new percussion duet

To come, a new piece for 2 percussionists:




It will last about 11 mn, and will use massive body percussion, text (inspired from André Breton), some instruments (2 cow bells, 1 crotal, 1 small cymbal, 1 set of small indian bells, 2 blocks), and props: 2 knives and 2 hammers.

Quaquaqua trio performs VICE VERSA (situation 4)





One can find previews of the score of the situations here and there

Commodity music (darmstadt 2016)


Commodity Music is a performance/concert, featuring four instrumentalists, video and pre recorded sounds.
The premiere of this show was presented in Darmstadt, on july 31st 2016.
The performers were the Zwerm guitar quartet.
The show was conceived to happen in a venue which allows the audience to move around, in various rooms.
The performers as well can move and therefore create a multistage-multifocus-multimedia show.





According to Plato, there are four categories of workers:
the farmer, the weaver, the shoe maker and the mason. If these four categories work SEPARATELY, the society is safe, and stable. However, there is a fifth category, added later in the dialog (Laws): the artist. The artist is the bastard, because (s)he mixes the categories: between real and fake, between true and false, human and dive, natural and artificial, good and bad, he imitates our passions, (s)he is DANGEROUS.



For Marx, the separation is central in the description of the class struggle, although he doesn t divide the society in four plus one categories, but more into a binary opposition.
Nowadays the separations of workers categories don´t fit the description of Plato, and the artist doesn t have a place in the Capital.
The workers and the leading class are changed, moved into a cloud of international products, in the realm of energy (gas, oil), network (the internet, communications), military and security industries.
The artist in this new world order has to adapt. If not to become a plain member of the society, a normal worker, at least he has learnt how to make money, how to become worth. The music has become sellable, not only magical. A commodity, not only message from the unknown (interceding with the Gods).



According to Morton Friedmann, there is no better way to improve freedom and wealth than the free market.





 Musicians imitating a peep show : are peeping and performing music compatible ?


What´s left to musicians, artists, between keeping the orphic approach ("i´m the rival of God, the interface beween Humans and the Big Mystery"), and making business ("i live with my time, and i´m pragmatic, dammit")?









attempt to imitate the gestures of the worker.







 a whole series of attempts

(these videos were shown throughout the show Commodity Music)





attempt to imitate the gestures of the sportman.

The musicians react in real time with the video projected against the walls.

The show Commodity music ended with the performance of Wandering Rocks, which uses the same basic musical material. Wandering Rocks was performed outside, it doesn´t contain any text, nor video.

This is a performance of that piece in a concert hall, in Orléans.




j svankmajer, interview par fs (en français)


1) le surréalisme en France est fortement rattaché à la figure de Breton, c'est-à-dire à un surréalisme lyrique, idéaliste, qui mythifie la féminité, et finalement est une synthèse du Symbolisme et du Dadaïsme. De toute évidence, votre Surréalisme est très différent ; pourriez-vous en décrire pour le lecteur français les bases théoriques, philosophiques ?

Le surréalisme tchèque n’est pas passé par le Dadaïsme. C’est étonnant mais Dada n’a pas marqué l’avant-garde tchèque des années 1920 et 1930. Et ceci en dépit du fait que nous sommes le pays de Hašek et qu’en général l’humour tchèque est assez proche de Dada. Le surréalisme tchèque s’est « développé » à partir du Poétisme et les futurs protagonistes du surréalisme tchèque (Jindřich Štyrský, Karel Teige) pendant longtemps n’ont pas caché certaines réserves qui les ont tenus éloignés du Surréalisme, réserves qui se sont notamment exprimées par rapport au premier Manifeste de Breton. Ce n’est qu’avec la rédaction du second manifeste du Poétisme et du Second manifeste du surréalisme qu’un certain langage commun a été trouvé. Une partie des poétistes tchèques, Vitězslav Nezval à leur tête, ont alors fondé en 1934 le groupe des Surréalistes en Tchécoslovaquie. À cela, a également contribué le fait que les surréalistes parisiens s’étaient alors rapprochés des thèses marxistes. L’avant-garde tchèque était fortement marquée à gauche et très engagée politiquement. 

