Estampie leads us back to the Occident’s oldest preserved instrumental music. The courtly dances from the thirteenth century were originally transmitted orally, passed on by musicians who played these melodies and improvised on them. Happily, the estampies were written down in the Manuscrit du Roi in ca. 1300, thereby affording us a glance into the origins of our modern instrumental music.
Falk Zenker and his Ensemble nu:n interpret the medieval pieces in a personal and contemporary manner. With joy of discovery and knowledgeable sensitivity, the three jazz and world musicians lead the estampies through seven hundred years of musical history to the present. In the medieval estampies, they have found a trove of sounds that call to mind the music of later eras: colors of the Baroque and the Classical periods, impressions of Mussorgsky and Satie, Mediterranean music, blues, and jazz.