Like all our albums, CANTEMIR MELO has its own story which has began fourteen years ago, at the same time with our artistical activities. In that period we descovered the Prince Cantemirs music and this became a goal for us- to release a romanian musical vision concerning his work. The first step forward this goal was the recording of one of his pesrevs in 2005, that can be found in our first album KALOFONIKA.
It was a long journey for us of researching and finding more informations about him and his musical position in the history of south-eastern Europe and MicrAsia but the result was much more than we could have imagined to be. We learned about this polimath prince and followed his activities from Moldavia until Russian Empire.
At the end of this initiatic journey, we decided to bring a tribute for his important cultural work and the result was CANTEMIR MELO-double CDs, inside which we've recorded all the compositions that is known for certain that were composed by himself. Until now, the researchers like Walter Zev Feldman, Owen Wright or Eugenia Popescu-Judetz have declared for certainly that 18 muzical creations from Kitab-ı İlmi’l-musiki ala Vechi’lHurafat (The Book of the Science of Music through Letters) are prince Cantemirs.
For many years, ANTON PANN ENSEMBLE was invited to visit an important number of cities from Romania, but until 2015 wasn't posible to organize a real tour. But, in this year, with the support of Yunus Emre -Turkish Cultural Enstitute from Ankara (and their office from Bucharest), Romanian Culture Enstitute, Romanian National Broadcasting, Anton Pann Association for Culture and Tradition and many other partners, we've succeeded to organize our first national tour that had a musical story-show concearning the real culture and the fake-one, the correct attitude that the audience must have.
Inspired from Hieroglyphic History by Dimitrie Cantemir, our show transposes the public into another world, from the past into the future through the present in the same time warning the public of the danger that ignorance and cultural promiscuity leads to.
This album has a special story: After our project from Zagreb, we didn't find financial support for something new in Romania. In this time, Constantin Răileanu (founder of Anton Pann Ensemble) has been teaching byzantine music at Saint Antim Monastery (in the center of Bucharest, near the hill of the Patriarchy). One day came to him one of the students (a woman) and askes why his Ensemble didn't release any new album for several years?After her talk with Constantin she managed to find the material support for this album.
But the special part is coming now: when the team worked for the booklet covers, they chosed a tinny blue drop from one big painting that was made by this student(she is a painter) and expanded at the dimension of the covers. When the team looked at the result, they saw between shadows and shades the image of Hagia Sophia and the oldest church of Bucharest: Bucur's Church. Then, they have emphasized the lines seen there and at the end the final image appeared like is it now.
This is the explanation why on the first cover the image is of Hagia Sophia and on the last one appear the old houses of Bucharest that are around Bucur's Church. At the end the product became a bridge between Romanian Principalities and Istanbul not just from the musical view but also visual.
In the same time, this album is the first one where the musicians used only oriental musical instruments (except the violin which is in the use in Orient like in Occident).
In June 2011, a romanian , who was living in Zagreb, proposed us to make a fusion project with a Jazz band from Croatia. We accepted, of course, it was something new and it made us courious concerning the blend ing beetween old music and electro jazz. This project has been founded by the Romanian Culture Enstitute. For teo weeks we've worked in Zagreb with Capisconne Electro Unity and recorded our first mix-extra-border pass album.
Capisconne Electro Unity is a professional and innovative band and the members are talented and skillful musicians from Zagreb. It was a pleasure for us to work together and, at the end of this period, we released there in a concert, the album EMERGING LANSCAPES which described the reality of our both countries after the comunism era.
In this project four members of ANTON PANN ENSEMBLE have participated : Constantin Răileanu, Alexandru Stoica, Andrei Zamfir și Jovan Sofronievski.
For a long period after our released Carols album in 2006, we didn't organize another concert for Christmas celebration. So, in December 2010, we came back to the public with a new concert version for this important moment of the year.
This concert is a live perform that was held in the big studio hall -MIhail Jora - of the Romanian National Broadcasting from Bucharest. It contains only old romanian Carols from the XIXth century, most of them unknown until that moment.
We preserved the original melody from the manuscripts unchanged and we have dressed it up with some new simphonical technique of composition aiming on a better understanding by the contemporary audience of Romania and abroad. This concert was broadcasted live in 24 countryes in the same time by EBU Network.
After we ceased our collaboration with ROTON record label, in 2008 one of our fans has given us financial support to buy all the oriental instruments needed for a good and professional interpretation.
In the summer of 2008, Constantin Răileanu (our leader) brought from Istanbul many instruments like oud, ney, bağlama, setar, davul, dairé, bendir/def, tanbur, zurna and more, which were used before the westernisation of all romanian music in the Romanian Principalities.
Until 2010, the musicians of our Ensemble have studied intensively to perform on these instruments and since that moment our Ensemble was the first one which brought back the old and secular romanian repertoire to the audience performing on the original musical instruments from that period.
Because, the public asked for a new album, We chose to release the last live concert with classical occidental instruments „UNPLUGGED 2007-De la lume adunate și iarăși la lume date”. In this concert we performed not only romanian composers, but also balkanic cmopositions which were common to all people from this area.
This album, was our second collaboration with ROTON record label and our first album with old Romanian Carols. For this one, we researched old musical compositions from the manuscripts and publications of XIXth century by composers like Anton Pann, George Ucenescu or ethnological colections by George Breazul, Constantin Brăiloiu etc.
For the artistical expression, We used poliphony, harmony and heterophony, but, in the same time, We preserved the original melody from manuscripts unchanged. So, we've combined the Oriental and Occidental musical tools to recreate the perfume of that period for the taste of the contemporary audience.
In this way, we've used the style of soundtracks, because we've wanted to create musical images and to awaken the memories of childhood related to the moment of Christmas.
At the begining of 2006, we've started a collaboration with ROTON record label and ZAHARICALE was the first product of this partnership. Most of the pieces are from our first album - KALOFONIKA but, in the same time, we've recorded others.
Like on the KALOFONIKA, we used western classical musical instruments combined with romanian modal scales to remember the oriental sound. For this, we combined our byzantine musical experience (our singers are church singers-protopsaltes) with our romanian tradition and oriental oral tradition.
ZAHARICALE and KALOFONIKA have influenced many of the commercial musicians (f.e. Loredana Groza) who retourned to Anton Pann collection, movies soundtrack (like Aniela - the producer used our music in that Tv show) and was an example for other ensembles (like Trei Parale) or for the future ensembles from all the country.
Kalofonika is the first album of Anton Pann Ensemble, and has a beautifull story behind its creation. After our first series of concerts, one of our fans, a priest from Bucharest, came and asked us how much could be the cost for an album. In that moment we saw the opportunity for our dreams to become reality and asked at different studios about the price. We found a good one and in the summer of 2005 we recorded our first CD - KALOFONIKA.
Because of the lack of knowledge concerning the oriental interpretation, previous musicians who tried to perform and record this kind of repertoire didn't succeded to be a model for us. Also it was impossible to find skilled musicians to perform on oriental musical instruments in our country. So, at the begining, we started with western-educated musicians who performed on western musical instruments, but using the oriental modal system.
The main features of our Ensemble and our style were the originality and the capacity to apply the oriental modal system on the western musical instruments (usualy used in western classical orchestra) thus replacing the missing oriental instruments.
So, after one year since our first public concert, with the help from that priest, we've succeeded to release our first album and to fill the gap from our nation musical history. For this album we've performed romanian secular music from the XVIIIth and XIXth centuries, preserving the melody like in the original manuscripts and colections from that period according with the music theoretical treaties from the same time.