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LA RÉSONANCE DES RUINES

Note by Antoine Chessex
   


Sonority essentially resounds: it is in itself resonance. One could say that echo is part of the sound, that it belongs to its immanence (...). Resonance is inside of sound itself: a sound is its own echo chamber (...). The ancient Greek êkhéô, from which “echo” comes, means to “make noise” as well as “to resound”. (...) A sound is always returned, restored: it is restored from itself to itself.
Jean-Luc Nancy, Foreword to
 Listen: a history of our ears by Peter Szendy


    
If sound is always resounding and returned to itself then what is the possible sound of the ruins and how to work among them?

The drastic violence of the present time makes it necessary to interrogate how we inhabit the world we are living in while (re)thinking the (inter)relations and interactions we might be involved with. This is sometimes what artists try to do. Within the Great Acceleration that is currently being experienced, the devastating destruction of humans and non-humans, social structures and the biosphere are happening at such a velocity that it becomes difficult to consider a possible future outside the nightmarish perspective of an exponential catastrophe unfolding irrepressibly while many bored consumers stare at their cell phone screens like monitored zombies. The global and corrupted hegemonic machine has proven so far being fundamentally unable to regulate, limit or moderate itself by any sorts, thus the absolute finality of its very existence seems more and more likely to be self- annihilation, leaving behind vast continents of sickness, pollution, death and destruction. A field of ruins that is.

These are some of the thoughts going through my head while starting to reflect the writing of this new work for the ensemble ICTUS named subsequently “La Résonance des Ruines”. As soon as I attempt to think about possible sound to focus on, I try to imagine how do ruins sound like and if we could create a wall of bare frequencies resounding in the space like a gigantic collapsed architecture destroyed by its own hubris. These are the imaginary sounds I will have in minds while developing a structure for this new piece which will lead to a collective sonic exploration with the musicians of the ensemble ICTUS featuring Jérôme Noetinger triggering time shifts with his reel-to-reel tape recorder.

Perhaps, we might even discover a hidden potentiality of restoring what can be restored. Music is the healing force of the universe once sung Mary Maria Parks on the marvellous Albert Ayler’s recording of the same name.

On yet another level, learning to live in a field of ruins is not deprived of poetical potential and might even be a somehow enlightening endeavour while searching for the cracks and the interstices in between the concrete, the steel and the plastic remains, hopefully discovering hidden places where the mauvaise herbe can unfold.

Antoine Chessex, August 2019

 

La résonance des ruines
a new piece by Antoine Chessex
with Ictus & Jérôme Noetinger (Revox)
   

CAST

Hanna Kölbel, cello
Adrien Lambinet, trombone
Gerrit Nulens, percussion
Jean-Luc Plouvier, DX7
Jérôme Noetinger, Revox & electronics
   

PRODUCTION

Production Antoine Chessex
Coproduction Ictus
WIth the support of
Pro Helvetia     

Presented by
Ancienne Belgique & Atelier Claus

souvenirs by Laurent Orseau 

  • Up-Tight
  • Societé Etrange
  • Balladur

Up-Tight (jap) in residency at ateliers claus . In concert tomorrow 16th with Société Etrange (fr) and Balladur (fr)

  • Up-Tight

Fespaco 50: Kin-Kiessé + Changa Changa - D. Mweze Ngangura at Cinematek

en We kick off our celebration for 50 years of FESPACO the Pan African film festival with this special screening. Congolese filmmaker Mweze Ngangura, born in Bukavu in 1950, studied film-making at the Institut des arts de diffusion in Belgium in the early 1970s and settled in Kinshasa as of 1975.
Ngangura became a pillar of the first generation of filmmakers in the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire). He made his name with La vie est belle (Life Is Beautiful, 1987), while Pièces d’Identités (Identity Pieces, 1998) won six international and regional awards.

