Tra Noi

Laurent | Suzan | Marilena | Gerda | Françoise | Elisabeth | Helen | Gabriele | Thanks | interview Tra Noi

With Tra Noi, we share our love for A Filetta, here you will find the stories of some fans of A Filetta that are in one way or another linked with Tra Noi:

Issa lingua di i mei grazia à voi fù quella
Chì incantava le sere di a mio zitellina
Issa lingua di i mei grazia à voi fù bella
Quarit’un’alba di maghju, un sfogu d’albaspina
This language of my people has -through your doing-
Bewitched the evenings of my sweet childhood
This language -through your doing- seemed to me
Like a sunrise in may, like a bunch of hawthorn

1st couplet of Tra Noi from the album Si Di Mè

“Tra Noi” – Si di mè

After several meetings with the seven singers and Valérie (who we definitely must not forget!!!) I am always aware of their modesty, kindness, their warm embraces and their everlasting desire to meet. A Filetta’s universe is created from meetings that come with time. One after another, the only requirement there is, is to always remain open. I took the opportunity to take that as an example for my everyday life en during the several performances I visited. What is striking is that the fans are so different, from several countries… and the ones that I met were open, enthusiastic and filled with happiness.
Is that caused by the phenomenon “A Filetta”? I am not sure about that, but I actually think it is.
Many, that have not had the chance to visit a concert will have a hard time understanding me, some might even call me a weirdo… Who cares ?
The ones that do know what I am talking about are probably the ones next in line at the next concert….

SuzanLooking back at my first concert with A Filetta I feel light and happy, that first meeting was marvellous, the feeling is hard to describe, maybe “in love” would be the right word for it.
A Filetta is good for my heart, it makes gentle, it is sincere. I can long for it, hear the music and be moved to tears. Whenever I hear A Filetta my heart makes a jump, and when I listen to the songs intently, I feel like coming home.

And then Tra Noi: “This is so wonderful, we want to share it, we must share it”. That was our starting point in autumn 2007. Meanwhile we share in four languages song texts, photos, reviews etc…., and we share it with many people. This is not confined only to the internet, at the concerts of A Filetta we meet fans, and together we often have a meal before or a drink after the concert, or there are sleepovers. Long and friendly e-mails back and forth, and they even don’t always have the topic A Filetta…
Many a friendship has grown out of it, between us, Tra Noi!

Marilena“Surfing the web for Corsican music I happened to discover TRA NOI. I had started learning Corsican and was looking for material for my studies – and here I found Corsican song texts with Dutch translations! Having made some progress, I found out that these translations – despite being very poetic – didn’t always match the words of the original language, because they were based on a French translation, thus being a translation of a translation …  I sent Suzan an email with a piece of my own translation, and so we got into contact. Since then many of my translations have found room on Suzan’s and Laurent’s website, and nowadays, A Filetta is no longer the only topic in our conversations!

My translations should be regarded as a work in progress, I am learning something new every day, and I often review and correct parts of it. In my translations I want to be as close as possible to the original text, and I try to avoid interspersing my own poetic wording. As there are some texts that refer to Corsican cultural assets or old traditions that are unknown to us, I would like, in a second step, to write an explanation to these texts.

Of course A Filetta’s expressive songs find their way to our heart without any explanation. And yet, by listening to the texts and translating them, I have not only learnt a lot about Corsica and the Corsican language, but I also made the experience that parts of myself that had been cut off for a long while have been opened again and filled with new life. That part which allows you to open your heart towards others, to share, to give… And that part in which my father’s wisdom had been locked in, my father who was born during the First World War, who had taken an active part in the Dutch resistance in World War II, and who died when I was fifteen… In my opinion A Filetta very often puts into words all the values he has fought for, and, above all, the thought that it is extremely important not to forget – as well the things we have been taught in this past that is still so close to us (Meditate!), as the wisdom of all our ancestors (ié, sò anticogna…!). And doing so without ever losing sight of the present and the future…

Amicizia, Marilena”