Pourtant, malgré ce rapprochement, un certain recul ou une interprétation propre du surréalisme ont continué à perdurer ici. Les Tchèques, par exemple, ne se sont jamais adonnés à l’automatisme psychique. Les peintres Štyrský et Toyen s’en tenaient au « modèle intérieur » et l’automatisme de la création (tel qu’il put être appliqué par Miró par exemple) était assez loin d’eux. De même, le recours à l’hermétisme est une chose qui n’a pratiquement joué aucun rôle dans le surréalisme tchèque d’avant la Seconde Guerre mondiale.

Le surréalisme d’après-guerre, sous la pression des événements politiques, a ensuite pris un caractère fortement sarcastique et cynique, comme une défense contre une réalité absurde et monstrueuse.

2) Que pouvez vous dire de votre prochain film, bien qu'il ne soit pas terminé ? (notamment les techniques utilisées, le rôle de l'animation)

La technique n’est certainement pas la chose la plus importante d’un film, ni ce qui devrait en déterminer le caractère, néanmoins, je pense que la technique que j’ai utilisée dans le film Survivre sa vie a pas mal influencé le film lui-même, ainsi que le travail qui a été mené sur celui-ci. L’idée d’utiliser dans le film des photographies animées des acteurs est venue au départ d’une nécessité. Nous n’avons pas trouvé suffisamment d’argent pour tourner un film joué de façon classique. L’intrigue du film se déroule dans de nombreux décors extérieurs et cela coûte toujours très cher (locations, transports, catering... etc ). L’utilisation de photographies nous a donc permis de tourner l’intégralité du film dans notre atelier. Mais bientôt il s’est avéré que les photographies, même si nous leur avons appris à parler, ne pouvaient pas tout jouer. Elles ne pouvaient pas rendre, par exemple, la fine psychologie de l’expression. C’est pourquoi, certains passages du film ont dû être joués par les acteurs. La stylisation choisie a permis de filmer ces passages joués, en plans moyens et en gros plans, dans l’atelier, devant un fond photographique. C’est ainsi qu’est née une combinaison entre film joué et film animé, qui, je pense, n’a pas encore été utilisée. Est-ce à l’avantage du film ? Je suis pour l’instant incapable d’en juger. 

3) Vous avez dit que le processus créatif, qui doit être tout d'abord libératoire, était beaucoup plus important que le résultat final. Or vos films, comme vos gravures, vos œuvres tactiles sont d'une exigence, d'une précision et d'une densité incomparables. Comment ce double phénomène, apparemment contradictoire, se déroule-il dans votre processus de travail ? (si la question n'est pas claire : y a t'il des œuvres inachevées, ou des travaux complètement non artistiques ? inversement, y a t'il quelque chose de l'ordre de l'exercice, de l'exploration formelle ?)

Le processus créatif peut être comparé à une opération magique. Il se passe là des choses essentielles. Le processus de création doit garder une telle position « exceptionnelle », sinon il sombre dans un travail commun et épuisant, auquel ne nous rattache que l’espoir d’un résultat. Lorsque le processus créatif est « réel », il devient un chemin riche en aventures inattendues qui vous redonnent de l’énergie et le résultat incertain n’est alors plus une chose si importante en soi. Mais vous ne pouvez procéder de la sorte que dans le cadre d’une œuvre imaginative où c’est justement la force de l’imagination qui est décisive et où le résultat ne sert que comme un simple maillon de la chaîne ou comme un détonateur permettant de déclencher l’imagination du spectateur, ou comme une source d’inspiration pour un nouvel acte créateur. Plus la chaîne imaginative du processus créateur est longue et plus l’atmosphère magique est dense. Mais nous sommes ici dans une toute autre dimension que dans la sphère artistique. Ici, les expérimentations formelles ou les discussions sur l’esthétisme ou le non-esthétisme sont absolument nulles et non advenues.

