Balkan Polyphony

Nabila Schwab

Europe | Singing

Les Anges de Montbrillant and Aoédé are two small groups of women united by the desire to explore and mix their voices.

The repertoire is based on the polyphonies of the Balkans - Bulgaria, Bosnia, Macedonia, Croatia, Serbia, Romania - but the group also draws on other traditions - Georgia, Armenia, Ukraine, Greece, Italy, Spain, France, Brazil.

An important part of the work is devoted to the exploration and understanding of the different elements used in the production of sound, the engagement of the body, its setting in vibration, attention to posture, to breath.
Group pattern work, commonly called "Circle song", is also an approach to develop listening and musicality outside of written compositions.

The group favors a global approach in which time is a major factor. Listen, open spaces within us, between us and let ourselves be singed along.

To sing in chorus is to unite one's voice with others, to tune together to vibrate together with the same sound, the same rhythm, the same breath.
The Artichoke Choir, founded and directed by Nabila Schwab since 2014, will now be directed by Solène Derbal, choir director from Montreal, Canada. You can watch some of her accomplishments as a conductor here and a little video there to find out what it's like to become a backing singer with her and find her CV here

The rehearsals will take place on Monday evenings from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the MAISON DES HABITANTS DE L'ÎLOT 13, rue de Montbrillant, 14 (1201, Geneva).
The fee is 80 CHF by month, to be paid in  1, 2 or 4 times, from Septembrer 2020 to June  2021

Due to the restrictions of COVID 19, the group will consist of a maximum of 16 people. As a result, a trial period will be possible during the month of September and a firm commitment will be requested following this period. If you are interested fill out this REGISTRATION FORM

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Originally from Geneva, Nabila started out in the world of show business at the age of ten (theatre, dance, music, masks). She first discovered Romanian music through learning the flute with Marco Jaccoud, a Geneva musician. She continued her research into Balkan music thanks to a meeting with the American trumpet player, Dave Douglas, with whom she formed a duo.

Coming back from the States in 1993, Nabila founded a choir, called the Angels of Monbrillant. She continues to develop music teaching based on Balkan music and vocal experimentation.

Furthermore, she regularly runs singing workshops in various schools and institutions and is currently collaborating with the Ateliers d’ethnomusicologie by introducing modules of Balkan songs into primary schools.


Les Anges de Montbrillant : Maison des Habitants de l'Ilôt 13 - 14, rue de Montbrillant - 1201 Genève


Les Anges de Montbrillant : Tuesdays, 19h-21h 


CHF 100.- / month, payable quarterly


T : 022 740 25 59 
Email :

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