18 giugno 2018

I giorni della mitica maison de sons di Pierre Henry (1927-2017) al 32 di rue de Toul a Parigi - casa d'artista per antonomasia, sede di ogni attività del compositore fin dal 1971 e divenuta via via essa stessa fonte sonora, luogo di concerti e deposito vivente di apparecchiature, nastri, oggetti, strumenti e documenti - potrebbero essere contati, causa una banale operazione immobiliare. E il suo abbattimento potrebbe compiersi prima di aver trovato un'altra sede atta ad ospitare l'incalcolabile patrimonio lasciato dal Nostro, catalogato finora soltanto in minima parte. Questo il timore delle fedeli custodi Isabelle Warnier e Bernadette Mangin, per decenni rispettivamente compagna e assistente del compositore, e con loro di molti appassionati di musica e cultura, a fronte di blandissimi segnali lanciati dagli enti parigini preposti e una raccolta di firme che in un anno ha raccolto solo diecimila adesioni.

Ne scrissero a suo tempo Olivier Lamm e Sarah Bastin: "In the middle of a quiet street in Paris’s 12th arrondissement, halfway between Daumesnil and the Michel Bizot metro station, the former home/workshop/studio of Pierre Henry lies tucked away, almost concealed from view, beneath a whirlwind of thick ivy. For 46 years, Pierre Henry did everything here – lived, composed, sculpted, copied, pasted, organized, disorganized and even gave concerts. The house is still occupied, rustling gently with deceptively intense activity. Isabelle Warnier, his assistant and partner since 1967, is in the studio with Bernadette Mangin, his right hand and “living memory”. They are busying themselves, as best they can, preparing the next step, whatever that may be. First and foremost, there is work to do to save the premises and to preserve the documents, something no institution has stepped up to do. The building is not owned by Pierre Henry and is in a fragile state. Renovating it and turning it into a museum would cost a fortune. There are resources and documents that are incredible and one-of-a-kind. The composer had kept a trace of everything over the course of his 70-year career, the music and its inspiration as well as as activities with movie directors and playwrights. Isabelle Warnier says, with a melancholic tone: “We think, reasonably, that in its current state, this house will not be preserved and we will need to find a solution for the materials to be properly stored, in an active manner, to help keep Pierre’s music alive. We met people from l’INA, l’IMEC and the National Library, huge structures which could be capable of this, but with the slowness typical of these mammoth institutions."


Victime d'un projet immobilier la maison de Pierre Henry, l'immense compositeur de musique électroacoustique disparu le 5 juillet 2017 est désormais en sursis. Cette maison inouie est devenue au fil du temps l'instrument même du compositeur. Pierre Henry l'avait dit: depuis ses débuts de compositeur, il aimait vivre dans son atelier, avec ses consoles et sa collection de sons. Dans cette maison qui lui servait aussi de studio et de salle de concert, tout, des sols aux plafonds, était dédié à la musique. Cette maison unique en son genre, fait parti de notre patrimoine et mérite qu'on la sauve. Help us save french composer Pierre Henry's house from destruction!


17 giugno 2018

Mike Westbrook ricorda Jon Hiseman con un toccante scritto pubblicato presso lo Smith's Academy Notice Board, che così conclude: "Like all those who enjoyed his friendship, learned from his wise counsel and benefitted from his great skill and artistry we are devastated that he should have been taken so suddenly when he was at full stretch and at the height of his powers. Almost the last word he said to me when we spoke just before his operation, and I ventured to suggest that he might need to slow down, was ‘Why?’. We have lost a guiding star."


16 giugno 2018

Debutta questa sera al Cafe Oto londinese il Lindsay Cooper Project, precedendo di qualche settimana la partecipazione al festival Zappanale a Bad Doberan (Germania). Del gruppo fanno parte, come è noto, Yumi Hara, Chlöe Herington, Dagmar Krause, Tim Hodgkinson, John Greaves e Chris Cutler. Il programma odierno si avvale anche delle esibizioni di Greaves e Herington in solo, di un momento riservato al trio The Watts (Yumi con Hodgkinson e Cutler) e delle preparazioni sonore di Marina Organ. L'inizio è per le 19.30.

Lindsay Cooper (1951-2013) brought the bassoon and the compositional techniques of 20th century art music into the world of '70s experimental rock. She was a musical polyglot, equally fluent in classical, rock, jazz, and free improvisation and the author of many film and theatre soundtracks. She was a member of the groups Comus, Henry Cow, National Health, David Thomas and the Pedestrians and the Mike Westbrook Orchestra. She co-founded News from Babel and the Feminist Improvising Group and led her own projects Music for Films and Oh Moscow. She lived for many years with multiple sclerosis, which eventually forced her to retire from performing in the 1990s.

Yumi Hara formed Half The Sky in 2015 to perform Lindsay Cooper’s songs in Japan. The original group was entirely Japanese, with the exception of original drummer and lyricist Chris Cutler. This group - with small personnel changes - was later invited to Europe, when it was joined by the songs’ original singer Dagmar Krause. For these new European concerts the line-up adds two more members of Henry Cow, for whom much of this material was written, and we call ourselves Lindsay Cooper Songbook. As was true of the original bands Henry Cow and News From Babel - the new line-up retains an equal gender split.