The fundamental and inescapable fact of our existence is that we are finite beings conscious of our finitude, and no more so than when someone near to us dies. This is the background to Sissel, a quietly moving performance by pianist John Tilbury, electric guitarist/electronics artist Keith Rowe, and Norwegian video artist Kjell Bjørgeengen, who collaborated with Tilbury and Rowe in the capacity of producer. The single piece that makes up the album was recorded as part of the Moving Sound concert series in Stavanger, Norway, in 2016, shortly after the death of Bjørgeengen’s wife Sissel, to whom the album is dedicated.
Taking as their inspiration the Poussin painting “The Gathering of the Ashes of Phocion by His Widow,” Tilbury and Rowe created a spaciously meditative sound environment that seems to move at the measured pace of reflective thought. The focus of the piece falls on Tilbury’s piano lines, which are less lines than intermittent handfuls of resonant notes sounding and fading away—sonic fragments shoring up the piece amid the ruins of silence, giving it a deeply affecting emotional definition and weight.
It’s possible to hear these sounds vanishing into silence as an allegory for the process of working through loss, a gradual process that approaches, but never really arrives at, absolute closure. There’s always some residue that remains, call it memory or the shadow of nothingness that lies across the image we reflect back to ourselves in moments of lucidity.
This information comes from a music journalist in France, discussing the potential closing of Instants Chavirés, a Paris venue for improvised music.
On Thursday July 2nd 2009 we were shocked to learn that the balance of the operational subsidy allocated to our Association by the General Council of the Seine-Saint-Denis Department had been slashed by no less than 25,000€ – a drop of more of 19%. This in addition to a 7,000€ cut in our municipal subsidy (at the beginning of the year, the town of Montreuil had announced a reduction of 15,000€, 7000€ being the amount eventually decided upon by the end of June). This means that we have lost 32,000€ in 2009.
The lack of funding has forced us to cancel our Autumn season of concerts, video projections and exhibitions, in its entirety. Even maintaining a strict minimum of programmed events would lead to a budgetary deficit that we simply could not contemplate.
We maintain that an intermediary cultural space like the Instants Chavirés is an essential complement to existing institutions, and that it has made a major contribution to the diversity of the cultural offer, playing an essential role in discovering and promoting art for over 18 years.
We urge you then to sign the online petition (http://instants.mollo.fr), and write to Claude Bartolone, President of the General Council of Seine-Saint-Denis, and / or to the Mayor of Montreuil, Dominique Voynet, to inform them of what the Instants Chavirés represents in the local, national and international cultural landscape, and express your own commitment to the lasting nature of this project.
You can address your correspondence directly to us at the following email address soutiens[at]instantschavires.com, or by regular mail to Instants Chavirés, 7 Rue Richard Lenoir 93100 Montreuil. We undertake to forward it to the parties concerned.
Association Muzziques – les Instants Chavirés
Choice of comments:
-Evan Parker : Les Instants Chavirés is known throughout the world and through its work people see Montreuil as a very hip part of France.
-Mark Dresser : Instants Chavirés is a cultural institution of great importance. It’s budget should not be compromised by the general economic crises. It is short sighted in the extreme. I fully support this venue and those artists and public it serves.
–Keith Rowe : Instants Chavirés is amongst the most important venues for new
music, its loss would make Paris and France all the poorer.
-Martin Davidson : It would be better to scrap nuclear weapons rather than
Les Instants Chavirés !
Image via Wikipedia From Chicago’s Lampo:
SEPT 20 9pm
Thomas Ankersmit, whiz kid and Friend of Phill see below , makes his long-awaited Lampo debut. He combines abstract, intensely focused saxophone playing with hyper-kinetic analogue synth and PowerBook improvisation.
Here, he presents a solo concert for alto sax, Serge modular synthesizer and computer. And he ll employ several highly directional loudspeakers—a new component in his work. In performance, Ankersmit walks around the space with the saxophone, reflecting sound from the walls and the floor. The directional speakers project sound to different spots in the room and set distant objects in motion, making them resonate with an ultrasonic beam. He places preparations on them that start to buzz and sing like insects.
For Ankersmit, the set-up is very much an interconnection between the different parts, where digital steers analogue, computer recordings are processed by tape techniques, the synthesizer processes fragmented recordings of its own signals, and the saxophone blends with the electronic sound.
Thomas Ankersmit b. 1979, Leiden, the Netherlands is a 29-year old saxophonist, electronic musician and installation artist, now based in Berlin. He also creates installation pieces that use sound, infrasound and modifications to the acoustic characters of spaces that disrupt the listener’s perception of space and their presence within it. He s a frequent collaborator with New York minimalist Phill Niblock and Milan-based electroacoustic improviser Giuseppe Ielasi, and other improv partners include Gert-Jan Prins, Thomas Lehn, Keith Rowe, Kevin Drumm and Axel Dörner.
Presented with support from the Consulate General of the Netherlands, Chicago