VOX CLAMANTIS is a vocal ensemble that revolves around its leader Jaan-Eik Tulve. During the 20 years of its existence singers have come and left again, but one man and his vision of music has always been consistently in the centre.
It all started with Gregorian chant, which Tulve studied in Paris in the 1990s. Back in Estonia he formed Vox Clamantis in 1996 to continue singing these old plainsongs that are the foundation of Western art music. The ensemble’s various line-ups were always like gatherings of kindred spirits, devotees to the idea that the essence of Gregorian chant can reach beyond its stylistic boundaries and freely blend with the music of modern ages and other cultures.
The ensemble has worked together with the electric guitars of Weekend Guitar Trio and with the oud of Yair Dalal, the singing of Dhafer Youssef from Tunesia, Marco Ambrosini playing the nyckelharpa or Arianna Savall and her pure voice.
Vox Clamantis has often performed music from Estonian composers as well; the energetic compositions of Erkki-Sven Tüür, the electronic journeys of Sven Grünberg or Helena Tulve’s delicate sound-webs. This list is incomplete, and the ensemble is always open for new collaborations.
The members of the ensemble are devoting their skills and energy to Vox Clamantis besides other occupations. Some of them are professional singers as well as instrumentalists, some are composers, conductors or work outside the field of music. Singing in Vox Clamantis has been a learning process full of discoveries for all involved. The sincere dedication to the music making of the early years has gradually evolved into a confident and eloquent voice of their own that is now internationally recognized.
In 2012 ECM released the album “Filia Sion”, which got positive reviews. In the same year they also participated in the Grammy-winning album “Adam’s Lament” with music by Arvo Pärt. In 2013 the album “Liszt. Via Crucis” for Mirare with French pianist Jean-Claude Pennetier won a Diapason d’Or award, and Vox Clamantis’ singing is heard in Paolo Sorrentino’s film “La Grande Bellezza” (“The Great Beauty”) that won an Academy Award in 2014. The latest CD Arvo Pärt. The Deer’s Cry (ECM) won a Diapason d’Or award, Chock in French magazine Classica, the Monthly Choice in BBC Music Magazine and the Classical Album of the Year award in Estonia.
Vox Clamantis’ connection to Arvo Pärt dates back to 1999 when the ensemble started to perform his organ piece “Annum per Annum” mixed with liturgical chant, and the composer was enthusiastic about their idea. Since then, the group’s contact with Pärt’s music has deepened. Today it is a relationship that is warm and friendly rather than just professional.