The week in Paris was a very rewarding and enjoyable one. It began with a meeting with Olivier Capparos on the day i arrived, April 24, who had written a piece i was to perform in a Decibel concert, and record with Lionel Marchetti in Lyon the next day. I spent a wonderful afternoon talking about music, comparing scores and recordings, talking about philosophy, art and composition with Lionel. The next day i took the train to Lyon to work with Lionel Marchetti at his studio. There we recorded Olivier's piece, but also two other pieces Lionel had made for bass flute and his music concrete, and discussed future performances and collaborations. Again, very rewarding experience capped off with a lovely French dinner in a traditional restaurant in Lyon. I stayed at his home that night before returning to Paris the next day, where more talk about poetry and music ensued. I slept in the bed where Michel Chion had spent many nights, and enjoyed seeing the French editions of so many books i had read in English.
The next day i returned to Paris where i met with composer and bassist Kasper Toeplitz to talk scores, methods, future commissions and all things bass. A long night and another wonderful dinner. Kasper recommended a good record store in Paris to visit (where i saw Decibel's CD in stock!), and gave me a wonderful collection of his CDs and scores. Kasper too had lots of friends in common, and was kind enough to review some of my projects for the magazine he writes for, Present Continu. One of them is here.
I met Carol Robinson, who had been recommended to me by Cathy Milliken, who i met at Tectonics in Iceland. What a small world - she was the clarinettist who plays on the many Giacinto Scelsi and Alvin Lucier CDs i have, and was to be tutoring the Scelsi masterclasses i planned on attending in Palermo, Italy in July, called Scelsiana. We spent a day talking about music, listening to her play her compositions and talk about notations, methods, plans. It was great to find someone with such a stylistically diverse music as my own. She was also to be the link for a piece i had commissioned by Elaine Radigue, who we went to visit together on Sunday 27th. Another wonderful afternoon ensued, talking music, friends, styles, places and methods. Elaine asked me to play her some bass flute, which i did reluctantly, but turned out to be a very moving experience for myself and Elaine. I revisted some of the private performance i would do for my Grandma, who sponsored my music practice when i was young, and for Elaine who fell in love with my playing. We discussed details of her commission and the ways we would move forward with her music, with her health as it was, and being without score. She gave me an autographed book, a bunch of CDs and even a DVD. Once i listened to the recordings of her most recent acoustic compositions, i understood why this music couldn't be scored- and interesting outcome for a trip about notations! In a complex tie in, Lionel Marchetti diffuses Elaine's electronic works, and Kasper Toeplitz commissioned an early work from Elaine too. I spent some time contemplating these links, but also the nature of scoring and performance that had come out the meetings, playing and discussions with Carol, Lionel, Elaine and Kasper.
The next day, Monday April 28 i did a presentation on the Decibel Score Player at IRCAM, one of the leading computer music centres in Europe. The talk went very well, with the head of research approaching me about research partnerships in the future This was a rather intimidating experience, but paid off, with many leads to follow, and a full video of the presentation was made. A composer i had worked with before, Johannes S. Sistermanns made a special trip from Germany to meet me in Paris, we had a lovely evening over dinner at an old famous restaurant in Paris, Le Dome. This was a cafe frequented by artists and intellectuals in the early part of the 20th Century, including May Ray, Anis Nin, Alistair Crowley, Wassily Kadinsky and others. Here we discussed collaborative plans for the future
While I was in Paris, i was invited to perform bass flute at a night of modular synthesiser performances put on by the International network for new, electronic music and digital art Quartz, who organise an electronic music prize and concert series annually. This was an organisation i had dealt with in the past, so performing for them was a great pleasure, to meet these people in person. I had never played with one of these synths either, and i was teamed up with Laurent Perrier. You can listen to the performance, and see other photographs here. I met a lot of interesting people at this gig, held at a wonderful small club, Club 56.
I went to see a dance performance, Vortex Temporum, with live music performed by Ictus and choreography by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker at Teatre de la Ville, a wonderful theatre in paris. Ictus is a Belgian group that i had been in contact with many times regarding past projects. This was a wonderful piece, with music by French composer Gérard Grisey (1996). it was recommended to me by an Australian composer friend of mine, in Paris at the same time, James Rushford - we caught up for a drink in La Marais where we were both staying. He had just come from New York, which was where i was heading the next day - he gave me lots of great tips that i was soon to investigate there, as i got on the plane for New York on the 2nd of May.