fr Mweze Ngangura, considéré comme le père du cinéma congolais, fait un portrait de "Kin la belle quand elle était encore capitale du Zaïre. Tourné en pellicule, couleurs chaudes et superbes, la ville se découvre à travers les yeux de Chéri Samba, peintre populaire, aujourd’hui mondialement reconnu, alors à ses débuts. Quartiers animés, coiffeurs, immeubles, ambiance, on découvre une ville au rythme endiablé dans laquelle la musique, quelles que soient ses formes et ses origines, fait le lien entre des éléments disparates mais vivants. Et tout ceci à l’apogée d’une dictature...
Les projections sont suivies d’une rencontre entre D. Mweze
Ngangura et Monique Mbeka Phoba.

nl Congolese cinema en FESPACO? Mweze Ngangura komt ons twee uitzonderlijk rijke documenten voorstellen. Mweze Ngangura won als eerste Congolese langspeler [Pièces d’identité]. de 'Etalon de Yennenga', de hoofdprijs van het festival in 1999. Hij toonde er reeds in 1982 Kin Kiesse, de docu over Kinshasa met de toen nog jonge Chéri Samba. Gevolgd door een gesprek in het Frans tussen
D. Mweze Ngangura en Monique Mbeka Phoba.

The latest 25.11 you can purchase tickets and discover the full programme featuring more than 45 films.

Le plus tard le 25.11 vous pourriez acheter vos places et découvrir le programme globale de plus de 45 films africains.

  • Cinematek

Aan de Vlaamse kunsthogescholen ontwikkelen de kunstenaars van morgen hun talenten. Bovendien leiden de Schools of Arts hen sinds vele jaren ook op tot creatieve ondernemers. Ze leren studenten ook hoe ze zich kunnen engageren in een sociaal-artistieke context. Zo worden studenten-kunstenaars maximaal voorbereid op de start van hun professionele carrière, welke wending die ook kan nemen. De eerste stap daarin is voor veel jonge kunstenaars het verwerven van een basisinvestering van de overheid in professionele kunstprojecten in de vorm van een projectsubsidie. Zonder deze incentive wordt het voor veel kunstenaars moeilijk om een carrière op te bouwen, en nog moeilijker om te evolueren naar een internationaal werkveld.

Met projectsubsidies geeft de Vlaamse overheid jonge en startende kunstenaars een vitaal duwtje in de rug. Hoe bescheiden ook, die ondersteuning genereert samenwerkingen en andere financiële middelen die ervoor zorgen dat er kunst kan gemaakt en getoond worden op het allerhoogste niveau. Grote namen als Ivo van Hove, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker en Jef Neve, gerenommeerde collectieven als Tg STAN en De Koe zijn dankzij dit systeem kunnen uitgroeien tot de artiesten met internationale renommee die ze nu zijn. Ook volgende generaties, met kunstenaars als Lisbeth Gruwez, Thomas Bellinck of Haider al Timimi — to name but a few — konden (en kunnen) zich ontwikkelen dankzij projectsubsidies. Hun opvolgers werken nu nog onder de radar maar vormen wel de beloftes voor de toekomst.

Als Schools of Arts leiden we kunstenaars op omdat we ook geloven in de essentiële rol en betekenis van kunstenaars in onze samenleving. Tegelijk willen we de kunstenaars die we opleiden ook een perspectief bieden, ook al zijn zij (en wijzelf) zich bewust van hun kwetsbaarheid in de samenleving. Daarvoor is dus een doordacht beleid nodig. Zo’n beleid bestaat bijvoorbeeld, zonder veel discussie en met behoorlijke resultaten, voor KMO’s — de stimulering van start-ups — of voor academisch onderzoek — de middelen van FWO Vlaanderen. Telkens gaat het om bedachtzaam gehanteerde en selectief verdeelde middelen voor projecten, zoals dat hoort.

Met de projectsubsidies beschikt de Vlaamse overheid over een instrument om jonge kunstenaars de broodnodige investering te geven. De aangekondigde besparing van 60% zal dat beleid drastisch veranderen, meer nog, een effectief beleidsinstrument verliest gewoon elke betekenis. Daardoor ontstaat een kloof tussen een motiverende opleiding en een werkveld waarin men zich té snel zal moeten profileren, waarin geen ruimte meer is voor een organische ontwikkeling van artistiek potentieel.