4) "tendre vers la synesthésie", (décalogue) comment ? par exemple ?

La synesthésie est quelque chose qui me fascine. Il est probable que jadis cette manière complexe de percevoir le monde était vraiment mis en œuvre. La synesthésie est une sorte de transmutation des sens. Comment peut-on la développer ? Je ne sais pas. Peut-être en ayant recours à des actes créateurs hors du commun, telle la transmutation alchimique. J’ai tenté d’atteindre cet état à travers quelques expériences, par exemple celle de la « Perversion pour les cinq sens » ou celle de la « Morphologie de la peur ». La synesthésie est pour moi comme une sorte d’étoile qui me guide et vers laquelle je me dirige.

5) Vous insistez sur la nécessité de ne pas s'asservir à une technique, de ne pas se spécialiser dans une pratique, avez-vous l'impression d'avoir expérimenté dans tous les domaines artistiques, tels que le roman, la scène, la musique (comme Dubuffet), la lumière ? Où placez vous vos priorités, dans votre activité ?

Je pense qu’à l’époque actuelle qui dégorge de spécialistes professionnels pour chaque chose, il est indispensable de cultiver la « non-spécialisation ». C’est en elle que réside la liberté. Il ne faut pas craindre d’être accusé de dilettantisme ou d’infantilisme. Les surréalistes ont toujours proclamé que la poésie n’était qu’une. 


(traduit du tchèque par Anna Pravdová et Bertrand Schmitt).
L’auteur du Brave soldat Švejk ndt.




home work



Home Work in Bregenzer Festspiele

In Bregenz, was on 29th and 31st of july the premiere of a new show including video, live music and text: HOME WORK.It is actually based on material composed for Ensemble Recherche in 2008 for the Witten festival.
But here it's a complete rewriting, and adjunction of many elements : first my videos, animation movies i realized at home, and a new space concept : the audience turns around the stage, and can choose their position.

And the performers were not Ensemble Recherche, but Ictus plus guests (performer Dani Ploeger and saxophone player Mathieu Metzger).

I did the video thinking of a double side projection : the stage is divided in three, so that each sub scene has a half of a screen in common with the two other ones.
What makes it interesting is that there is a transparency between the opposite sides of the screens.
These screens, by the way, are large pieces of fabrik that i painted myself :

And large is large : about 7 meters on 7 meters.
But it's nice to have the combination of the painting and the projection.
This is for instance this same screen (above) with projection on it :


By changing the projection, i obtain a variety of colours and textures of very interesting types.

For the subject, the nigh-on religious rituals of a "common-or-garden" neurosis are presented in short mechanical routines, on a triple stage without interface. Well, almost without interface, they had a click track (metronome).

The whole caboodle flanked by three different films and three autonomous musical pairings.
The spectators are invited to stroll around in the midst of this curious spectacular machine, which, in the end, merges into a hyper-polyphonic musical adventure.

Home Work is less narrative in the autobiographic sense than other projects of the cycle Von d'r Wiige bis zum Gr., the purpose is to make a external expression of usually intimate and inconscious behaviors or thoughts.
It focuses drifted sexual behaviours, turned into rituals. This is strongly subjective and incomplete, and should not be interpreted as a case study, or as psychoanalysis demonstration, but more as a serious farce, so to speak.

Home Work in Bregenzer Festspiele

This is the plot : At home, three men (A in the garage, B in the kitchen and C in the living) are fixing the last details for an upcoming event : a machine test for A, a diner for B, a date for C. What seemed to be a simple home work takes unexpected directions.
The things so fervently requested happen but go beyond expectation, and provoke as much satisfactions as catastrophes, including cannibalism, sado-masochism and self-destruction.

Like i usually do, i ask the musicians to participate vocally, and gestually. The enlargement of roles is to be linked with what i previously said about the needs of a complete involvment, beyond categories.
It can be strange to do so much : music, video, texts, setting... but it gives a serious plus : a consistency from within. And also no endless and fruitless discussions.

