Nobody had this idea before: to bring together Renaissance music and karate. It was only Capella de la Torre under the direction of Katharina Bäuml and the Italian karate teacher Maurizio Castrucci who discovered how well the two arts fit together.
But how did it happen?
Sleepless on the return journey from a Japan tour, Katharina Bäuml went to the tea kitchen of the long-haul plane late at night. There she met the Italian karateka Maurizio Castrucci - one of the great masters of his discipline, as it turned out. We started talking. During the exchange of experiences in Japan, the two found some agreement: Both in the East Asian martial arts tradition of karate Shōtōkan, especially in its fixed sequences of movements, the so-called katas, as well as in the sacred music of the Renaissance, it is about highly ritualized arts, who deal with the basic experiences of human existence. Here as there, the aim of the exercise is "to perfect the soul", as it is called in the "Dōjōkun", the rules for training martial arts.
What do renaissance polyphony and martial arts have in common?
In terms of content, it is the belief in the power of the universe and the idea of absorbing and bundling this power; formally it is the monastic life (or its today's equivalent), which is the basis for the largely liturgically determined music of the Renaissance as well as for the practice of the martial arts. Together with the Italian karate teacher Maurizio Castrucci, the Capella takes the audience on a journey to the center of strength and concentration. In our concerts, the boundaries between participants and audience become fluid - in the combination of silence, polyphony, and kata (stylized ritual fighting form of karate Shotokan). This creates new spaces: by changing neither karate nor renaissance music, astonishing new perspectives arise that lead back to the general basic questions of being human - rhythm and flow of breath.