De kunsthogescholen zijn verbaasd dat deze maatregel zonder enig overleg met het werkveld wordt opgelegd en al over anderhalve maand in werking treedt. Men kan zich afvragen hoe dit strookt met de regels van behoorlijk bestuur. De hogescholen dringen bij de Vlaamse regering aan op een grondig overleg over deze beslissing en rekenen er ook op dat zij als betrokken partij mee uitgenodigd worden.

Namens de Vlaamse kunsthogescholen:

  • Ann Brusseel, algemeen directeur Erasmus Hogeschool Brussel
  • Kathleen Coessens, directeur Koninklijk Conservatorium Brussel, Erasmus Hogeschool Brussel
  • Pascale De Groote, algemeen directeur AP Hogeschool Antwerpen en voorzitter werkgroep kunsten VLHORA
  • Wim De Temmerman, prodecaan KASK & Conservatorium en Opdrachthouder hoger kunstonderwijs HOGENT
  • Stefaan De Ruyck, hoofd Koninklijk Conservatorium Antwerpen, AP Hogeschool Antwerpen
  • Erwin Goegebeur, departementshoofd PXL-MAD School of Arts, Hasselt.
  • Koen Goethals, algemeen directeur HOGENT
  • Veerle Hendrickx, algemeen directeur Karel de Grote Hogeschool
  • Lars Kwakkenbos, decaan KASK & Conservatorium, HOGENT-Howest
  • Ben Lambrechts, algemeen directeur Hogeschool PXL
  • Ann Olaerts, hoofd School of Arts RITCS, Erasmus Hogeschool Brussel
  • Johan Pas, hoofd Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten, AP Hogeschool Antwerpen
  • Simon Van Damme, algemeen directeur — decaan LUCA School of Arts
  • Ad Van Rosmalen, hoofd Sint-Lucas Antwerpen, Karel de Grote Hogeschool
  • Maarten Vanvolsem, vicedecaan onderwijs LUCA School of Arts

by 

Underworld, London
Still triumphantly unhinged after 25 years, the US duo break all the rules of what punk and, indeed, live music should be

ightning Bolt invert the laws of gig physics. The bass-and-drums duo always play on the floor of the venue, an egalitarian gesture that nevertheless creates its own hierarchies: the tall or fearless get the best view. Drummer Brian Chippendale wears his trademark patchwork balaclava complete with mic inside, a phantasmagoric item in shades of red – in snatched sightings between the heaving crowd he looks like a burns victim glimpsed in an emergency unit.

The noise they whip up invites instant moshpit pandaemonium, but with the US duo right next to the crowd and in danger of having a foot put through their gear, the slam-dancers have to almost imperceptibly hold themselves back. This is a beautiful sight, like birds beating their wings back to slow down as they land. One sweaty man keeps his fur-lined parka on for extra buffering. Chippendale gestures at the back of the venue: “That’s the promised land. If you’re coming forwards, go backwards. If you’re going backwards, also go backwards.”

The music also doesn’t follow the rules, beating various styles – hardcore punk, thrash metal, noise, glam rock, grunge, free improv, even a kind of ambient blues – into a rough, slippery emulsion. Chippendale sits in a lineage with the likes of Greg Fox and Zach Hill, hyper-skilled punk drummers informed by jazz; his flurries of sound are kept aloft by with insistent toms. The equally brilliant bassist Brian Gibson wrings a outrageously wide range of raunchy sound from his instrument, at one point simultaneously playing big down chords and Van Halen-style high-pitched widdling. After 25 years in the game, they remain one of the world’s greatest live bands.

