march 30, 2010.
First things first ... :
In the picture to the left there's my 3 fellow Diktat-ors hanging around backstage on saturday february 27th, in the kitchen upstairs at La Machinante in the rue de Rochebrune, in Montreuil, France. We are waiting for the start of that evening's performances and just finished the quick 'n' mean pasta that Rébus had cooked up for us. If you have a closer look at the picture you will notice the t-shirts that (right to left) Rébus, Jean and Rinus are wearing. These are the cassettee shirts that Jean bought for the band on a Bangkok street market during his christmas holidays in Thailand; we'll wear them as sort of a Diktat uniform during performances. (Click the kitchen photo for a pic of one of the t-shirts.)
It was two days after the PTR
presentation. We had come to La Machinante in Montreuil to do the after
performance for the second of three runs of Chilean theatre maker Nelson
Estibill 's piece "Que de Passage". To the right you see La Machinante's
Didier Calleja, all geared up for his role in Nelson's play. He
reminded me of my favorite time traveling 11th century wizard, Catweazle.
(Clicking the image will lead you to l'Apparition, a short uTube of Didier in the kitchen, shot by Rébus that evening.)
Diktat did another good job that evening. We were happy with it, all were satisfied.
After the performance we went out into the cour and hung around the bar for a while. We had a couple of drinks before stepping
back into the main hall to pack our things. It was then, picking up his double bass that had
been posed on the
floor, that Jean noticed the crack in the instrument's neck.
He quickly released all four strings, but the damage had been done.
The bass's neck broke, completely, even before he had reached home.
It remains a mystery how this could have happened. Was it the intensity, the iron grip, the sound & the fury of Jean's slaloming amidst the sonic flow conjured, waggled and spilled by Diktat's cassetteurs? One would hope so, as there's hardly anything else that could at least partly justify the cruel demise of a fine 150 year old instrument. ( * ) It is not very likely though: upon examining the fractured neck, the instrument maker assured Jean that only a severe physical shock could have caused this.
Jean's double bass went into repair. Fortunately - and somewhat to his
own surprise - it was possible to heal the broken neck. At kind
of a stiff price, as you may imagine. And it will take a while. But possible
It therefore was with a bass borrowed from a friend, that a couple of weeks later, on friday march 12th, Jean joined me (piano), Jean-Jacques Duerinckx (baritone sax) and Dan Warburton (violin) for a concert in the Eglise Saint-Merry, in the 4th arrondissement, not far from the Centre Pompidou.
Here's a picture of us playing there that evening. You may click it to see larger.
We interpreted Richtige Dauern (Right Durations), the first piece from Aus den Sieben Tagen, Karlheinz Stockhausen's cycle of 'intuitive music' written in May 1968. ( ** ) Performing Richtige Dauern is something I had been wanting to do for quite a while already, at least since the writing, end 2007, of (the first part of) Electroacoustic improvisation as metalanguage and fixed point, which contains a section (10.3) with some observations on how Stockhausen's idea of a intuitive music relates to the practice of free improvisation. There could hardly have been a better occasion, a better place nor much better conditions to make that wish come true as on this evening of Erratum Musical at Saint-Merry's, curated by Rébus, and part of a series of events in the church called Les rendezvous contemporains de Saint-Merry. In hindsight I am convinced that even the very low temperature in the ancient stone building contributed positively to the quartet's concentrated and attentive performance.
Erratum Musical at Saint-Merry's opened with Jacqueline Méfano performing Noyade impressionniste and Mémoire de la porte blanche, two pieces for piano solo by her husband, the French composer and conductor Paul Méfano. Next, Jacqueline accompanied mezzo soprano Cécile Zylberajch in Alban Berg's Sieben Frühe Lieder (Seven Early Songs).
A lot has been said and a lot has been been written about "Aus den Sieben Tagen", and
in due time I surely will add some more. During the long hours we spent in the Bistro Beaubourg after the show, reflecting upon
and - in a way - 'recovering' from Stockhausen, and for many of the days that followed, Jean kept on
repeating how that evening's playing of 'Right Durations' had managed to overthrow many of his ideas
on free improvisation.
So, yes, we would love to do more like this, and will start looking into possibilities to - one way or another - do all of "Aus den Sieben Tagen". Including, of course: "Goldstaub". A wonderful challenge.
Much contributed to making this "Erratum Musical" a memorable one, an evening, indeed, that we will not lightly forget... Jean-Jacques had come all the way from Brussels to join us in "Right Durations", by car, and spent the night at my house. When early saturday morning I stepped out to go and buy some bread, I first walked up to the place where he had parked his car, to drop a couple of coins in the parking meter.
Here is what I found:
It took police, a wrecker, a garage, four days and many hundreds of euros to heal.
Is it any wonder then that saturday evening, march 13th, at La Générale in the avenue Parmentier, as part of yet another, though very different, event curated by Rébus, one saw an agitated "A Table!", more nervous and more aggressive than usual, throwing around not only words and sounds, but also bottles, plates and good home-cooked food?
All of that passed
fast as lightning, but Rébus did manage to capture some of it.
He stitched it together in another of his famed uTubes:
We did clean up, afterwards.
Nothing that a little meditation won't heal ...
notes __ ::
(*) Scene from the future "DIKTAT: the Movie":
"The band's performing at full speed and swooshingly takes even the most dangerous curves at full throttle. We see Jean Bordé in frantic embrace with his bass, bending over, hitting it hard with his left heel, when suddenly, with the angelic and cardiac-arresting climax just in sight ... (close up and switch to slow motion) tznapppp ! ... the bass's neck breaks ..." [ ^ ]
(**) Kh. Stockhausen - "Richtige Dauern", from: Aus den sieben Tagen (1968), for circa 4 players : " Play a sound / Play it for so long / until you feel / that you should stop // Again play a sound / Play it for so long / until you feel / that you should stop // and so on // Stop / when you feel / that you should stop // But whether you play or stop: / keep listening to the others // At best play / when people are listening // Do not rehearse " [ ^ ]
tags: Diktat, Montreuil, double bass, Stockhausen, Saint-Merry, Paris, A Table!
comments for on-g'luk = un-luck, that is: malheur, twice ... ::
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