Much more home work, though.

the encyclopaedia in Donaueschingen






The Donaueschingen festival invites me in the Prince museum for a concert-installation, which will open tonight, 14th of october until 16th.

Together with Ensemble Recherche and Jim Clayburgh for the lighting, i've designed a new vision of this XIX° century museum, based on the material of my Encyclopedia, written under the cover name of : Henry Jacques Glaçon.

This is the original version of the museum :





Old wood boxes and vitrines, stuffed animals, fossiles, uniforms from the Prince Gard and so and so. Incredibly old fashion.
The project is to add videos, labels, music performances all over the museum so that the visitor has a Glaçon's lecture of it.






Some stuff animals.






This last one is a paper wall i organized in order to make a projection.
The same with the projection :



Soon pictures and movies !





Telegrams from the Nose (with William Kentridge) in Tallinn


Invited by the friendly and inventive festival NYYD, Ictus and F Sarhan performed Telegrams from the Nose in Tallinn (capital of Estonia).



This show, based on Soviet Great Purges minutes, relates the trial and death of N Bukharin in 1933-1938. He was shot for obscure reasons, although he was a good friend fo Stalin himself.

Some other material of the show is taken from the short storied by Daniil Harms, such as :

I had raised dust. Children were running after me, tearing their clothing. Old men and old women fell from roofs. I whistled, I roared, my teeth chattered and I clattered like an iron bar. Lacerated children raced after me and, falling behind, broke their thin legs in their awful haste. Old men and old women were skipping around me. I rushed on! Filthy, rachitic children, looking like toadstools, got tangled under my feet. Running was hard going. I kept remembering things and once I even almost fell into the soft mush of old men and women floundering on the ground. I jumped, snapped a few heads off toadstools and trod on the belly of a thin old woman, who at this emitted a loud crunch and softly muttered: -- They've worn me out. -- Not looking back, I ran on further. Now under my feet was a clean and smooth pavement. Occasional streetlamps lit my way. I ran up to the bath-house. The welcoming bath-house flickered in front of me and the cosy but stifling bathhouse steam was already in my nostrils, ears and mouth. Without undressing, I ran straight through the changing-room, then past the taps, the tubs and the planks, to the shelf. A hot white cloud surrounds me, I hear a weak but insistent sound. I seem to be lying down.

And at this point, a mighty relaxation stopped my heart.

The venue where we performed Telegrams from the Nose was well choosen : the Vene Kultuurikeskus, which is an old building, in the soviet style !

As a russian cultural center, it has been renovated, but they were clever enough to keep the symbolic elements of the origins :



And actually that talks well about the situation of this country, taken between a timid estonian identity and a powerful and long russian and then soviet occupation.

At such a degree that some estonians consider themselves as russians-from-Estonia.

And once more, unfortunately one can see that from the communist period this country went to the hyper liberal shit that only some idiots and Americans still praise :

From tyre factories to brothels, enormous economical discrepancies, big black mercedes and poor wood housings, beggars and prostitutes, men in black, like in Russia.

Thank you capitalism, thank you, soviets.


Prostitution of the mind, prostitution of the body.

Going from political oppression to commercial oppression. Lying and killing under the name of equality, then lying and destroying under the name of freedom and money.

Choose your camp!

the magnetic fields, jan svankmajer


For the second time, Prague Modern performed the show called Les Champs Magnétiques de Jan Švankmajer (J.S' magnetic fields). This was in Orléans, on the 8th of december.







The first time was in Prague, in may, with mr Švankmajer himself in the room. see here.

The show is made of 5 short movies (Peaceful week at home, the Flat, food, dialogs, and darkness-light-darkness). I've composed new music for these movies, or, in the case of the flat, there is almost no music, but two sound makers do the sound track in REAL TIME on stage.

Between the movies, there are 4 short interludes, made of a selection from Švankmajer's decalog, performed/said by the musicians themselves.

