dimanche 24 novembre 2013

Satie Vexations 2 : 2nd performance in Prague (updated)


time-lapse video of the complete Vexations in Prague
 live at the Studio Ruby  in Prague the 7th and 8th April of 2011 . Lasting 14 hours without any pause or break .
I must confess that this 2nd performance was the most "experimental"one, as nothing went "as i planned it".
First of all, for those who knows me personnally, i am not too much of a night bird, so every marathon always starts at the morning, specially when i have to perform for more than 12 hours.
First of all, the Vexations was part of a 3 benefits concerts in Prague.
n°1 was a 1 hour electroacoustic improvisation concert at the 4K Club the 4th april

a short part of my electroacoustic improvisation

n°2 was my very first piano marathon ever, 5h30 long ! the 5th june at the Hlahol 's Hall
the complete program was :

 Fantaisie in c minor KV 475
 Sonata 9
Satie :
3 Gnossiènnes
3 Sonneries Rose + Croix
le Fils de l'Etoile
Prélude de la Porte Celeste du Ciel
Boguslaw Schaeffer:
Paul Wehage:
Carl Vine :
Carlo Peron Cano :
Lost instants 
Simple presences I
Sabura Takata:
 Préludes ( selection )
Patrick Dorobisz:
 Mood 2
Liszt :
Zwei Orchestersätze aus dem Oratorium Christus S498b
No 1: Hirtengesang an der Krippe
No 2: Die heiligen drei Könige – Marsch
In festo transfigurationis Domini nostri Jesu Christi S188
Ave Maria IV S545
Heinz Chur:
 Sonata n°1 and 2
Jeroen Van Veen :
 Preludes Book 1 ( selection )
Ramon Lazkano:
 Gentle Sway & Seaska Kanta
Scriabin :
Vers la Flamme
Alvin Curran :
 Inner City n°1 , For Cornelius
Frederik Martin:
 Sonata 1 2nd Mov
Olivier Greif:
 Sonata n°5
Sonata n° 8
Hommage à Raymond Roussel
Therèse Brenet:
 3 Préludes ( 2008 )
Philippe Hersant:
 Ephemerides ( selection )
Elodie Lauten:
 Tango ( selection )
Tom Johnson :
Chord Catalogue
Tomasz Kamieniak :
 Buch der Illusionen ( selection )
Levaillant :
Préludes pour les petites mains
 Intermezzo 3
 Marche Funebre
Arnaud Desvignes:
 Soliol ( selection )
Cooman :
Préludes op 722
Augusta Read Thomas:
 Etudes 3 & 5
Pillip Glass:
5 Metamorphosis 
Trilogy Sonata
Via Crucis
 10 Chorales
Pärt :
 Fur Alina
Fur Anna Maria
Variationen zur Gesundung von Arinuschka

Success was not so good unfortunately, as the public became smaller and smaller. At this time i did not know how to organise well such a marathon and make clear programs with clear understandable parts with exact timming. It took me some marathon to be able to take care of this.
n°3 : the 7th of April the Vexations !
It was a national premiere, as i am the very first to have performed solo non stop this piece in Prague.

a 1h30 part of the Vexations in Prague

And i got many surprises on this. before i start, i took it as very bad surprise, but ... it worked so well that i used for all the forthcoming Vexations to come !
To prepare this one, once again 24 hours without food or drink !
As i said, it started by Night !!! at 6 pm ! But now with the years i understood that they did that for good, after 1 electroacoustic concert and +5hours marathon recital.... it was necessary to have a long break !
2nd bad surprise ! No food, no drink ready !!! i could not belive !
But this was perfect. As i was asking things, the Prague team just bring it at the very very right moment. Of course it was hard for them, why ? because the Prague audience was really 200% Inside the Vexations.
They were not as many as Paris or Perpignan, but on the other hand they were so much focused on the Vexations, and deep Inside it. Some were meditating
So they did "by chance" what now is my "exact request" :
at start : no food
after 4 hours, (very important : not precisely) : bring 2 little square of Milk Chocolate, and only 2 square, and always check that i am not missing chocolate, but not to have too much
After 7 hours (very important ; not precisely) : bring a 1/4 cup of RedBull, always check that there is still some RedBull Inside the cup, but not more, as i much drink only few
I also got a funny idea to help the public to be "into the music" : i did what i called a "serious version" of Duchamp cult movie : Cinetic Cinema (i simply removed the french word jokes, that are not funny anymore in the XXI century). And ... that was a Good idea !
This time, once again i got this stupid idea to perform the first part a little fast and to slowdown at the end.
But i loved it.
It was pitch black, so the video was perfectly visible. But 6 pm ... i was already very tired even before starting !
I could see the audience meditating, i could Watch the video,and .... it hypnotized me !
I still remember my hunger, my thirstiness , and also i remember that at 4 am, i was almost sleeping.
This moment was terrible... i remember myself trying to play the Vexations theme.... i played half of it .... i could not do more .... i went back ..... started it again .... at same place i could not go and went back .... i went back .... i don t know ..... 10 times ? 15 times ? more ???
The more it goes, the less i could play .... i went even down to some notes only ..... slower and slower .... i felt more and more powerless ... tired .... hypnotised ................... i could not move ..........
and ....
it happened .....
i don t know how long was the gap .... i don t even know if i stopped or not .....
and ....
1 woman skratched her back ....
and ....
I was back on track !!!!!!!!!
I think it was "the terrible" moment, as there is always a terrible moment when you perform it solo and non stop. A time of despair, sadness and you wish that you will end fast , or not even doing it. (not 100% sure, but if you look at the time lapse video, it happens on 8:01)
I really don t know whay would happen if nobody was in the hall !
After i don t remember quite well, what happened from 4 am to 8 am ... It was "normal"
Once again at the end, i feel this terrible sadness, but i knew that few weeks after i will do it again in Monaco, and ... a 24 hours one !!!

