The underworld on stage in Valenciennes

The Factory 01.02.2023

The Phénix in Valenciennes will be ablaze on February 3 with the creation of the latest work by the city's Center for Musical Creation, Art Zoyd Studios: Paysages des enfers. A plural show where live music, dance and video crackle together in a rereading of the last pieces composed by Gérard Hourbette.

Art Zoyd Studios was founded in 1999 by Gerard Hourbette and Monique Vialadieu. Aficionados of progressive rock and free jazz will recognize the name of the band Hourbette founded and led until his death in 2018. Génération sans futur, Les Espaces inquiets, Haxan... Art Zoyd's electronic compositions marked the 1970s and 80s. The Center, born in the wake of the group's sound experiments, now organizes residencies and ensures the dissemination of its musical compositions, essentially electroacoustic: experiments whose keystone is the practice of new instruments and sound exploration. Art Zoyd the band is no more, but the studio activity is in full swing.

Musical Testament

The new work, Paysages des enfers, is a palimpsest with Dantesque and Baroque tones, as it includes the last pieces composed by Gérard Hourbette. Pieces recorded on disc and that the musician wished, before his death, to bring to the stage. These last pieces marked a turning point in Gérard's aesthetic," explains Monique Vialadieu, director of the Center. He often worked with electronic instruments that he doubled with acoustics. The pieces in Paysages des enfers are much more electronic, more radical."

Four-handed composition

Gerard and I were supposed to work together on Paysages des enfers, about ten years ago," recalls the other musician of the project, composer and bassist Kasper T. Toeplitz. We didn't quite see eye to eye: I wanted a live show from the start, he less so. We had different desires, but we didn't stop getting along. We had different desires, but we didn't stop getting along. He carried out the project on his own, on the record. When Gérard Hourbette died in 2018, Kasper T. Toeplitz took over the artistic direction of Art Zoyd Studios. "The idea was to finish the work done and end up with a show!" confides the musician. A work of writing with four hands, which makes dialogue between two musical memories. "So I started from the music composed by Gérard, I took what I liked and I reworked the sound materials, the continuity, the duration.

Teaser Paysages Des Enfers - Creation on February 3rd 2023 at the Phénix - scène nationale Valenciennes from Art Zoyd on Vimeo.

Presented as an "immersive musical exploration", Paysages des enfers is a three-dimensional show. On stage, a dancer, Myriam Gourfink, lights and Dominik Barbier's symbolist video, broadcasted on a giant screen, in the background. " The video mixes different representations and icons of hell, images of musicians and dancers," explains Monique Vialadieu. The musician is on the edge of the stage and works, live, on the sound spatialization. We see him, we don't really see him. A character in his own right, the immense system of loudspeakers broadcasts the music. " Gérard had left a few notes saying that music should be at the center of this scenic project, explains Monique Vialadieu. He wanted a form of musical brutality, a real immersion that would allow you to go to the heart of the sound. Kasper T. Toeplitz is also used to working with dancers: "I have worked with many contemporary dance companies in Europe. My musical approach is never to stick to the dance, to repeat what the movement says. They are two distinct languages which, together, create a third.

Landscapes of the underworld The plural is important because the hells evoked during the hour that the show lasts are multiple. Dante's Inferno, in counterpoint, the collective hell and the individual hell with the physical and mental confinement, this hell that inhabited Gérard Hourbette, ill, at the end of his life. A chiaroscuro show that proposes, finally, a form of corporal, visual and, of course, musical transcendence.

Suzanne Gervais

Creation of Landscapes of the underworldFebruary 3rd at 8pm at the Phénix, Valenciennes

Photos © Art Zoyd studios


buy twitter accounts