Transcultural Music Academy 2024

The source of the Indonesian gamelan


Submission period

Thu Feb 22 at 04:45PM UTC

End of submission period

Fri Apr 5 at 09:55PM UTC

Results date

Fri Apr 19 at 04PM UTC

Since 2021, the Royaumont Foundation has joined forces with the Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac (Paris) to develop an academy. The aim is to bring together “passers-by” who create the link between tradition and creation, and young composers, musicians, improvisers and singers from all horizons.

Beyond the concepts of modernity and tradition, beyond even the cultures, the Academy proposes to discover or deepen a traditional practice from different cultural geographies and to experiment the process of transcultural creation.

For this fourth edition, the Académie will be led by composer and saxophonist Fabrizio Cassol (Belgium). He will be joined by percussionist and conductor Gabriel Laufer (France, Belgium).

A protean musician, Fabrizio Cassol is an adept of crossbreeding, constantly increasing his exchanges with musicians from the four corners of the world, exploring learned and improvised music and oral traditions in order to play with the boundaries between genres.

Trained in percussion and conducting at the Royal Conservatoires of Brussels and Liège, Gabriel Laufer played for 17 seasons at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie and with Les Arts Florissants, before moving to Indonesia, where he became fascinated by gamelan and its impact on modern Western music.

This session invites collective composition based on orality and inspired by the contribution of each individual, whatever their instrumental practice and source.

The Academy calls on musicians with non-Western and Western knowledge in all its multiplicity, and on those who wish to explore other modes of expression and imagine new forms of language.

In this space for creation and sharing, participants in the Academy will be stimulated by the sounds and vibratory intensity of the Indonesian gamelan thanks to the participation of percussionist Gabriel Laufer, a specialist in this instrument. Some time will be devoted to an introduction to this orchestral instrument as part of the broader, cross-cultural vision of our musical creation. The Abbaye de Royaumont, as a deeply inspiring place, will help to weave the links between spatial architecture and emotional architecture.

During the Académie, participants will spend a day at the musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac, discovering a selection of its collection of instruments and a collective work session in its Auditorium.

At the end of the Académie, a public performance will be given at Royaumont Abbey, with the content and presentation designed, composed, created and invented by the Académie participants.


Fabrizio Cassol (Belgium)

Composer and saxophonist with the group Aka Moon for 30 years, saxophonist, jazzman and composer Fabrizio Cassol regularly collaborates with choreographers such as Alain Platel (with vsprs, based on Monteverdi's Vespers; pitié! based on Bach's St Matthew Passion; Coup Fatal, a blend of Congolese and Baroque music; and the choral project Coup de Chœurs), Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker (Rosas), Samoan choreographer Lemi Ponifasio (MAU), and Congolese choreographer Faustin Linyekula (Studios Kabako). In opera, he has worked with composer Philippe Boesmans and director Luc Bondy; in theatre, with South African director Brett Bailey and the group Third World Bunfight for Macbeth, and with TJ Stan.

He worked for several years with the KVS / Royal Flemish Theatre in Brussels under the direction of Jan Goossens, followed by a residency at La Monnaie / De Munt under Bernard Foccroulle. From 2012 to 2015, he was in residence at the Fondation Royaumont, where he continued his study of world cultures: his creations included Aka Balkan Moon, with Bulgarian musicians Nedyalko Nedyalkov and Stoyan Jankulov, and Alefba, with Egyptian, Lebanese, Iraqi and Turkish musicians.

His interest in non-European music was sparked by an extensive trip to the Aka Pygmies of the Central African Republic in 1992, after which he also developed a close relationship with Asia (mainly India) and Africa.

During his many travels, he has worked with Malian diva Oumou Sangaré, griot Baba Sissoko and the Black Machine, and Indian master percussionist U. K. Sivaraman and Senegal's Doudou N'diaye Rose. He has also been active on the improvised music scene, collaborating with Mark Turner, Robin Eubanks, David Gilmore, Magic Malik, Marc Ducret and Joe Lovano. With DJ Grazzhoppa, he created the first big band of fourteen DJs and, with instrument maker François Louis, he helped design the aulochrome, a chromatically polyphonic wind instrument.