Tra noi
a passione sparta
pè a vita in musica
di e sette omi,
è una donna…

Tra noi
l’estru d’accumpagnà
l’andati di e so voce
pèr cità è paesi,
è in mente…

Tra noi
u piacè, a gioia
di stà à sente i so canti
tra i sette
è tra u mondu…

Tra noi
a voglià di isse pagine,
di tramandà à voi
issu piacè, issa gioia,
cum’è l’estru è passione
in parulle, fiure
per « tutte » e lingue…

cumè a filetta:

fibra pè fibra di a so terra ràdica
cù a so forza di u prufondu
à la filigrana

voce alzate di a terra
di u prufondu à l’alt’armunia
cù a richezza di purezza
chì ti parla à l’arechja, à a pelle
chì ti tocc’à u fondu di u to core

unità tralinta in puli-funia
chjama è carezza rispondenu à u mondu
sin’à l’orizonte, in meludie
chì ti guidanu

è ùn ti scurdà di a filetta
chì spuntà di a petra è di l’acqua
cu a speranza di a memoria
cum’e rifugiu pè oghje è dumane
è da ùn scurdàssi mai
di a filetta…

Between us
passion we share
for life in music
of seven men
and a woman…

Between us
enthusiasm, to follow
the traces of their voices
through cities and countries
and in spirit…

Between us
pleasure, even joy
to listen to their songs
among them, the seven of them
and with the world…

Between us
the wish to pass on
to you these pages
this pleasure, this joy,
the enthusiasm and passion
in words and pictures
in “all” languages

like the fern:

with every fibre rooted in the ground
firm and strong, in their depth
up to the most delicate tips

voices rising from the ground
from their depth up to the highest harmony
with the richness of  purity
that enters your ear, touches your skin
that moves you deep in your heart

perfect unity in poly-phonie
fierce and gentle in response to the world
up to the horizon, in melodies
that are your companion…

and don’t forget the fern
which sprouts out of stone and water
with the hope of memory
like a refuge for today and tomorrow
to never forget
the fern…

The “A Filetta-effect”

It was in Calvi at the Rencontres Polyphoniques, in September, that I had the pleasure of meeting Suzan and Laurent Lohez.  Once again, in the heart of the Corsican citadel, I discovered new worshipers of the Fern who like me, when they can, roam wherever the magical voices of A Filetta offer their songs as a gift!
You have to accept the evidence, fans of this incredible ensemble, are to be found everywhere!
The A Filetta effect, that’s what it is, that incredible magic of improbable encounters, of joyous and festive reunions, simply through the spell cast by their concerts. They are an unparalleled catalyst of friendship!
Deep links have been forged across frontiers, but without A Filetta, it would not have happened: France, Netherlands, Germany, England, and other countries in the future, a never ending source of happiness.

And, miracle of modern times, away from the meetings, the frustration of missing a concert fades (slightly) when reading the reviews which we greedily devour at Tra Noi (and at l’Invitu from Jean-Claude)!

Faced with the friendly pressure of those most convincing of webmasters, no one can escape his mission: to say and say again that the concert missed, crazy I know,  was the most beautiful in the world and say again they thought of us!

See you soon my friends so dear.  September approaches, I cannot wait to embrace you and drink a Pietra together, tasting meats and local cheeses until the evening’s next concert!
elisabethThe first time I heard A Filetta was in Calvi, in the citadel’s cathedral of St. Jean Baptiste, during the 2nd week of September 1995. My mother and I were lucky and got the last tickets for a concert of Bulgarian and Corsican polyphony, which was part of the festival Rencontres de Chants Polyfoniques.
After 10 years of absence we returned to Calvi, the place where I had spent eleven childhood holidays with my family.  Although I feared being disappointed – often in your memories things are more beautiful than they really are –  I wasn’t at all.  I felt immediately at home, smelling the scent of the maquis when placing my feet on Corsican ground. During that week I knew I would come back soon to travel around.
When I noticed the festival and concert of Corsican music I became very curious and we decided to go to a concert the same evening, with no idea of what to expect at all. As we were the last people to enter the church we didn’t have a normal seat and, sitting on the floor in a corner without any view of stage or singers, we were automatically more focused on the music. When hearing the first notes my mouth fell open.  Not only the language, but also the way of singing, and the music itself were completely new to me, yet at the same time it felt very familiar and seemed to fit so well in those surroundings, not only inside but also outside the church. A deep yet pleasant concentration took posession of me, I completely forgot the hard and cold ground we were sitting on, and the music pulled me into all corners of the church. Next day just before leaving I ran to the music store in Calvi and, after telling them about the beautiful concert I had heard the evening before, they suggested two CDs to me, Ab Eternu from A Filetta and Catena from Chjami Aghjalesi. A good introduction to Corsican music. Listening to the A Filetta CD at home was a little bit disappointing at first, as it sounded completely different in my small house with simple speakers.   It had nothing of the atmosphere in the church, although when the last song Sumiglia started, again the music had this incredible effect on me.

