Occitan polyphony is the starting point for this six-voice and percussion collective as they embark on their search for universal folklore, rooted in the region’s deep troubadour traditions yet circulating between cultures and musical genres. Their compositions use the Occitan language as a rhythmic instrument, combining poetry with hypnotic vocal harmonies cascading over shifting patterns of compelling percussion.
Areas of Representation: North and South America, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and China.
Occitan polyphony is the starting point for this six-voice and percussion collective as they embark on their search for universal folklore, rooted in the region’s deep troubadour traditions yet circulating between cultures and musical genres. Their compositions use the Occitan language as a rhythmic instrument, combining poetry with hypnotic vocal harmonies cascading over shifting patterns of compelling percussion to create their own universe.
Trained by Gabriel, the band leader, the singers harmoniously balance the percussion, the clapping of hands, and the voices. Responding to or confronting each other, they alternate whispers and dramatic rises. Drunken rhythms follow slow songs, on various themes: spring, religion or war. There is never any monotony in these interpretations, but rather a real staging of each piece.
In the performance work ‘La Grande Folie’, they question the myth of an unalterable ‘heritage’, seeking instead ‘to answer the question of the boundaries between tradition and creation. An answer to those who say that music has a beginning and an end’. It’s a joyful quest that sees them following every path from the crossroads of trance, choral punk, global vocalese and math-rock constructions; modern Occitan troubadours at large in the world.
Future Tour Dates
|Jan 12, 2020
|New York, NY USA
|Jan 9, 2020
|Washington, DC USA
|Jan 13, 2019
|New York, NY USA
- Songlines Magazine May 2020 – Feature on San Salvador
From Corrèze to the World
Mark Sampson chats to the dynamic French vocal sextet San Salvador during a brief moment at home in south-west France following a whirlwind 18 months of international touring.
From the tiny hamlet in which this group of childhood friends rehearse, you look across verdant, rolling pastures to the Monédière hills on the ...
“…rich chords, call-and-response, drone-backed dissonances, microtonally inflected incantations, complex counterpoint, hocketing, propulsive unison refrains — delivered with handclaps, drumbeats and full-throated vehemence.” – NEW YORK TIMES
“The performance of this Occitan vocal ensemble made a huge impact on the delegates at WOMEX in Las Palmas last October. Their pulsating polyphonies accompanied by clapping and percussive rhythms created a hypnotic experience where the audience were steadily drawn into a trance.” – SONGLINES (download full interview)
“a slick, rousing young six-piece whose thrilling polyphonic harmony singing is backed by pounding percussion.” – THE GUARDIAN
“The evening was rounded off by more energetic vocals from French a cappella group San Salvador. Rousing, sonorous and deep they sent people off into the night glowing inside.” Review of WOMAD2019 – SONGLINES
<< La musique tribale des Corréziens de San Salvador monte en un long crescendo puis explose avec fureur>>.
“The tribal music of the Corréziens of San Salvador, goes up in a long crescendo then explodes with fury.”
<< Six chanteurs-musiciens font ainsi revivre l’atmosphère d’un bal populaire à travers le chant polyphonique qui sort de entrailles>>.
“Six singers-musicians thus revive the atmosphere of a popular dance through polyphonic singing that comes from deep within.”
– L’ECHO DE LA CORREZE
<<Entre autre coups de coeur, à retenir les variations polyphonique toutes de finesse de San Salvador, un groupe de jeunes très prometteurs venus de Corrèze, lesquels réinventent totalement ce type de musique>>.
“Among other favorites, we remember the polyphonic variations done with great finesse from San Salvador, a group of very promising young people from Corrèze, who totally reinvent this type of music.”
– LA DÉPÊCHE
<<Un étonnant sextet armé de ses seules voix et de quelques percussions, notez bien leur nom>>.
“An amazing sextet armed with only their voices and some percussion; note their name.”
Feature article in Songlines magazine – May 2020 – Download PDF (1.9MB)
“San Salvador had the audience in the palms of their hands – they were welcomed with a standing ovation as they walked onto the stage for their second performance of the weekend, having developed a devoted following in less than a day. Their performances are electrifying, thrilling to the bone. The intensity of their music mesmerizes and makes the hair on your arm stand straight up. Their intricate and ever-changing rhythmic and melodic cadences are mind-blowing, enrapturing. They are, hands down, in my top five best Lotus Festival artist performances of the past 30 years.”
– Tamara Loewenthal, Artistic Director, Lotus Education and Arts Foundation, Bloomington, IN – Sep. 2023