His practice of oral and written expression, from chamber music to symphonic works, has led him to give regular workshops and master classes all over the world.

Fabrizio Cassol has been artistic director of the Medinea sessions at the Festival lyrique d'Aix-en-Provence since 2014.

VIDEO I silenti | Requiem pour LAka Balkan MoonAlefBa Coup Fatal

Gabriel Laufer (France, Belgium)

Trained in percussion and orchestral conducting at the Royal Conservatoires of Brussels and Liège, he played for seventeen seasons at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie and with Les Arts Florissants, before moving to Indonesia, where he became fascinated by the gamelan and its impact on modern Western music. He joined the Jakarta Simfonia Orchestra as timpanist and conductor, notably for the concert Impressions Universelles, where he recreated the Javanese kampong performance at the 1889 World Fair in Paris, a decisive source of inspiration for Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel.

His rich career has brought him into contact with renowned artists such as conductors Lorin Maazel, Sandor Végh, Mstislav Rostropovitch, Antonio Pappano, Kazushi Ono and William Christie, soloists Martha Argerich, Sergio and Odair Assad, composers Xenakis, Berio, Stockhausen and Sciarrino, and choreographers Merce Cunningham, Trisha Brown and Pina Bausch.


10 composers, and/or instrumentalists, and/or singers.
Young artists in the process of higher education or with professional experience.

The participants show a stylistic openness and a taste for research and musical creation in all its forms, and have a regular musical practice, in particular in collective forms.

The course is open to musicians who already have experience of improvisation, but also to musicians with a written background who would like guidance in their first approach to improvisation.

To have a good level of oral English.


18 to 24 August 2024 [arrival late on 17 August, departure on 25 August morning].

6 days of training – 42 hours.

Participants formally undertake to follow the entire course.

Fenêtre sur cour[s] at Royaumont on 24 August 2024 at 6pm, consisting of a restitution of the work done during the training.


Application deadline: 5 April 2024
Response to your application: 19 April 2024


• Biography
• CV
• Photo
• Motivation letter: highlighting skills and qualities, reasons for wanting to participate in the Academy, expectations.
• Several video links with musical extracts. Good sound quality is essential.


Group theory sessions.
Group practice sessions, in large or small groups.


The financial participation requested is 255 € including VAT.

You will have to pay 195 € including VAT, at the time of selection of participants for the Academy, by bank transfer. The cost of the transfer fees will be at your expense.

This amount of 195 € includes:
150 € registration fee (i.e. 125 € excluding VAT)
45 € not subject to VAT:
o 20 € membership of the Association des amis de Royaumont
o 25 € membership to the Royaumont Libraries (François-Lang Music Library and La Grange-Fleuret Library). These memberships cover a full year of operation.

You will have to pay the balance, at the latest on the first day of the academy.

The Royaumont Foundation will pay for:
- the cost of accommodation (meals and nights) and the full cost of teaching (trainers, instruments, etc.) for the duration of the course (except in special cases);
- the cost of transfers between the Viarmes train station / Paris Charles de Gaulle airport/train station and the abbey.

The trainee is responsible for:
- travel expenses (home - Viarmes / Paris Charles de Gaulle station - home);
- the purchase and printing of scores (performers).

You can benefit from a financial contribution according to your situation :

> Intermittent du spectacle (French only):
for intermittents du spectacle, by AFDAS if you fulfil the conditions.
If you are eligible for AFDAS aid you will pay 195 €.

> Salaried employee:
for employees (full-time or part-time): check with your employer to see if they can pay all or part of your fees.

> Jobseekers (French only):
for jobseekers: consult the Pôle Emploi.
If you are eligible for AFDAS aid you will pay 195 €.


In partnership with musée Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac.

This professional training workshop is supported by the Daniel and Nina Carasso Foundation, the SACEM and the ADP Group, and with the generous support of Aline Foriel-Destezet.

The Royaumont Foundation is a member of the ULYSSES Network co-financed by the European Union's Creative Europe programme.