21st of June

On 24 June 2015, thanks to the students of the Académie intercommunale de Court-Saint-Étienne et Ottignies-Louvain-la-neuve, took place the public creation of one of my compositions. The song is entitled 21st of June. A camera was present, which recorded this rendition. I give some explanations below, especially concerning my strange gesticulations, but first enjoy the video:

The point was to make students from the different orchestras (classical and jazz) of the academy play together, on the occasion of the last course of the year. Knowing that we could not really know who could be involved in the representation and that there could not be common actual rehearsals, but only one hour of preparation together one hour before the performance.

The year before, we have played the piece In C by Terry Riley, founder piece of minimalist music. In the purpose not to replay the same track this year, I looked for a somewhat similar idea.

I thought of soundpainting, a sign language of artistic creation in real time. In this system, one person (the soundpainter) directs a live creation. It was originally aimed to purely musical creations, but now the language adapts to any performance art.

As soundpainting requires prior training, it was not possible to achieve such a performance on this occasion. So I thought to compose a number of cells – basically, a series of small musical themes – and use gestures during the concert, to indicate what to play and how to interpret it, leaving some freedom to musicians.

The system proved to be much richer than I thought, even to what is played in this video. Anyway, I think that this first experience is really encouraging. So encouraging that I now strongly hope to further explore this concept!

I am very thankful to Gilles Daussin, the head of the orchestras of the academy for giving me the opportunity and even encouraging me to create an original composition for the occasion, as well as students of the academy for taking part to this experience.

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Yoann Le Bars

A researcher and teacher with slightly too many interests to sum this up …

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