These live interventions are made in a way that the performers seem to be extracted from the movies : they are dressed in this old fashioned czech style one can see in Food, for instance. And their physical activity is connected to the mechanical movements of the characters in the movies.








meeting J Svankmajer



Ok, this is the story, i think every Svankmajer lover will like it.

Since a long time i wanted to meet Jan Svankmajer. Not for a very special reason, but just for collecting impressions, taking pictures, ask him some questions. But how ? he doesn't speak english, german or french, only czech, and i don't.

We have a common friend, Bertrand Schmitt, among other things member of the prag surrealist group, still active (yes yes yes) but it's not easy just to pop up even with a go between and be in a comfortable position.

So i decided to pretend that i was a journalist and that i wanted to write an article about Svankmajer. I planned a meeting with Bertrand Schmitt to go and ask Svankmajer a few questions in his studio near Prag.

I proposed that potential article to different people in france, and at the end the very good monthly Mouvement (David Sanson at that time) was interested to publish an interview of this obscure man.


Here we are, at his studio.






This house is his cinema studio, some 30 kilometers out of Prague. Here he shoots, edits and make animation.
It's a sort of old farm, renovated in a fake baroc style.

Getting closer, one can easily recognize Svankmajer's style :






I had prepared my questions, which is sent via email, and he replied, and gave me the answer on paper.
So let's get into the studio and see what it look like.







Yes that is the door.
This visit was at the time (2010, march), where he was making his movie "Surviving his life" (that's the title i know).
The technical principle of the movie was : shooting some scenes in real with people in decor, and the rest is animation based on pictures of the same characters.



So here you can see one his asssistant with a folder of papers with hundreds of feet, heads, arms, etc. from pictures of the characters. These small components are animated on a black and white background. As you can imagine, there are thousands of them, and it takes hours and hours !





Now, let's see the master. he comes, very gentle, makes a little tour inside the studio to show me all the rooms and how he works.
He talks in czech, and my translator, Anna Pradovna keeps me informed from time to time.



video


I'm quite sorry not to understand what he says directly, but i recorded the conversation, so maybe some one, one day, will tell me e-x-a-c-t-l-y !

To come back to the conception of the movie, these little paper bits are cut, shot one after the other in order to make scenes.

Then in a small room upstairs, this is the editing room. You can see the rolls of film wihch have been cut.
they (Svankmajer and his colleague, the lady in charge of the editing) look at the movie on a small monitor.

So that's it, at the end he gives a paper where he printed his answers, and i go to the next bar with Bertrand Schmitt and Anna to read them and they translate them for me.
This artile has been published by the magazine Mouvement(.net), but i reproduce this interview on this blog.
Unfortunately, it's in french and i guess most of you guys don't speak french so....

video

paleo lear in South Africa




This is a little flash back.
This "show" was presented in Nirox, the art foundation in Cradle of Human Kind, South Africa, in april 2011.
But in spite of the delay, the general concept is quite unusual, and the pictures are very beautiful, so this is a short description of the whole.
To start with, in 2010 i realised in Nirox a series of short movies, videos, starring skulls, animal skulls, used as puppets. Each head was a character in the play A king Lear, by (more or less) William Shakespeare. I did that with no preconceived idea, i must say, the fact that these beautiful skulls were there, and that i was working on Lear at that time made me do that.


Regan & Goneril



It was quite interesting to make these bones move and represent the actions and words of these Renaissance characters. Technically speaking, i added the voices afterwords, voices made by the Vox vocal quartet, from Göteborg.



Vox quartet during the performance of A king, Lear



The whole skull Lear movie was used during a show presented in France in november of 2010. The show included singers (this Vox vocal quartet), the Diotima String Quartet, Miquel Bernat on percussion, and so and so.




In this show, the movies were integrated in the beautiful scenography by Jim Clayburgh, on movable screens ; the story was told by the narrator, Johanne Saunier, and the skull movies acted like a parody, or a double story line. The story was either sung, or spoken by Johanne (i couldn't set all the scenes in music), or shown on the screen through these movies.