A Filetta has known a wonderful growth over the last 15 years, new music has appeared, mainly their own creations, with many wonderful collaborations which, unfortunately, I couldn’t attend, although thanks to Tra Noi I have been kept well informed about the main events around A Filetta during the last years!  After all those years the effect of A Filetta’s music on me is always as intense as at the beginning, with the strongest effect being at live concerts of course: it seizes and pulls me to a peaceful, other place, all tensions in my body disappear, and the music affects and consoles me.

HelenSpace Travellers

Through music, Ken and I travel.  We travel the world and we travel through time – we like our music young and also very old.

World and traditional music is particularly important to me.  I feel that it helps us to understand where we have come from, reconnecting us to our past and setting the scene for the present.  But I also strongly believe that music should be a living form of expression and ‘roots’ music should evolve and develop to express our modern culture, speak of our current hopes and aspirations and reflect the creativity of ‘now’ as well as ‘then’.

When we travelled to Corsica we, like so many before us, discovered music which did all of these things and pierced the heart and soul into the bargain.  As followers of Tra Noi already know, the Corsican tradition draws on a deep well of musical culture, and expresses the essence of the Corsican soul, revealing so much about Corsican history, culture, emotion and philosophy.

A Filetta’s music comes from that tradition and speaks to both of us of timelessness, of the Mediterranean, of islands, of isolation and conquest, of churches and villages – a spine tingling musical experience.

But A Filetta speaks to me as well because they are not afraid to recognise their modernity and their future.  They embrace different art forms and different cultures with enthusiasm, sympathy and understanding, and their music continues to inspire us, move us and speak to us.  It still connects us to the past but moves us forward, showing us the best of what we have now and the possibilities of the future.

It is like the best of relationships, simultaneously fulfilling and questioning, comforting yet stimulating.  Bonne ecoute.

Hun muziek is als de ultieme relatie, schemt vervulling maar stelt ook vragen, troost en stimuleert. Bona ascolta.
GabrieleA Filetta – much more than only music

May 2010. This is the last evening of our first holiday in Corsica. For two weeks we had always seen the same names on the posters announcing polyphonic concerts in Calvi, and we had thought, these are perhaps routine concerts for tourists. But suddenly a little inconspicuous poster had emerged: “A Filetta”. This might be something original, I thought. What a happy decision! It was original, but it was also world class, it was the highest art of singing, but also much more than that!
Seven men were singing a cappella and with much concentration sequences of notes which sounded at first strange in my ears, but which were so striking and moving my heart that I repeatedly closed my eyes in order to allow the full effect of this vocal music. Particularly strange for me was the paghjella, and unusual at first sight were the very passionate facial expressions of Jean-Claude. But the purity and the beauty of this polyphony was incredibly impressive for my still inexperienced ears. And I was deeply touched by the calm and modest attitude of these men, who stood there, singing, listening to each other and giving their individuality up to the benefit of the whole. For two weeks we had been looking for Corsica and had found only France instead. Here, on our last evening, Corsica emerged.
Back in Germany, the CDs and DVDs of A Filetta which I ordered via internet helped me to catch up on this immersion into the Corsican culture. In doing so, I seized more and more the elemental beauty of this music. Meanwhile the CDs of A Filetta are my constant companion. Sometimes the colourful musicality of Sì di mè or Don Juan enchants me again, another time I delight in the rich polyphonic architecture of songs like Benedictus, Sub Tuum or Meditate, and still another time I plunge once again into the depths of Medea or Di Corsica Riposu. But beyond the music, A Filetta represents for me also the experience of a particularly deep humanity that is marked by sincerity and modesty. There is nothing I value more.


From this part of our internetsite we would like to thank several people for their cooperation on the site, for sharing translations, reviews photos and passion!

Marilena Verheus, Jean-Claude en Anne-Marie Casanova, Gerda Kuhn, Cathy Rocchi, Sabine Grenard, Helen Neve en Ken Owen, Christina Kremer, Françoise Coulomb, Frans Dingemanse, Elisabeth Melchior, Ursula Gloeckner, Gabriele Mertens, Ep Meijer, Martijn la Feber, Jean-Luc Geronimi, José Filippi, Ceccè Acquaviva.

