Concerts 06.06.2022

A not-to-be-missed event in the performing arts, the Musique Action festival in Vandœuvre-lès-Nancy (from 23 to 28 May), which has launched its 38ᵉ edition, continues to surprise us with the diversity of its proposals and the originality of a stage where all forms of expression intersect and dialogue.

Based on the oscillators, the frequency "machines" used by György Ligeti in his 1958 piece Artikulation (in the Cologne studio where Stockhausen had welcomed him), the composer Hervé Birolini has conceived Hidden Artikulation, an audiovisual performance that swings between revelation and concealment. The four musicians of the ensemble L'Archipel Nocturne play behind a wall, a metal structure designed by the composer. They are hidden when they manipulate the oscillators, putting the audience in a situation of "acousmatic" listening. The term refers to Pythagoras who lectured behind a curtain so as not to disturb his students' listening! In the mystery and opacity of the set, only the outline of the machines appears and the very pure frequencies coming out of these small boxes entrusted to invisible performers can be heard.

The wave and its oscillations, as the red thread of the show, are also drawn on the wall, a surface where the visual and sound artist Mathieu Chamagne makes a very fine work with lights and video, varying the representations and provoking trompe-l'oeil.
Instruments in hand (saxophone, double bass, electric guitar and percussion), the performers are this time in full light to give birth to a sound landscape with coloured frames where figures and other morphologies, brief or extended, noisy or smooth, are inscribed, soliciting amplification and spatialization: a sound proposal with a time that is sometimes suspended, where the image takes over from the movement in a fluidity and a substile articulation; the eye listens in this show articulating with subtlety both visual music and auditory image.

"Good evening, I'm David Bowie, Lou Reed's producer"; this is how Fanny de Chaillé, alongside her partner and double bass player Sarah Murcia, greets the audience and sets the tone for the show. "Transformed" is a rather corrosive performance by our two accomplices who revisit, shake up and reappropriate songs from Lou Reed's second album (1972): between derision ("it's the story of a guy"), forgery, humour (the interview with the journalist) and poetry, the two women cast their critical eye on the world, the society of men and showbiz by working with the text (Fanny de Chaillé) and the double bass (Sarah Murcia). The instrument, equipped with a "looper", initiates the accompaniment figures (a rhythm, a grain, a colour) which start to spin and remind us of the titles on the album. Sarah Murcia sings some of them with great charm - her voice is flexible and seductive - and hijacks others, according to her inspiration. She also plays her double bass as a soloist, revealing a sound that is both ample and warm. Fanny de Chaillé is always supportive, giving her voice to the choruses or trying out a little accompaniment. She does her theatre, sometimes vitriolic, and triggers laughter, with an inimitable wit and gouaille.

Apart from the evening concerts, several installations are permanently in operation in the adjacent rooms of the CCAM (André Malraux Cultural Centre) in Vandœuvre-lès-Nancy. One of them, Volumes, imagined by the visionary Mathieu Chamagne, can be visited with special equipment: helmets and 3D glasses are needed to enter the virtual and dizzying space where the public is invited to move around. One encounters interactive sound objects that react to gestures and allow each person to sculpt his or her own material. Movement, colours and surprising shapes mark out this adventurous walk conceived from sophisticated digital devices.

The audiovisual installation, Phase, by bassist David Merlo is no less so; in the centre of the space, surrounded by various points of light, is his bass guitar, apparently inert (the vibrating strings are not visible). However, it is the strings that react to the electrical impulses (a feedback phenomenon between the speakers and the bass's microphones) and, thanks to a generative process controlled by a digital application, maintain a perpetual renewal of sound and visual forms. The installation becomes a performance when David Merlo takes hold of his bass to make us live this hypnotic and immersive experience through his instrumentalist gesture.

Loops, feedback and nostalgia... three forms of loops that run through these two days of the festival offering, through the various themes, back and forth between avant-garde technology and looks at the past. But the festival goes on... read more about the events in David Sanson's next column on Hémisphère son, Musique Action's partner.

Michèle Tosi

Festival Musique Action, Vandœuvre-lès-Nancy, 24 and 25-05-2022
Hidden Artikulation: conception, composition Hervé Birolini; L'Archipel Nocturne: Louis-Michel Marion, double bass and oscillator; Christelle Séry, electric guitar and oscillator; Violaine Gestalder, saxophone and oscillator; Michel Deltruc, percussions and oscillator.
Transformed : conception, voice, double bass, Fanny de Chaillé, Sarah Murcia ; François-Xavier Vilaverde, sound
Phase / Installation and performance: conception and interpretation, David Merlo
Volume / Immersive interactive installation: Mathieu Chamagne

Photos © Gérard Savin
Photos © Jacky Joannes
Photos © Madeleine Decaux
Photos © Hugo Deverchère


buy twitter accounts