july 21, 2009.
I vividly remember how almost six years ago, on the evening of friday september
12th, 2003, I scurried along the Seine, up and down the Quai Panhard
et Levassor. I was looking for a place called "Les
Voûtes", where - as I had learned from a message on some mailing list or other
- there was to take place an event organized by a small independent Paris-based record label called Vert Pituite.
I passed a lot of boats of divers make and size, it got later and later, but I did see nothing that looked like "voûtes". I almost gave up. Almost. But I didn't. Though I do not recall what in the end then made me cross the road and walk a bit up the rue Neuve Tolbiac, where at last I came upon a xeroxed piece of paper scotched onto a fence that pointed me in the direction of the entrance.
I could still enjoy most of that 'belle soirée'.
I liked that evening and concert a lot, and it was the reason that a few days later I wrote to Olivier Brisson (who together with his then companion Erell Latimier was the driving force behind the series of 'la belle soirées' at the Voûtes). I sent him a copy of my 'Chronique Sonore', the series of minutely assembled sonic narratives that draw on my dictaphone diaries stretching over several decades, and which bridge the long gap that separates my sound work from the 1980s from what I am doing now.
It is not excluded that I sent one of the nine (9) mp3.com CDs to Olivier; but it might also just have been a CDr-copy. I can't remember, but maybe he does. Fact though is that soon afterwards we met for a coffee somewhere in Belleville.
I must have attended most of the la belle soirées that followed, descriptions of several of which found some spot or other in the SoundBlog.
As part the series' ninth edition, on sunday december 14th 2003, I shared a la belle soirée bill with Will Guthrie, who just had come flying in from Australia, and the duo Alexandre Bellenger and Arnaud Rivière. Though, as I do remember, that evening public attendance of the la belle soirées was at an all time low, it was a belle evening indeed. A special occasion for me, as then and there aux Voûtes was - not counting a couple of placards earlier that year - my first ever public Parisian performance.
I baptized my schizophonic table-cabaret of that evening XiK, or, in full: Xmas in Kentucky. Like earlier 'live chronicles', it was largely 'scored', and during the performance I followed a 'graphic representation', sort of a choreography containing instructions as to which tapes entered where and how, and what types of manipulation they would be submitted to. At the times I was highly intrigued by the puzzle of how to actually perform composed 'Chronique Sonore' type of pieces live, and not so much interested in freely improvising with the tapes and dictaphones. I thought I'd actually built up sort of a repertoire ...
In the end none of that did come about, and the "Chronique Sonore" itself ended up somewhere near the bottom of a steadily growing pile of other acts and actions. Or maybe it did, but in a way that I then was not able to imagine
Like all good things, also the "la belle soirées" did not last. But it was a pleasure to see how after several years of near silence quite suddenly & phoenix-like Vert Pituite did rise from the ashes. With Reprends-moi fort the labelle made a surprising come-back.
As Google's machine-translation of Olivier's (french) MySpace blog-entry dated october 14 2007 aptly put it: "FORT resume ME! The beautiful green Pituite resumed service". It did so - literally - with a twist, as the idea of the Reprends-moi fort events is that of détournement, of the re-make, of the - personal and idiosyncratic - cover of the 'classics' that influenced the participants in their music-making. Citing once more the output of Google's linguistic software: "because we like it, because you love it". And, in the original french, because "le détournement et la récupération personnelle en disent parfois plus long que la dite 'création'..."
I actually do agree, and the new Vert Pituite's concept proved to be a viable one.
As a matter of fact, before I found myself drifting off, reminiscing about the not so remote past, I had set out to enlighten you on the latest Vert Pituite event: a day long of Schizophonic Cabaret aux Voûtes, with and dedicated to the French Catalan musician Pascal Comelade. Personally I missed most of what over the years became of Pascal, but I do remember him very well from his work in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and his extensive use of toy instruments.
This particular Schizophonic Cabaret aux Voûtes, honoring Comelade, took place a mere couple of weeks ago, on saturday july 4th. And a great afternoon and evening it turned out to be.
I will tell you all about that in a next post ...
[ Here is a list of the la belle soirées mentioned and
described in the SoundBlog:
|| silence (lbs #7, sept. 12th 2003)
|| pituite souvenir (lbs #8, oct (?) 2003)
|| xmas in kentucky (lbs #9, dec. 14th 2003)
|| twos [niblock || palestine] (lbs #10, jan. 16th 2004)
|| face the music (the great vibrator) (lbs #14, june 16th 2004) ]
tags: Vert Pituite labelle, Sound Chronicles, Chronique Sonore, Paris
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july 20, 2009.
Last saturday, july 18th, Rébus phoned and asked me and C. to come over and see the La G. space on the avenue Parmentier. La G., the 'Parisienne de distribution de l'électricité' is a fine early 20th century industrial building (a former electric power distribution center), halfway between République and Père Lachaise. In the picture you see La G.'s facade as it was captured by the cameras of Google's Streetview.
The building is totally empty now, and slowly being prepared for use, as off coming september, by a faction of artists that used to work in the old La Générale in Belleville, foremost those that work with theatre and film.
Rébus proposed that we go around and test the space's acoustics, which gave rise to an impromptu rendering of ookoi's "Winterland Aria", quite remarkably captured by Rébus in this uTube :
[ added july 21st, 2009 : Curious fait divers: yesterday youTube gave nothing but Schoenberg, Berg and Webern stuff in its list of 'related videos'. Today it's the Sex Pistols ... :-) ... ]
tags: Paris, ookoi, Winterland
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