(Open letter in De Standaard today)

Dear Prime Minister Jambon,

It is with a sad heart that we received the news about your funding cuts for the arts. For many years and with open arms we have welcomed many generations of Flemish artists. These artists distinguish themselves through their urge for innovation, international perspective, multidisciplinary approach, political sensitivity and exceptional quality. Whether it was Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Otobong Nkanga, Dries Van Noten, Mokhalled Rassem, Miet Warlop,... who adorned our stages and museums: all of them validated the incredible reputation that Flanders holds within the international contemporary arts.

Many other Ministers for Culture in Europe are jealous of the dynamic cultural tissue that exists in Flanders. As part of the international cultural sector we often visit Flanders to understand how we can learn from you. If we may make a suggestion: we advise you to do the same. Allow yourself to be astonished by the exceptional domain that has come to be under your governance. Take the arts and the cultural sector seriously by enlisting expertise within your cabinet and consult the professional arts sector on a regular basis. Allow yourself to be amazed at how much Flemish artists and organisations can do with so little. But also keep an eye out for the many burn-outs previous cuts have have caused, and how limited and unsustainable this mentality of more-more-more with less-less-less actually is.

We are concerned about two evolutions in your plans. It is a miracle that so many artists still find their way to our podiums, even if they do this in an increasing smaller rate than before. After a decennium of budget- and funding cuts there are significantly less Flemish artists to be found in prestigious European and international festivals, theatres or museums. The proposed funding cuts could deliver them the final blow, and render Flanders completely useless within the international field.

All things considered, your obsession with big institutions, heritage and prestigious projects is incomprehensible. It are not the Flemish institutions who are beacons of excellence, it is the intricate weave of organisations, companies and artists in the cultural landscape of Flanders that makes you flourish on an international level. That you wish to completely drain exactly those artists of today and tomorrow who rely exclusively on project-based funding, is almost repulsive. How can you focus so heavily on the fictional heritage of yesterday, while you completely ignore the actual heritage of today?

The Flemish do not possess any more artistic traits in their DNA than the Danish, Italian or Catalan people do. Since the emancipation of the field in the ‘80s however, Flanders has been blessed with an exceptional artistic landscape. As one of the first jurisdictions that was transferred to your community, the artistic and cultural sector emitted a radiant light of immense quality which put Flanders on the international map at once. This exceptional dynamic was born out of a lack of big cultural institutions, a not too heavy artistic history and the creation of opportunities and allocation of means from the bottom up. That this specific dynamic will have to endure a serious punch because of your policy is an all too easy prediction.

You like to point your gaze abroad, over the horizons. Be aware that this gaze is returned. Where the arts is concerned, Flanders is a guide and reference for The Netherlands. Where the arts is concerned, the Flemish model is being talked about vigorously in Scandinavia. Where the arts is concerned, it drips in Paris while it pours rain in Brussels. And we would like to keep on looking and keep on being confronted by al those artistic creations that are kneaded out of the Flemish clay. But the artistic quality should remain a guarantee for this to happen, and we fear that your current and future policy will generate anything but the right circumstances.

Prove that what one does oneself, one does better. Invest in the artists that put Flanders on the map internationally. The world is large, and gets a bit larger every day. If you want to distinguish yourself internationally, you will need to put money where your mouth is and reach a deep understanding where the true richness of Flanders is located. It would be a pity if the Flemish emancipation and cultural wave become but a small detail in the history books, put to a halt by the Prime Minister of Flanders Jan Jambon.

Agnès Troly, Olivier Py en Paul Rondin, Festival d’Avignon; Annemie Vanackere, HAU Hebbel am Ufer; Annemieke Keurentjes, Holland Festival; Catherine Wood, Tate Modern, Christophe Slagmuylder, Wiener Festwochen; Dries Douibi en Daniel Blanga Gubbay, Kunstenfestivaldesarts; Martin Faucher, Festival TransAmériques; Matthias Lilienthal, Münchner Kammerspiele; Matthias Von Hartz, Zürcher Theaterspektakel; Rene Pollesh, Volksbühne Berlin; Stefanie Carp, Ruhrtriennale: Yoshiji Yokoyama, Tokyo/Festival.