At the ManiFeste festival, the broad spectrum of contemporary music

Mezzo-soprano Stéphanie Guérin with the Court-Circuit ensemble, at Ircam, during the ManiFeste Festival, in Paris in June 2023.

The ManiFeste festival, organized by the Institute for Acoustic/Music Research and Coordination (Ircam), offers, until Saturday 1er July, a wide palette of contemporary colors often pigmented by the use of electronics, the house specialty. Their presentation sometimes tends to reconsider the traditional and frontal relationship of the musicians with the public. This was the case on Saturday, June 17, during the performances of two ensembles, Ictus and Court-Circuit, which constitute indisputable references for the interpretation of today’s repertoire.

Read the analysis on ManiFeste: Article reserved for our subscribers Musical creation challenged by new spaces and new audiences

The first, based in Brussels, displays a penchant for dance which was further affirmed in the performance given, late Saturday afternoon, at the Center Pompidou, in Paris, as part of Moviment, a multidisciplinary event that the museum divided into ten chapters until Friday 14 July. The seventh chapter, “Gesture and time”, encouraged the meeting of four musicians (flutist, percussionist, guitarist and keyboardist) and three dancers (two women, one man) in a show, Holding Presentco-designed by choreographer Ula Sickle and Ictus guitarist Tom Pauwels.

Initiated by a silent sequence of solitary handling of a large black standard and concluded by an equivalent episode with a rhomb (instrument of prehistoric origin whose whirling above the head is more or less sonorous), the show “gives to see, and to feel, how the individual gesture crosses the threshold of the collective act, becomes momentum”. To achieve this objective, a succession of musical works has been meticulously arranged.

Most are in the minimalist vein “made in the USA”, like the pages for one, then four triangles by Alvin Lucier (1931-2021) or those for pebbles clashed by Pauline Oliveros (1932-2016) , who have been emulated in Europe with Gert Aertsen and his long aluminum tubes caressed with the fingertips or Stellan Veloce and his harmonicas, with or without megaphones, which draw a circular wave around the public.

Read the editorial: Article reserved for our subscribers ManiFeste in search of new creative spaces

Very poor, on the musical level, the show nevertheless includes a beautiful creation, the first Intervention (for modular synthesizer) by Didem Coskunseven. The Turkish composer, born in 1985, then seems to take us on board one of these jumbo jets of the company “(A) ircam” where she trained in computer music. As for the various crossings of the stage by the mixed troupe (dancers, instrumentalists), they are part of the not always happy marriage of the choreographic carp and the musical rabbit.

You have 38.6% of this article left to read. The following is for subscribers only.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *