Gro Siri Johansen & Alter Quintet
The spirit of Knut Hamsun
with jazz and rhythmic
If it is true that the landscape and the spirit of the earth define people's vision of the world and
culture, then there are two cultures in the world which share the same sensibility, the essence of
the same poetry.
When Alfonso Pacin, a native of Patagonia, was introduced to Knut Hamsun's poetry through the
voice of Gro Siri Ognøy Johansen and the music of Gunnar Karlsen, he discovered a sensitivity
and a tainted universe of images that he felt very familiar with.
In fact, Norway's Nordland and Argentina's Patagonia share a common geography, a very similar
natural universe: the deep dark woods, the vast coast, a luxuriant nature, a scarce and unique
human presence--half-legendary characters adapted to this rigorous and austere environment.
Paradoxically, the wild frosted forests and endless twilights find the same echo in the far North as
in the extreme South.
Through South-America's complex polyrhythm, Alter Quintet's members endeavor to give a
voice to the spirit of the South's deep, wild and rich nature, untouched by man.
LIKEWISE, KNUT HAMSUN'S POETRY ATTEMPTS TO UNVEIL THE SECRETS OF THE FAR NORTH'S
PRISTINE WOODS. IT SEEMS ONLY NATURAL THAT THESE TWO EXPRESSIONS OF A SAME SPIRIT
SHOULD TRY AND MEET AND MERGE INTO ONE. INDEED, THIS PROJECT IS BUT THE CONTINUATION OF
A LONG COLLABORATION BETWEEN GRO SIRI AND ALFONSO AROUND KNUT HAMSUN'S POETRY.
The Alter Quintet is an exciting musical experience offered by the creative freshness and
musicality of five exceptional musicians.
A quintet whose strength and particularity lies in the improvisation and rhythmic complexity of
the South American heritage rather than in the written element. A chamber music ensemble
whose sound treatment and aesthetics are far from following the traditional canons of the genre.
Alter Quintet is the result of their musical explorations while performing on the "world music"
scene in Paris. It invites us to a journey through a repertoire of original compositions and
unexpected, refined arrangements. It opens a new and bold trend in chamber music for strings.
By combining the aesthetics of a classical string quartet with contemporary South-American
music styles and paying homage to both references, Alter Quintet proposes an alternative to the
current string ensembles' state-of-the-art.
Anne Le Corre (viola, violin), of classical chamber tradition, met in Buenos Aires Roman
Lécuyer (double bass), another French musician plunged into the world of tango during his long
stay in Argentina where he mingled with stage artists of folklore and jazz. Alfonso Pacin (violin,
guitar and voice), Argentinian, returned from the United States after having finished his studies
at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, and in Paris started working regularly with Jean-Luc
Pino (baryton violin), who « roamed » the Parisian jazz and world music scenes in France for
years. Inocente Carreño (violin), « the aristocrat of Venezuelan music », virtuoso violinist and
conductor who settled in Paris long ago, met Alfonso Pacin on a boat to play in a Mexican
mariachi group. Anne Le Corre, Romain Lécuyer and Alfonso Pacin form with the trio of
Argentine music "De Madrugada."
Finally, to close the circle, the five musicians decided one day to undertake the wonderful
adventure of creating a string ensemble. The goal was to play unexpected, unpredictable music
but true to the original musical openness of each one of them, and follow the exhilarating path of
dissent. With passionate conviction, they managed to give voice to a common imagination and
create an expression of amazing string rhythms, a combination of traditional South American
music and a playful sensitivity for jazz, all in the magic of a string quintet...
Gro Siri Ognøy Johansen
Gro Siri Ognøy Johansen, soprano, has a degree in classical voice from the Rogaland
Conservatory and a diploma in medieval music from the National Conservatory of Music in
Paris. She is a founding member of the Paris-based vocal ensemble Dialogos, whose recording
Terra Adriatica won the diapason d’Or and Le Choc in Le Monde. She has participated in several
recordings in different musical styles, but is spezialised in early music. With her own Modus
ensemble she has performed in USA and Russia and Venezuela.
She has also performed end recorded her own settings of texts by Knut Hamsun, and participated
in theater productions and musicals at the Norwegain theatre in Oslo under direction of Egil
Monn Iversen. In 1999 she founded Modus Center for Medieval Music in Oslo, where, as artistic
director, she organizes and teaches courses in Gregorian chant and medieval vocal music.
violin, guitar, vocals
Alfonso Pacin, born in Argentina, son of concert pianist Evelina AITALA, begins early to study
the violin at the conservatory. Still very young, he becomes a member of the "Orquesta juvenil
General San Martin" in the city of Buenos Aires and the Orquesta Sinfonica Municipal Olavarria.
