04.23.2020 – 04.24.2020
04.23.2020 – 04.24.2020
opera for voices, dead electronics & video, 69′
with the voices of Joël Hubaut (+text), Dorothy Iannone and Loré Lixenberg, mezzo-soprano
I wanted for a long time to do a large scale work based on my friend, the poet and artist Joël Hubaut. I asked Joël to perform some of the words taken from a selection of 18 posca drawings of his fantastic series “Epidemik Diary”, and I recorded his voice in London. The titles of those plates are announced by the hypnotic voice of the forever young american artist, Dorothy Iannone, that I had recorded a few weeks before, in her Berlin studio. The city of Berlin was where the production of this piece was supposed to happen, before the radio producer went into a pre-coronavirus silent mode, which made me think I don’t need any external production of any sort to achieve my music, as has indeed mostly been the case for the last 30 years. As an autodidactic composer, I have always privileged my desire of freedom and of subversive forms, ignoring imposed themes, format or aesthetics that have to be validated by those cultural policemen, while the real spirit of creation needs to be as far as possible from those administrative ghosts. The score and composition of ANTIPODES took place at EMS, the fantastic and open studio in Stockholm, where I returned thanks to Mats Lindström for a composing residency (after having used the Buchla in 2015 for another piece, MESS), in which I deepened my 10 years work on the endless vocal capacities of Loré Lixenberg’s stunning voice, starting with my first opera AATIE (2010-2011), and this time adding an oxymorous light and brilliance to the dark and powerful voice of Joël Hubaut.
ANTIPODES is divided into 3 parts : I. Hell / II. Purgatory / III. Paradise and also comprises (apart from those extreme vocalities which lead at some point to a 30 part Lixenberg choir section), some “dead electronics” plus other speaking mouths, and also a video extension. Each section of this “fist noise” opera of a new kind, is subdivided into 6 parts based on the drawings of Joël Hubaut. I initially thought of composing in a much more simple way than my usual writing, as my motto is “Never Repeat Yourself”. However, if I actually have succeeded in doing something new for me, it is by composing a unique form, mixing both simplicity and complexity, creating a strange mutating form that would be the accumulation of successive simplicities, adding one to the other, making ANTIPODES a kind of a hell of a Divine Comedy.
ANTIPODES exists in several incarnations, as always with my work :
– a QR-Code record-without-a-record, printed at 100 + 20 signed copies by ß@£ in 2019
– a serigraph QR-Codes on canvas (50x70cm), printed at 2 copies and currently on display in my solo show MUSIC FOR WALLS at Gallery Satellite, a show that was planned for months and finally put in place on March 16, 2020, 3 days before the planned opening, which turned out to be a closing, due to the Covid-19 Paris police confinement
– a spatialised concert in octophony with video screens (yet to be realised, as it was supposed to happen in September at Studio Concreto in Lecce)
– a museal installation in loop
However, on April 16, 2020, the “world premiere” of ANTIPODES will happen on Studio Concreto website. There is no need to comment on the common points of this work with the actual situation in which we all find ourselves, including pangolins. All Joël Hubaut’s visual works deal with the notion of virus and “Epidemik”, and I didn’t need to wait for this lockdown period to be self confined for 2 months in 2009 in the BDSM Donjon of Mistress Cindy, nor to use social distancing in all the music I’ve composed for 30 years, always recording all musicians and other performers, in total separation one from another.
What is remaining therefore is a pre-coronavirus music, which I hope you will enjoy even more, having to spend your time with this total lockdown. I also think that, with this global world crisis, people should finally understand that we no longer need mass production, but avant-garde experimental concerts for a tiny and refined audience of the curious and the outsiders.
Stay home, plug in your speakers and imagine the missing sub bass raping your whole body like a virus, and be a part of the experiment that is ANTIPODES which will be on loop for 24 hours, thanks to Laura Perrone and Luca Coclite, whom I met at Experimental Intermedia in NY some years ago.