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ManiFeste-2016, the Academy – in the Spotlight: Beat Furrer

  • When he was young, Beat Furrer hesitated between committing himself to visual arts or to music. In his hometown of Schaffhausen, Switzerland, where he first studied piano, he also discovered contemporary art and movements such as the Arte Povera, with which he still feels very close. ManiFeste-2016 has come full circle by programming his pieces Spur, Lotófagos I and the creation Kaleidoscopic Memories as part of a concert in association with Centre Pompidou’s exhibition Un Art Pauvre. The festival will also feature his piece Linea dell’orizzonte and he will be part of ManiFeste-2016, the Academy, leading the reading sessions for full orchestra.


    Beat Furrer © David Furrer, 2014 


    Beat Furrer shares with IRCAM and ManiFeste the idea that music is not an isolated art, and that connections between artistic fields are realities that need to be explored. As he recently put it in an interview: “I think it is easier for me to be inspired by medias as diverse as literature or visual arts than by music itself”. Plastic arts and cinema have thus a strong influence on his work, like in his Streichquartett, inspired by the narrative structure of Christopher Nolan’s Memento, or Nuun, with the influence of Yves Klein’s monochrome. Likewise, ManiFeste-2016, the Academy highlights connections between music and others artistic fields in the In Vivo workshops dedicated to dance, under the supervision of French dancer Xavier Le Roy, and to circus with the circus artist Jérôme Thomas.

    Dylan Corlay 


    Beat Furrer’s music attaches great importance to voice, be it spoken or sung, whispered or articulated. Voice is for him an “elementary sound which experience is primary, but that also reflects our sound perception”. Many of his pieces, like Lotófagos I, explore the possibilities of human voices, reflecting his interest for this musical issue. Moreover, texts have an important place in his work, with many influences and references to world literature: Die Blinden booklet is based on Maurice Maeterlinck’s play Les Aveugles with excerpts from Plato, Rimbaud and Hölderlin, Dort ist das Meer – nachts stieg‘ ich hinab uses texts from Pablo Neruda and Narcissus comes from Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Beat Furrer speaks several languages and creates his own booklets from texts by famous authors in French, German, Spanish or Italian, translating himself texts from ancient authors. Not doubt that he will feel at ease in the Academy’s cosmopolitan atmosphere.


    Klangforum Wien © Lukas Beck


    In ManiFeste-2016, the Academy, he will lead the reading sessions for full orchestra, where eight composers from those accepted for the composition workshop for conducted ensemble and chamber music will write a short sketch that will be performed by the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, under the baton of Dylan Corlay. Beat Furrer will bring the young composers his experience as a renowned composer, his sense of pedagogy, but also his knowledge as a conductor: he conducted many ensembles and orchestras, such as the famous Klangforum Wien, which he created in 1985. The collaboration during the workshop between Beat Furrer and the recently awarded young French conductor Dylan Corlay is likely to be fascinating.



    June, 8, 8:30pm @ Centre Pompidou

    Sciarrino – Furrer

    Un Art Pauvre Concert


    June, 10, 8:30pm @ Philharmonie de Paris

    Temps reel, with Linea dell’orizzonte


    June, 30, 7pm @ Centre Pompidou

    In Vivo Danse-Camping / Xavier Leroy


    July, 2, 6pm @ CENTQUATRE

    Concert In Vivo Electro Workshop



    IRCAM multimedia library 

    Concerts, lectures, interviews, audio 



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