Capturing the thrill with Les Furtifs

Concerts 26.11.2021

Laëtitia Pitz and Xavier Charles take up Alain Damasio's novelLes Furtifs and make us listen to this "science-fictional score" in which voices and instruments are woven into a single sound reality.

Adapted for the stage by Laëtitia Pitz, the text of the Furtifs, profound and funny at the same time, speaks to us of freedom and combative resistance against the society of control and tracing that governs our lives. Invented by Damasio, the Furtifs are invisible beings of flesh and sound, super-living beings that petrify as soon as a human looks at them: the emergence of a species that science has not been able to detect. We can only brush against them with our hands or save their thrill by welcoming them into our bodies.
Lorca and Sahar have lost their four-year-old daughter in strange circumstances they cannot explain. Gone, disappeared. Little Tishka has joined the band of Stealths being hunted by the hunter's pack. Convinced that his daughter is alive, Lorca becomes a Stealth hunter himself, looking for his daughter. He then meets Kendang, the Balinese gamelan player who reveals her existence to him: " Your daughter is alive, she lives in the air; you must reconnect with your wife, you must be together for her to return. To live is to create and dance on the crest of what has never been lived before ", the musician repeats in this central learning scene after which everything will change.

There are thirteen of them on stage, ten musicians led by Xavier Charles on his clarinet and three actors (Laëtitia Pitz, Benoit Di Marco and Sélim Zahrani) placed slightly above the instrumentalists. They lend their voices to the different characters of this abundant text: spoken voices in a more or less rapid flow, but also modulated, rhythmically in rapper mode and sometimes amplified for the needs of the narration. A fourth character, the Mannequin (Didier Menin), appears in the irresistible "taxile" scene. He is a creature that inflates like an airbag and whose profile is programmed according to the demands of the passenger he is to keep company with during the ride: dynamics of the conversation, level of language, theme addressed, etc. A moment of privileged theatre with just a few noisy effects in the orchestra.

The instrumental ensemble (percussion in the centre) is acoustic, which will interact with the voices. The stage work is based on the mutual listening of the actors and musicians. Xavier Charles says that he has sought out sound spaces and timbres in connection with the words: " Let the actor's words enter the tempo and play with them ," enthuses Laëtitia Pitz.

And this is how the spectator receives it, in a temporal fusion of the two worlds and a fluidity from one to the other that signs the success of the show. A glance at the score reveals the graphic dimension of the notation: trajectories, drawings, colour markers, suggestive terms (frisson, mouvant, affairé, agile, etc.), an intuitive composition that guides the improvisation of the instrumentalists - one thinks of theONCEIM, of which Xavier Charles is a member - in close correspondence with the text that appears next to it: " A meaning, a direction are given but each person is left with the possibility of inventing, of creating. Let's mention the very intimate moments with the strings - Patricia Boosshard 's violin with cornet - on the edge of silence at the arrival of Tishka; the singular colour given by the simultaneous playing of the two saxophones by Benjamin Dousteyssier and the jazz-like tracks (with the help of the drums) which pulse the narrative rhythm. There is no stage movement as such in Les Furtifs, except for the remarkable work on lighting by Christian Pinaud, which inhabits the silences and participates in the inner movement of this initiatory tale.
The Roland Furieux company reveals its beauty in a "resonance" as fine as it is operational.    

Michèle Tosi 

Bagnolet, Théâtre de l'Échangeur on 22-11-202
Les Furtifs: science-fictional score for spoken voices and instrumental ensemble; based on the novel by Alain Damasio; adaptation and direction by Laëtitia Pitz; composition and musical direction by Xavier Charles; lighting design by Christian Pinaud. Compagnie Roland furieux : Sébastien Béliah, double bass ; Patricia Bosshard, violin ; Xavier Charles, clarinet ; Benoit di Marco, voice ; Benjamin Dousteyssier, saxophones ; Antoine Gerbal, drums ; Louis Laurain, trumpet ; Didier Menin, voice ; Anaïs Moreau, cello ; Alexis Persigan, trombone ; Laëtitia Pitz, voice ; Marie Schwab, viola ; Sélim Zahrani, voice.  

Photos © Morgane Ahrach