A King, Lear, tutti




Then in april 2011 i was invited to perform in Nirox, thanx to the French Institute and i had the idea to actually perform the movies i shot, based on that concept :



Nirox Foundation allowed me to stay for a while and do precise and definitive researches in the Cradle of Human Sounds ; the results were beyond expectations : i discovered many forgotten species of animals, of sound categories, and even started to build a new taxinomy for them. My second stay, not earlier than last march allowed me to attend to unknown rituals in Nirox : every night and early mornings a number of animals (who explicitely requested anonymity) play the King Lear play, today known as written by William Shakespeare. I filmed some of these strange scenes, with a hidden camera.
No one can prevent me to think that these scenes are rigousrously similarly performed every day since the dawn of humanity ; in that case, Shakespeare didn't invent anything, but more, he attended some of these secret performances, on which he based his writing.
To imagine Shakespeare nervously recording these best repartees hidden in a bush at Nirox is a fascinating yet already controversial thesis, which i kindly leave to the discretion of the brittish specialists.
Regards from

Henry Jacques Glaçon



The form was the following : audience was invited to come to Nirox at 11am, and the show started at about 11H45. It had the appearance of a fair. I was the guide, taking people from one spot to another, on path ccarefully defined by Benji Liebmann, the owner of the place.

This is how Benji introduced the thing :



In 2008 William Kentridge introduced NIROX to Francois Sarhan, the composer and cellist. We got much more than we bargained for!
By the end of his first residency he had revealed a range of skills, intellect and wit that clearly positioned his art at the cutting edge – combining sound, stop-animation film, collage, painting, text and performance – with a result that defies categorization.
In 2009 Sarhan and his group CRwth introduced the fictional character Prof Glacon and his phantasmagorical Dadaist views on the world of music, to an unsuspecting public through a performance in the NIROX sculpture park, alongside a French picnic. Apart from spreading confusion all round regarding the history of music, the event was a resounding success.
Two years and several more visits to NIROX later, Sarhan returns to expose the ‘truth’ about the history of Shakespear’s King Lear. He is joined by members of the highly regarded percussion group ‘Drumming’, based in Portugal and comprising performers from across Europe.
Having studied the Paleo-anthropological history so richly preserved in the Cradle of Humankind (according to Prof Glacon, more correctly named the Cradle of Human Sound), Sarhan will reveal to the audience Prof Glacon’s discovery of Shakespeare’s inspiration, and perhaps his plagiarism?
Deep in the bush lie the secrets uncovered by Glacon. The audience will hear ancient sounds and watch strange beasts as it is led through secret bush paths – gratefully sustained with wine and a charcuterie lunch – to emerge enlightened, entertained, and satiated.






So the audience was walking in this paradisiac nature, and from time to time could see and hear a scene from Lear, performed by three awesome puppetiers, and the glorious Drumming percussion quartet, from Portugal.














There were about 6 scenes, and i explained a bit before, then music and performance.






The fun is to put musicians and puppeteers in strange positions.
And to suspend instruments and instrumentalists.









Jore the bookmaker






This stocky man made all his colleagues jealous, so much so that he received threatening letters, was insulted in public, etc. as, quite plainly, his runners were always winning. How was this possible? He seemed able to accurately predict the number of moves an athlete was likely to make in a lifetime, placing him as a result in the best position to win when the time came. Energy, rest, endurance, effort, Jore could read all these skills in an individual in one single (rather pricey) session.

As a result, and to exploit his technical advantage over his colleagues, he embarked on a far more lucrative endeavour than betting on runners. He betted on the end of their lives. He knew perfectly well how far a runner could go, and once this limit was passed, perhaps aided by some substance of his own devising, just after the finishing line, the athlete reeled, thrashing about furiously, twisting in the sand, tearing off his vest, let loose a final scream, and fell, doubled over, fingers twisted, head first.

