Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The world according to Jean Pallandre

In july 2004 Christine & I spent 2 weeks in Lebanon with Jean Pallandre. We played one concert at Rue 24 but mostly we travelled through Lebanon to record various soundscapes, both typical and un-typical, urban, coastal and in the countryside and mountainside. Sometimes actually playing acoustical instruments in these soundscapes at improbable hours (dusk and dawn). We have kept on performing as a trio using these field recordings and sometimes inviting other musicians to perform inside of this specific sound world. The recordings in great part determines the shape of the inmprovisations in an attempt to inscribe the acoustics into the soundfield.
This time we decided to finally record the trio's work in the optimal conditions of the GMEA studios in Albi so the music should finally be available on record sometime next year.
We performed it live in Bergerac in a theater festival in immigrant areas of the city to an audience mostly composed of kids and people who have never experienced any similar music. Always a very challenging task. But obviously the trio's music is very attractive to them because of the familiarity of sounds, simplicity of movements and mixture of different layers through which the ear can navigate through even without proper training.
The next day we where at La Maison Peinte, where Jean decided to surprise us all by not using his phonographies, but, for the first time of his life, only his own voice. A very radical shift for someone who is so used to working with other people's voices as musical material. In front of a very reduced audience (under 10), it seems that we did a very powerful set, precise, dynamic, playful, with Jean's low pitched voice providing sounds and poems that both fit into and bolstered the music.

Later on Jean confronted us with his thoughts about phonography: why is it that phonography is not recognised by the major art institutions? The french SACEM rejects it as being mere 'sound effects', while it represents to the ear the same relation as photography (hence the name) to the eye. Photography was quickly instigated as a powerful and promising art form (I can think of Munch and Strindberg's experiments for instance), while phonography is still widely unknown or rejected as an integral art form. Another example of the lower status of our ears in humanity's general appreciation of art?

Picture courtesy of Zéhavite Cohen.


Blogger nayla said...

that is good news ! i've been waiting to listen to that trio for more than 2 years. hope we'll have it by july 07

7:35 AM  
Blogger hbbk said...

Je ne peut que confirmer : vraiment ce concert était extraordinaire et Jean-Léon époustouflant de justesse dans cette nouvelle (pour lui) expression sans meme parler de la prestation de Sharif et Christine dont la modestie souffrirait des qualifiquatifs que j'aurais envie d'employer à leur égart ... Ce trio qu'il soit électro-acoustique ou totalement acoustique est une merveille et je pèse mes mots ;-) (pas besoin d'écrin luxueux pour briller sharif :-))

10:33 AM  

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