Creation on the Arsenal scene

Ars Nova, Ellipsos, Gross, Barthélémy: faces, names and voices to discover in three days at the Arsenal in Metz. Photo by Ars Nova

An unprecedented meeting is expected at Arsenal on November 24. Three days dedicated to creative music organized by the Grand Est platform. A country where this genre is particularly flourishing. An introduction to music to practice.

Unprecedented in more ways than one, the days opening at Arsenal on Thursday 24 November promises to be body-shaking. They address a broad and interesting topic: music creation. It’s only natural that Arsenal in particular, and the Music City more broadly, are interested in him. But the cultural institution is not alone behind the wheel of this meeting. The Grand Est creative music platform (PfMC) is even on for this weekend. It was founded in 2015 and today has 70 members. Artists, composers, musicians, associations, venues, festivals: all those who touch this field of music. There are more of them in the Big East than anywhere else. “We are the only structured association in France that defends creative music,” emphasizes Hervé Birolini, its president, himself an artist. The vice-president is none other than Arsenal’s iconic artistic director, Michel Paradon, who has always given this music genre a place of choice in programming.

Broken bridge

“It’s one of the three pillars of Arsenal, along with early music and dance,” recalls Michel Paradon. The term “creative music” may sound like a pleonasm, since in principle any new composition is a creation. This genre includes all music written by live composers. Minimalistic, vibrant, they are plentiful but still struggle to find their way. Pierre Henry is a famous representative, like the minimalists Philip Glass or Steve Reich. Names that indicate the size of the palette. If we go back much further, Mozart and Beethoven were right in the middle of creative music. And already at that time they were able to surprise, make noise, push. But the people went to meet them.

Years later, the bridge appears to be broken. Hervé Birolini explains this for two main reasons: this music is either rarely performed in operas anymore. PfMC president’s standing call to all directors… Then he believes that this transition to the world of contemporary music did not happen while he was in the visual arts, but was fully digested. “He followed the trajectory that the eyes and ears did not follow in the society. Picasso’s paintings are not a problem for anyone. When you do the same thing in music, it’s different. We should be in a world where all of this is completely normal,” analyzes Herve Birolini.

However, this music has everything to please the largest number of people. “They should not only be seen, but also heard,” he notes. Living as an experience in a particular place at a particular time. The true definition of live performance. He was born and died in front of an audience and will never be anywhere else. Thus, there is an impression of being privileged, of participating in a unique version. In a world where everything is recorded, listened to, shared, watched, it can seem crazy or, conversely, devilishly exciting. Creative music enables this extraordinary dimension. With artists who imagine their performances as common works of sound, image, and scenery. All.

“Crazy Times”

As of Thursday, Arsenal’s doors are wide open to this discovery. Music, of course, will be concerts, but not only. Discussions to understand the problems and difficulties of the sector. Maybe it’s meant for insiders… “Not at all,” replies Herve Birolini. “It’s open to everyone and all the concerts are free except for the opening and closing concerts,” he said. During two days, artists from the region will follow each other: Uriel Barthélémi, Collective Lovemusic, Gross/Abdelnour/Mangan trio, Stedajoda. The Metz Grand Est National Orchestra comes to bring its note to the building. At the relay, David Reiland will perform with the Ellipsos Quartet in a program dedicated to the memory of Claude Lefebvre, one of the greatest representatives of Metz creative music, whose death is celebrated this year on the 10th anniversary. Another reason to focus on this music is that one of the composers in the making is in residence at the Arsenal. Thus, one of the works of Florent Caron Darras will be performed on stage by the Ars Nova collective. Lots of opportunities to discover several actors in what Hervé Birolini described as a “crazy period”. We are witnessing the explosion of this music. We are reaching the end of mastering the techniques, but not the end of their integration.” The road still promises great discoveries.

Thursday 24 November – Saturday 26 November at Arsenal. Complete the program at Cité musicale-Metz.

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