us the richness of what it is. His images are tapered.”
~ Yann-Gaël Poncet
The Sahajara tour will offer 13 concerts on two continents for the year 2020.