Avant’n’Gard is an artistic collective reunited around the idea of improvised music and naturalness of the musical performance. With its mixture of spoken poetry, urban mystic stories, ambient rhythms, psychedelic sonorities, Avant’n’Gard it’s an unique project on the Romanian scene. Since its creation, the group was invited to participate in festivals such as The International New Music Week (2010, 2011, 2012), Astra Film Festival (2012), Bookfest (2012), FanFest (2012), John Cage 100 (2012), Sibiu Jazz and More (2011), Street Delivery (2010, 2011), Bran Castle Fest (2009), and sustained concerts in different spaces in Bucharest and other cities in Romania, among them The National Center of Contemporary Dance and Czech Centre, clubs (Art Jazz Club, Green Hours, Control Club, Shift Pub, Dianei 4, Londophone, Kulturhaus, Flying Circus Cluj, Moskva Café Oradea, Albion Chisinau), bookshops and tea houses. The croatian national radio broadcasted their albums (Landscape Painted in Tea, bootleg, 2010; Tinfoil Sun, official, 2012). In January 2012, Avant’n’Gard participated in the Art’s Birthday international celebration in the event organised by EBU group Ars Acustica. They develop different projects such as the live musical performing for Aki Kaurismaki’s movie Juha (Czech Centre, No Silence, please! program) and Perforated Romances. In December 2012 the group released a new album – Untepempered Carols. In spring we hope to release a new discographical production – the improvised interpretation, together with Monsieur Delagare & Co (France) of the text Fuchsiada signed by Urmuz.
Members: Maria Balabas – voce, keyboards; Mihai Balabas – violin, guitar, bass, effects; Calin Torsan – flutes; Gabriel Balasa – percussions.
Maria Balabaş studied Musicology and piano at the National University of Music Bucharest and is working right now as a journalist at the National Cultural Radio in Romania, where she is moderating and producing the programs called The Crossover Morning and The Sonorous Generation. She is awarded prizes in piano and musicological competitions, gave performances in Brussels, Antwerp, Rotterdam and her radio art creations where broadcasted by Resonancefm from London, Radio Zero in Lisbon and Radio Campus in Brussels.
Mihai Balabaş is a talented violinist, studying at the National University of Music in Bucharest and having activity both in the symphonic and in underground musical scene. He collaborats with bands such as Byron, Bucium, Trei Parale, Abis and is developing fully his talent as an improviser and as a musical thinker in the Avant’n’Gard project.
Călin Torsan is a legendary character, being one of the first musicians who played on the streets of the revolutionized Romania. He created and collaborated in lots of bands, among them Domnişoara Pogany, Einuiea, Jazzadezz, Nu şi apa neagră, he published volumes at prestigious publishing houses and has done tours in Germany, Japan and Romania. He collects flutes, clarinets and other wind instruments from all the corners of the world.
The percussionist Gabriel Bălaşa is starting to be one of the most desired musicians on the Romanian underground scene and not only, people admiring him for his energy and good vibe. His studies as a painter contributed to his personality as a good color musician and he is able to be personal and free in projects dealing with old music, rock, folk and world music.
“Together – we create and we share the state of being free as part of a group, in a true artistic communication. Even if in Romania this musical direction doesn’t have a big public yet, we are sure we will create one – with persons that have a great musical sense, are looking for originality and a society that fulfills their ideals.”