Founded in 2013 by Jean-Christophe Groffe, thélème brings together musicians from the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis who specialise in the interpretation of early music and are keen to explore it from new perspectives. The ensemble takes its name from the abbey described by Rabelais at the end of Gargantua, where good companions share the pleasure of "reading, writing, singing, and playing harmonious instruments", while respecting this one rule: "Fay ce que voudras ".
It is in the spirit of this motto that Thelem maintains a lively dialogue with the works of the Renaissance, and makes them resonate with our time. Thus, the voices of Julien Freymuth, Lior Leibovici, Ivo Haun and Jean-Christophe Groffe, accompanied by Ziv Braha on the lute, are readily combined with the timbres of violas da gamba, ondes Martenot, saxophones or synthesizers; In addition, several recordings include compositions by contemporary artists, which are all "firsts" offering new listening possibilities for early music; authors, actors, dancers and choreographers also contribute to the ensemble's projects.
Thélème's work with young audiences is a natural extension of this ever-curious exploration, and of an experience of music conceived above all as an encounter. Before joining Aparté, thélème recorded a Janequin trilogy for Coviello Classics, which was very well received by the international press.
thélème received the prestigious Gramophone Award (Early music) 2022 for the album "Baisiez moy" (Aparté).