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“I compose the choreography during daytime with the entire team and at night, I work alone on the music composition” said Thierry De Mey about the setting up of his new piece, Simplexity, to be premiered in France during ManiFeste-2016. The oppositions that he embodies between stage and composition, collaboration and solitude, day and night, are real issues in music for both young performers and young composers. ManiFeste-2016, the Academy tackle this question with Steven Schick’s interpretation master class for percussion ensemble and the two In Vivo workshops, which bring musicians and dancers face-to-face for In Vivo Danse; composers and circus artists for In Vivo Electro.
Playing music is not only a matter of technique or sound. It is also about being a body, on stage, in front of a public. This issue of music performance, questioning the very nature of the musical gesture on stage, is particularly vivid for percussion performers: their instrumentation is often a staging in itself and their playing is mostly spectacular. Steven Schick’s master class will thus look into the dimension of interpretation that deals with the attitude of the performer on stage, and two pieces out of the five studied include specific staging. In Steve Reich’s Drumming, movements of the performers’ sticks on the bongo drums have something of choreographical, as their comings and goings are theatrical. In Philippe Leroux’s De La Vitesse, movements of the performers from the center to the edges of the stage imitate the movement of the Big Bang.
The choreographic dimension of music interpretation on stage is also at the core of the In Vivo Danse master class, led by Xavier Le Roy. For eight days, sixteen young dancers and sixteen young musicians will live a common experience of movement by performing in silence —without instrument or object— DW 5 by Bernhard Lang. This collaboration between dancers and musicians without their instruments will highlight the aesthetic side of musical gesture, as it will question the attitude of performers on stage.
Jérôme Thomas during In Vivo Electro rehearsals in March
But performers are not the only ones concerned by this issue: music composition also has a stage dimension. Most of the student composers of the composition workshop for conducted ensemble wrote specific stage placements, rearranging the spatial set up for sound but also from a theatrical perspective. Likewise the young composers of In Vivo Electro workshop —led by Mauro Lanza and Jérôme Thomas— will have to think about what it means to compose for stage and performers, since they will work with the stage set of circus artist Jérôme Thomas’ piece HIC. Such collaboration —between four student composers and four circus artists— is a real challenge as they come from two different artistic fields, with their own universe, codes and languages. Composers will have to find the right balance between writing and improvisation, creating their pieces directly for the stage performance, while their music will influence back way the stage performance is perceived.
Delusion of the Fury, Ruhrtriennale 2013 © Wonge Bergmann for the Ruhrtriennale
Earlier in ManiFeste, other pieces broach this issue of performing and music, like Thierry De Mey’s Simplexity or Thomas Hauert’s Inaudible. The French premiere of Delusion of the Fury by Harry Partch, with staging by Heiner Goebbels, will be the perfect appetizer before attending the result of the Academy’s collaborations and reflections about music and stage. An opera, with inventive staging, beautiful microtonal music and Partch incredible instrumentation: that’s all you need to get ready.
SAVE THE DATE!
Simplexity La Beauté du Geste by Thierry De Mey
Inaudible by Thomas Hauert
Delusion of the Fury by Harry Partch/Heiner Goebbels
Percussion Night 2. Tutti
Concert: Percussion Master Class with Steven Schick
In Vivo Danse-CAMPING / Xavier Leroy
Concert: Chamber Music Composition Workshop
Concert: Conducted Ensemble Composition Workshop
Concert In Vivo Electro Workshop