Later, he studies philosophy. He is interested in Argentina's traditional music and travels through
the country as a guitarist accompanying many folk artists of great fame. In 1995 he wins a
scholarship to continue his studies at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he focuses
on composition and obtains the school diploma with honors Magna cum laude. In 1999, he is
invited to make a doctorate in philosophy and musicology at the Sorbonne, and moves to Paris
where he develops an intense and recognized activity. An accomplished musician, Alfonso Pacin
has traveled the world and been on the scene with the greatest artists of Argentinian and
international popular music, such as Tito Puente, Mercedes Sosa and Stephane Grapelli. He
participates of the Knust Hamsung project with Gro Siri Johansen and Gunnar Karlsen as a
musician and arranger, giving numerous performances in Norway. He currently is the composer,
the arranger and a performer of the Alter Quintet, with which he created--jointly with acclaimed
artist Raul Barboza---the show "Between two shores", at the origin of the symphonic project
Anne Le Corre
After studying classical guitar and viola, Anne Le Corre studied at the "Centre Régional de
Formation pour Trio et Quatuor à Cordes" organized in Poitou-Charente (France) by the
ARDIAC and the Trio à Cordes de Paris.
In 1993 she discovered literature and the Argentine tango (music and choreography). From that
date, she is dedicated to this genre, deepening her skills through her many trips to Argentina.
She founded the trio in France Tango "the Murga" with whom she plays in France, Germany,
Denmark and Sweden.
In 2003, she founded the tango quartet "Linea Tigre" and soon after, the trio "De Madrugada"
with Alfonso Pacin and Romain Lécuyer.
Tenor violin, violin
Jean Luc Pino started studying the violin at an early age with his father, himself a violinist. Later
he turns to jazz and improvisation, but as at the time there was no jazz-school, he made his debut
with Gilles Naturel, N'guyen Lê and Mario Canonge.
Winner of the 1993 Jazz Competition in La Defense in Paris, with the group Ultramarine, he
recorded in 85 the first group album, « Program jungle ».
He teached jazz violin at CIM in Paris from 1985 to 1991 and played, recorded and composed for
the following ensembles:
Ultramarine (jazz-fusion-caraïbe) 1983-1988. «Programme Jungle».
La Charanga Sazon (cubaine) 1983-1986.
Trio Bex-Pino-Teslar (jazz) 1987-1989. «Triple Idiome».
La Manigua (salsa/son) 1986-1988. «Mambo».
La Charanga Nueva (Vénézuéla) 87-2005. «con la nueva», “espiritualmente”, “baila mi
Le 11-Tet De Violon Jazz (jazz) -1992-1995. «le onzetet”.
Le Groupe Malavoi (Martinique) 1991-1997. «matébis», «an maniman», «shéshé».
Pinosonido (jazz latin-caraïbe) 1989- 2001. «pinosonido».
Babacar Y Sabor Inter (Sénégal/son) 1998-2005. «bartolo», «musica négra ».
Lindsay (jazz séga-Ile Maurice) 2003-2005. «ombre et lumière».
W-Quartet (jazz) 2003. «au milieu de nulle part».
Barbara Luna (chanson argentine) 2002-2005. «somos».
Sekou Kouyate (chanson malienne) 2004. «fassan diaraby».
Camerata Ambi-Gua (musique de chambre) 2004-. «la cambiada».
David Murray (jazz) de 2005. «projet pouchkine».
Romain was born in Nantes in 1979. He studies guitar at the National regional Conservatory in
Nantes and then with Roberto Aussel. Romain later discovers improvised music. He then decides
to study the bass in 1995, and participates in various workshops of improvised music: in 1999
with the Company Lubat, in 2000 with François Corneloup, and in 2001 with Bruno Chevillon.
Romain puts this knowledge in practice with the "Péril Jazz Quartet", an ensemble of young
musicians from Nantes. He then takes part into two Nantes-based projects : the hip-hop band
"Karré Magik" and the funky-music trio "Mix-City". With these groups, he performs many
concerts and participates in many recordings.
He joins the tango orchestra « Quarteto Cedron » in 2006, as well as the orchestra Tanguisimo.
Through his association "Buenos Aires Musiques", Romain organizes workshops and educational
concerts with a view to promoting exchanges between French and Argentine musicians and to
introduce children to Argentinian culture. Since 2006, Roman is a teacher at Anne Le Corre's
tango schools and orchestras.
Born in Caracas, Inocente Carreno, son of a famous Venezuelan violonist, is both a performer
and a conductor.
In France he worked with the Lamoureux Orchestra, the Camerata de Versailles, Chambord
Sinfonietta, Opera de Massy. Currently he is working with the French Chamber Orchestra and
since the 2002-2003 Inocente Carreño has been the artistic director and musical partner of the
Orchestra and Chorus of he Hospitals of Paris (AP-HP).