Gigs, dance, art

October 1st, 2008: Pierre Henry / David Coll, Lionel Peintre, Séverine Ballon, Daniel Ciampolini

@centre pompidou

An event officially named “68-2008”, supposed to be related to the work of Jacques Villeglé. I don’t know enough of the latter’s work to judge, but it did make me curious about it, so I guess I’ll eventually get to check it out. I know protocol says the title of this post should name the composers alone, but I’m sticking with the performers instead.

The first part, 68 was composed by David Coll, a young american composer who has spent some time at IRCAM. I know this kind of music generally requires a knowledge I just lack, so I won’t pretend to get what it really is about. Voice, cello and percussion, with the mandatory computer stuff of course. One of the things I liked about the latter is that is never got into showboating. It was obious at times, but it had probably been for a while when I noticed it, and was generally unobstrusive, more like just another instrument than some glitzy demo. There were parts that I liked, but not the whole. Too many ideas were stretched too long for me, and the worst came in the latter part with words from a saw whose overuse at all levels of irony have turned grating. On the other hand, even though there were images from that year in the background, he avoided the usual student and violence stuff to focus on the labor struggle side of the events, a refreshing perspective that got me thinking. I did like the Isidore Isou part at the start, even though it reminded me of even older stuff, and so seemed somehow out of place. The initial writing mimed by the singer with accompanying scratching had potential, but I think it went too long without developing. Kind of my general impression: some ideas in need of further development, potential but not enough actually coming out of it. Yet. He’s at the start of his career, so there’s plenty of time for that.

The second part was Lionel Peintre performing part of Georges Aperghis’ Jactations. I didn’t like it, I guess it was too close to some sound poetry I do like.

After a break, it was time for Pierre Henry’s Un monde lacéré. Something new with a title explicitely referencing Villeglé’s most famous works — famous enough for even me to know about it. I enjoyed that one, even though it might have been a bit long. Maybe not, because as it was each part had time to develop and wear out its welcome a little. It was a sequence of separate parts, using sounds that were sometimes easily identifiable — many instances of footsteps or cars — sometimes not. Some sequences were mostly rhythmic, some not at all, so it was a diverse bunch. My unexplained impression overall was of something definitely urban, with many mechanical elements. The car sounds were part of the urban reference, but I think it’s also because there was often a fainter continuous murmur in the quietest parts, like the ever present city noise I only notice in the rare occasions when I find myself in the country. I guess I liked it most because of the richness of the sound, which made me wish I had heard it in the great Messiaen hall instead, one of the best for that kind of thing.


October 3, 2008 - Posted by | Music | , ,

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