Tom Johnson (played by Dante Boon)
Gilles Furtwängler (with Lionel Friedli)
Around a manifesto written by the Swiss artist Guy Meldem, three performances—three celebrations of the voice—punctuate this event. The incorporation of words in the bare spaces of le plateau is offered while looking at a picture by Peter Halley.
Played by Dante Boon, Tom Johnson’s One Hour Piano is a one-hour work for piano, which is listened to like an echo of the silent and personal reading of a text – the one punctuating the experience of the other, and offering the reading of the other.
Gilles Furtwängler’s proposal, with Lionel Friedli on drums, involves getting words to resonate in space. Faitfhul to his desire to “print mental images in people’s brains”, with the percussion Gilles Furtwängler doubles the impact of his words and prints his voice.
Considering words and their inclusion in space, with just her voice the Punk muse Lydia Lunch plays the exhibition space the way one plays a score. Her texts, overlaid in acoustic layers, accumulate to describe the power of her writing and remind us that, for her, music is just the backdrop for words.
If, through its immaterial nature, the voice reveals the perceptible architecture of the place, Peter Halley’s work can be read here like the concentration of a space. Its sequences of channels and intersections form the topology of a cell which is offered echo-like to the intricacy of the rooms of le plateau.
A Personal Sonic Geology is the 4th session of a series of events initiated in March 2014 by Mathieu Copeland and Philippe Decrauzat. Each one of these sessions proposes a sonic and visual experiment in the empty spaces of le plateau. Togather, accompanied by the exhibition part of the programme, these sessions compose the grid of a vast research project around the relations between music, painting and film. The 1st session, The beating (from the microtones) is beating me down, took as its starting point a certain material quality of sound (FM Einheit, Fritz Hauser, Bruce McClure), and the 2nd session, Beginning again, imagined the creation of a visual environment based on Ben Van Meter’s experimental cinema. Susan Stenger (accompanied by Robert Poss and Olwen Fouéré), invited for the 3rd session, Point of no point, offered us her sonic anthology, by regarding the exhibition venue like a score.
*Guy Meldem’s manifesto
After graduating from the Lausanne School of art (ECAL) in 2006, he has since been involved in sculpture, graphics and mainly texts (writing and reading).
“The basis of my texts is a mix of personal writings and found words […]. The main subject of all my texts might be banality, that banality that brings us together, which means that we gather together, which levels hierarchies, which likens art and dental surgery, art and Swedish massage, art and world debt, world debt and plumbing, plumbing and well-being, well-being and Formula 1, Formula 1 and extremists.”
Born in 1975 in Switzerland, the drummer Lionel Frieldi is a graduate of the Advanced School of Music in Lucerne. His interest in improvised, experimental, and alternative music has led him to collaborate with major musical figures in the Swiss and international scene. His musical research has prompted him to incorporate in his playing an original and recognizable discourse, made up of “rhythmic formulae” coming from different great musical tendencies, contemporary and past alike, and of input involving more specific ideas coming from improvised European and New York music.
Tom Johnson, who was born on 18 November 1939 in Greeley (Colorado), is an American composer. He studied at Yale University and took private classes with Morton Feldman. After fifteen years spent in New York, he moved to Paris in 1983, where he now lives with his wife, the artist Esther Ferrer. He identifies himself as a minimalist composer; he in fact encountered this term while writing musical reviews for the Village Voice. Since then, he has compiled a certain number of articles on the subject in his book The Voice of New Music; his definition of the term has evolved over the years.
Dutch pianist and composer Dante Boon (b. 1973) has been playing and composing new music from an early age. He worked with, among others, Tom Johnson, Samuel Vriezen, Rozalie Hirs, Antoine Beuger, Jürg Frey and James Fulkerson on recording projects and first concert performances.
With Samuel Vriezen, he recorded Tom Johnson’s ‘Symmetries’ for piano four hands. A solo CD, “cage.frey.vriezen.feldman.ayres.johnson manion” appeared in 2010 at Edition Wandelweiser Records to international critical acclaim.
In the making are CD’s with recordings of two of Boon’s vocal compositions by German soprano Irene Kurka, Feldman’s For John Cage with American violinist Andrew McIntosh and a second solo CD with piano works of Antoine Beuger, Taylan Susam and himself.
As a concert pianist, Dante Boon has appeared at many concert venues and festivals across Europe and the USA. Boon’s compositions are published by Edition Wandelweiser.
Lydia Lunch was born near Rochester in the United States in 1959. When she arrived in New York, she struggled to survive, but wrote poems and hung out at the CBJB, a famous new York club where she met, among others, Sonic Youth, and James Chance, with whom she set up the Teenage Jesus group and the Jerks, as guitarist, and “primal scream”, a mythical group in the No Wave scene. Two years later, Brian Eno produced an anthological album of the best groups of the period, No New York, which brought together The Contorsions, Mars, DNA and Teenage Jesus. At the same time, Lydia Lunch created another group, Beirut Slump, and, in 1980, brought out her first solo album, Queen of Siam, which would mark a whole generation of artists. In the 1980s, she embarked on a series of collaborations with Nick Cave, Einstürzende Neubauten, Die Haut, Marcc Almond, and Sonic Youth… With RichardKern, she wrote and made a series of films in which she presented her personal vision of desire and sexual violence. She brought out The Uncensored Lydia Lunch, the first part of what would become her most direct and effective medium, the ‘spoken word’ (staged texts, somewhere between theatre and harangue). She became associated with Foetus (Jim Thirlwell) for several albums and, in 1989, created a noise-rock group with Kim Gordon and Sonic Youth. In 1997, she published her vitriolic autobiography Paradoxia, A Predator’s Diary, with a preface by Hubert Selby Jr. As a sexual icon and radical artist, tireless and impossible to pigeonhole, Lydia lunch has been forever railing against conformity, the exploitation of poverty, American politics and violence against women. Her spirit of revolt, her independence, and the influence she has had on a whole generation all make her a unique model of the American underground.
The artist, teacher, art critic and theoretician Peter halley was born in New York in 1953. He discovered new wave music and, in the early 1980s, became the spokesman of a new kind of abstraction: Neo Geo (neo-geometric conceptualism), a movement that opposed New Figuration, which dominated the international scene at that time. Since the mid-1990s, Peter Halley has been producing site-specific installations: he plays on the dialogue between the work and its environment, by covering the walls on which he then affixes his paintings with motifs and colours.
Peter Halley’s pictorial oeuvre re-uses the plastic language of the geometric abstractions of the 20th century with both distance and irony, and devises his compositions within an interplay of relations between what he calls “prisons” and “cells”. These latter reflect the increasing geometrization of the social space and its paralyzing hold on our environment and our way of thinking.
From the 1990s on, his compositions have changed: the forms seem embedded in each other, and the colours have become more joyous and luminous. Pop Art ande Minimalism seem to be the obvious sources of inspiration in his way of thinking about the media, technology, and consumer society.