Many would have gone bankrupt to see this unique moment; the athlete placed feet up, to boos from the audience. This was indeed a dangerous game for Jore, since he might be accused of murder, and the runners themselves were a touch apprehensive at the notion of joining his stable. But what are such old lady's precautions when glory itself is on offer, naked on a platter? Thanks to a few subtle, financially barely compromising failures, spread out here and there, Jore managed to eliminate the growing mistrust towards him. On the other hand, in his very exclusive club at 8, rue Volta, one could bet astronomical amounts, or one's grandmother, or anything that might strike Jore's fancy, on the fall of such and such a world class runner, female jumper, shouter, eater.

Audiences therefore came to witness this extraordinary exploit, not to watch an athlete win a race, a banal and incessantly repeated experience, but to see what happened right afterwards, would he fall? Turn blue? Freeze in mid-race? Empty himself out by all his orifices? The crowd then rejoiced and Jore the bookmaker was called, arriving to great cheering from the crowd, in his ineffable cream suit and wide-brimmed hat, raising the arm of the defeated winner, and discretely slipping the trophy into his large yawning pocket.

drawing in march




three drawings, march 2012, prague





In Noirlac 1


Le professeur Glaçon est invité à l'abbaye de Noirlac (Cher, France)




Lumières sur quelques moines et autres anciens occupants de l'abbaye de Noirlac.


L'abbaye de Noirlac est fière de présenter aujourd'hui au public les recherches poussées du professeur Glaçon sur quelques-uns des anciens locataires de l'abbaye.

Au cours de l'histoire, le lieu a été occupé par des personnalités diverses, et qui ont occupé des fonctions contrastées ; on sait bien sûr l'usage monastique qui a prévalu de nombreux siècles, on verra par exemple la chambre de frère Johnston (1704-1767), mais on connait moins son insectorium, ou la vie de la Duchesse de X.



Nous avons reconstitué, autant que possible, les éléments principaux des chambres en fonction de leurs prestigieux locataires, afin de rendre leurs vie ou leur pensée plus parlantes, plus crédibles.





Le couloir, avec, à droite, les chambres des moines.

J'ai réalisé une installation par chambre (5), en proposant un habitant imaginaire pour chacune d'entre elles.


Ci-dessous, le passage de l'une à l'autre.










Ici la chambre de Frère Johnston.







Savant respecté, entomologiste craint, homme politique avisé, frère Johnston (1704-1767) a porté ses recherches sur les sons de la nature :
Lorsque la parole se tait, le silence se remplit progressivement par la pensée, que l'on peut, avec du soin et de la concentration, entendre sous forme d'harmonie. La couleur de ces harmonies dépend largement des pensées qui la précèdent, et on ne s'étonnera pas plus de voir des accords lumineux et résonnants dans le cas de pensées élevées et virginales, que des accords arrachés et hargneux quand les hommes ont des pensées impures.
Ceci étant, y a-t'il une adéquation parfaite entre les pensées et la couleur de l'harmonie ? Ne peut-on pas tricher, et s'adonner à de multiples péchés, en pensée, tandis que l'harmonie résultante est pure et rayonnante ?
Nous avons fait des tests, nous avons fait intervenir les mêmes personnes qui pensaient à des choses différentes, et inversement des personnes différentes qui pensaient à la même chose. Eh bien le résultat est plus complexe qu'on le croit ; non seulement les feuilles de la pensée s'envolent, se dispersent et la musique reste la même, et aussi inversement, il arrive que tels des grands voiliers, si lointains qu'on ne distingue plus qu'une tache blanche, des bribes de pensées flottant dans une pièce émettent des sons si épars que personne ne songerait à les associer.
Découverts par Frère Johnston, ces demi-correspondances ont été considérées parfois comme pathologiques, et pourtant, c'est injuste : des cas extrêmes d'associations arbitraires entre le son et la pensée sont largement répandus, et ne provoquent aucune réaction de rejet, ni d'étonnement… personne ne s'étonne par exemple que quelqu'un puisse pratiquer un instrument de musique pendant des années sans savoir pourquoi, ni quel sens possède le résultat.
Donc que cette rémanence sonore des pensées soit maladive chez certains sujets (on raconte par exemple que Johnston était si sensible qu'il pouvait savoir à quoi les gens pensaient rien qu'en entendant les harmonies résultantes, à tel point qu'il a été contraint de s'isoler de la société des hommes pour ne pas être en permanence dans une situation de voyeurisme mental), cela reste à démontrer.
Ce qui est plus intéressant est que le même Père Johnston avait des facultés supérieures dans l'écoute de la pensée. Il a fini sa vie en consignant ce que la Nature lui enseignait sous forme de rémanences harmoniques des choses du monde, c'est-à-dire rien d'autre que le son produit par ce que l'on ne peut pas qualifier de pensée, mais peut-être de  forme d'activité intelligente des plantes, des arbres et des pierres. En sachant que chacune de ces choses émet quelque chose, qui se modifie au gré des saisons, des heures de la journée, comme la mer émet un puissant et permanent rugissement lointain, nous ne pouvons qu'être émerveillés de penser que Père Johnston a atteint l'écoute du son du monde, la voix de la nature, au sens propre.




Son insectarium :







Sur les murs de sa chambre, des scènes édifiantes de la vie religieuse de l'époque.





















Lorsque le capitaine Hortusus Polyae Simon sortit de la cabine, il entendit les sifflements typiques de XXXX qui l'invitaient à la danse. Heureusement, frère Johnston, son second, sourd comme un pot, donc immunisé, reconnut le danger, à la manière quelque peu indécise et comme hypnotisée avec laquelle son patron marchait sur le pont en direction du bord, prêt à se jeter dans les griffes du monstre. Il se rua sur lui, et à coups de bottes l'empêcha de se jeter dans l'eau, et le réveilla en lui mettant des glaçons sur le crâne.
Il suffit d'une personne qui résiste au XXXX pour que celui-ci, dans un hurlement atroce, perde son pouvoir, puis rende ses victimes, se retransforme dans d'horribles convulsions et finisse en embryon, pour enfin resombrer dans la mer et attendre là qu'une nouvelle période de l'histoire de la musique ne s'achève.
C'est ce qui arriva à celui-ci. Ayant raté le capitaine Simon, le XXXX se rétracta soudain dans une grande gerbe d'eau, créa un trou dans la mer dans lequel il s'enfonça, tandis que de part et d'autres jaillissaient divers membres et fragments précédemment ingérés. 


Ici la chambre de la Duchesse de X.
L'abbaye n'a pas toujours été habitée par des moines, mais aussi des laïques (véridique).




  En soie bleue, la voilette de la duchesse de X. émet un petit bruissement à haute charge érotique sur son palefrenier, Robert Waschel-Welsch. On ne peut pas dire que la duchesse le laisse souvent sur sa faim dans ce domaine, du reste, mais un jour le duc, sans doute interpellé par les petites mélodies serpentines qui montaient des appartements de son épouse, alla y mettre son noble nez. Heureusement elle avait tout prévu et son hermine se mit à couiner peu avant l'arriver du cocu, qui, étonné de voir sa femme allongée dans son lit en train d'égrener quelques notes de psaltérion, décida de lui offrir une famille complète de ce noble instrument. Une assemblée de luthiers bien au courant des fantaisies de leur maîtresse dessina les instruments en question, rivalisant de volupté dans les formes, et tandis que la duchesse et Robert émettaient de nouvelles mélodies inédites stimulées par la voilette de soie bleue, une douce orchestration polyphonique les accompagnait depuis divers points de l'abbaye, qui ravissait le mélomane et généreux duc.



Le 13 mai 2012 aura lieu un concert dans cette installation, avec quatre musiciens : Sylvain Lemêtre, Mathieu Metzger, Catherine Pavet et Noémi Boutin.