Our gratitude goes out to Valérie Salducci!
Our special thanks goes out to:


A Filetta©didier.d.daarwinStéphane, Maxime, Jean, Paul, François and Jean-Claude
de men to whom we dedicate this site

Interview with Tra Noi april 2011

An interview with Tra Noi!  We were very surprised – this time it wasn’t us asking the questions, the questions were aimed at us.  André Carli from le blog official de l’Association Actualité Corse de la Precarité asked us about our passion.

Tell me in detail about your passion for A Filetta and how it started?
Suzan: We went to Paris with friends who were already A Filetta-fans and we wanted to see these Corsicans with our own eyes.
Laurent: A Filetta was the goal, Paris was a nice extra.
Suzan: what happened there… there in that theatre?  Seven men came on stage and sang, and they entered my heart.  I didn’t understand the Corsican language, but it was as though I understood everything they sang.
Laurent: I was surprised by the silence that reigned in the room – I had never experienced that before, so modest, so beautiful. We were touched by the music on stage, and afterwards we really wanted to see them and talk to them.
Suzan: Laurent resolutely walked to wards a door which seemed to be open, and suddenly we were backstage.  The singers were slightly surprised, but they were even more surprised to learn that we had come all the way from the Netherlands especially for their concert…
Laurent: and that is where the passion was born: those men on stage who clearly have something to say, yet backstage were so humble and warm, welcoming us as if with open arms.
Suzan: after Paris, I was in love – in love with A Filetta, with their music, with Corsica (where, at that time, I had never been).  I cannot explain it, but that is what it feels like.  I call them “my seven angels”, which is how it feels to me!

How did the idea for a website dedicated to A Filetta start?
Laurent: this concert was so impressive, the whole thing so beautiful, that you want to share it, you cannot keep it just for yourself.
Suzan: it wasn’t a problem to find things about A Filetta in French, but it was in Dutch, and because A Filetta was coming to the Netherlands that year (2007), this was the obvious moment to create a website.  It wasn’t an option, it had to be done…
Laurent: none of us knew how to build an internet site, so we just dived in.  We have done a huge amount of work, first gathering information, and then especially the translations, and since I was the Frenchman in the company, all the translations had to be done by me.
Suzan: the first version of the site consisted of six pages.  It’s interesting to know that today there are 408 pages, and we are still growing.

Have you received feedback from the group and their team from the start?
Laurent: yes, we have had regular contact from the start, and have received lots of information and photos.
Suzan: the group enjoyed taking part in an interview during their Netherland’s tour and we were also invited to dinner, and to the soundcheck.  I was very proud when Laurent was on stage, translating the words of Jean-Claude Acquaviva who speaks to the audience in the Corsican and French.
Laurent: we still have regular contact and we are always curious about the latest news.  And at a concert there is always time for a kiss and a chat.

When will the German version launched?
Laurent: a question for the web-master!
Suzan: well that’s top secret, but I can say that the German version is in its last phase.

How did you get the idea to call the site ‘Tra Noi’?
Suzan: that was Laurent’s idea, we wanted to choose one of A Filetta’s song titles.
Laurent: it was the double meaning of ‘Tra Noi’, which gave me the idea.  ‘Tra Noi’ means ‘between us’ and the idea of starting an internet site together created a partnership.  But there is also literally the distance between us, between Corsica and the Netherlands.  The song itself is a very beautiful one, from the album ‘Si di me’, and was also a song which we heard for the first time in Paris.

How many of the group’s concerts have you attended?
Laurent: well, I don’t think our four hands are enough even if we count each concert on our fingers …
Suzan: I have never counted but we went to Paris, we arranged our holiday in Lörrach (Germany) so as to be able to go to a concert, we drove to Dusseldorf, there and back in one day, went by train to London, and every year we try to attend the ‘Rencontres’ in Calvi … There are at least six concerts this month, a special collaboration between A Filetta and the Netherlands Wind Ensemble!

What would you say to fans of the group?
Suzan: we share, that’s what we do, so feel free to contact us with questions or ideas.  I always truly enjoy the enthusiastic emails which we regularly receive from ‘Tra Noi’ visitors. Laurent and I both have jobs, so we do the site purely because of our passion, we want to share A Filetta with the world!
Laurent: I just want to say: look, listen, read and enjoy!