Credit: Otilia Dragan/

On the evening of Thursday 20 July 2023, Pol Belardi celebrated the end of his three-year residency at the Abbaye de Neumünster (neimënster) with an intimate concert at the cloister garden (Jardin Lucien Wercollier).

Ainhoa Achutegui, the director of neimënster, introduced this concert and added that it was a a surprise when Pol Belardi, composer and musician whose background is in jazz music, expressed an interest in taking on the challenge to compose for a semi-orchestral ensemble.

The ensemble for contemporary music United Instruments of Lucilin, a chamber music ensemble founded in 1999, joined Pol Belardi’s journey as he played the grand piano, the bass guitar and as he created electronic harmonies and riffs in real time.

He had initially wanted to find his voice for the first time during this project and sing the lyrics to his own songs, but a bout of laryngitis stopped him in his tracks. Claire Parsons, Luxembourgish vocalist, composer and musician of British origin, intervened.

The concert was sold out, and the garden seats were all taken – some people were standing or sitting where they could. The atmosphere was dream-like as the violins and piano combined with Claire’s vibrant voice. Surprising melodic arks and gentle, lingering harmonies created an atmospheric summer night’s performance. Pol Belardi’s lyrical and instrumental ballads among which “I Tried”, “All Good Things”, “Kim” and “Stalemate” turned more ethereal with the nightfall and the delicate, colourful lights projected in shapes and droplets on the cloister garden’s walls.

The Garden Delights concert series at neimënster will continue on Friday evening 21 July 2023 with “Travel on the beat”, presented by de Gudde Wellen and Itinérantes and featuring a blend of ethnic and global music, mixed with various electronic music subgenres: OY, Kurup and EXZ. The Garden Delights performance on Saturday evening will be the last one, in a performance entitled “Without boundaries”, featuring Maria Chiara Argirò, Katy de Jesus and Fais le beau for a blend of jazz, electronic and rave music.

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