the last 10 Vexations
ps : a little edition !
I recently had some recollections about this very particular performance. There was actually a fact that made this performance unique in comparaison to all the other Vexations i did. A very strange storry (in my point of view) .
As i told you, in preparation for this Vexations , i stayed in bed for a complete day, no food, no drink.
When i understood that my performance would happen in the evening ... well i had a 2nd day in the bed ! ( if you prefer 36 hours in total ).  Since it was a "surprise" i was a little block and in the morning i could sleep no more. As a result i watched 2 movies. 1 was "Hard Candies" , and the other one was "Megane is Missing".
1st one was great, a very good story and something you would love girlies to do to those bastards !
and .... the other one was the total opposite (i coupled those movie by random choice, and did not look at the descriptions, simply the posters looks interesting Z movies).
For those who did not see Megane is Missing, well, it is a very boring movie, for 1h30 very good for sleeping as almost nothing happen. But the end ..... the end is really horrible.
SO ! (i now arrive to the interesting point) i was so much shocked by this ending, that in the middle of the Vexations i was thinking about it, about those 2 girls and all that might have happened to them, and ...... i almost had nightmares when performing ! I was really haunted by this movie !!!!
And also the place i performed was so dark ..... ( you can see that on the video) with the Duchamp green thing behind me ........ brrrrrr .................................
As a result : no more movies when i am preparing Vexations by "no food, no drink" !
If you also are preparing the Vexations, please keep this advice very seriously !

samedi 23 novembre 2013

Rest in Peace Bernard Parmegiani

Hard to say anything ...
One of my big inspiration back in the time i was doing much more electroacoustic than piano (i was still at this time under the extreme care of the "couple" Germaine Deveze - Bruno Léonardo Gelber, and was working heavily my technique).
I am still remembering Parmegiani kindness. I had the honor to have been selected to perform some of my compositions for his 'official 80th birthday celebration concert', and the fact that he felt my music soonded like Xenakis (when i did not even knew he did electroacoustic music).
Back in those years i loved "De Natura Sonorum" ... I hope you will share my taste...
Parmegiani was one of the great giant of the electroacoustic, and his work will be celebrated for long !

Night Mood / Radio Interview with Frédéric Hutman

Yes... once again, as you already know, i am really addicted to Philip Glass music.
In fact I have this particular music turning without stop in my head tonight, and i can't sleep. My fingers are moving, i am performing it again and again in my head.

But it is not reasonless. Very soon i will give you some news .... and some very good one ! I am preparing something pretty interesting in Paris for the Glass maniacs like me :)

Also tonight, there was on the Radio Shalom a wonderful interview that Mr Frédéric Hutman had the honor to give me for the release of my Liszt - Christus album.
Normally you can still listen to it all night on the replay, but ... it is only in french, sorry for it .

dimanche 17 novembre 2013

Satie Vexations 1 : 1st performance in Perpignan

I had the chance to be able to perform the Satie opus magnum "Vexations", and this is due to one association 'Les Amis d'Alain Marinaro' that really belived in this crazy project, and had the courage to program it.

this is the promo video of the concert

It was a benefit concert for Telethon (cancer research).

Anyway, let's talk about the performance itself, the most interesting thing.

It happen at the Centre des Congrès de Perpignan the 4th december of 2010 . Lasting from 7 am to 10 pm without any pause or break .
We were thinking that it will be 20 hours,but 15 is not so bad for a first time.

So to prepare it, i stopped to eat and drink 12 hours before the concert (but got a wonderful "last meal") . I also had a lot of food: dry fruits, mandarine, chocolate (many!!! and i love it), i guess some juices (not sure). But this is not the wisest choice. Only after Prague i knew what was good!
I also prepared a very special score : 840 pages , for the 840 repeats ! I still remember the printer when i asked to do it : she really belived that i was totally out of my mind !!

Also it was broadcasted on internet, a premiere for this work. It helped as we were able to gather +5000€ of fund
As most of the things you can read on internet, i must confess that i was very worried about my Vexations performance. And specially this story that one pianist became like crazy after the 600 repeat and had to stop right away.
But i was very well surrounded. Organised by doctors, there were helping me all the time, doing massages, and also i had a machine that checked my heart pulse (in case of emergency).

So i had this "stupid fantasy": to arrive fastly to n°440 and after slowing down... only because i was scared of the n°600 !!

But even with this little detail, i must confess that it was one of the most incredible Vexations experience.
Of course i asked for a "warm place" to perform it. Since Perpignan is located in South of France, it is normally warm. The concert hall was fantastic. One of the wing of the Perpignan Centre des Congrès. A place with a lot of Windows, very sunny, just a perfect place.
But ... unfortunately 2 days before the performance, there was a snow all over France, and what was "a normal wamrth" turned out to be an ice tombstone for the pianist !

The first, and most terrible enemy of this piece, is the pianist himself and his body. As a result, even if i prepared a lot, i really had to deal with it. Muscular problems, tensions, tiredness....
But the cold does not help !
I still remember than after 4 hours i really started to have my right hand really tense, and started to perform as much as possible with the left hand. ANd after 2 more hourse, i did 50/50 : left page was left hand, and right page , the right hand. In this way i was also very able to know where i was ... Yes the very funny thing is that , even with a score, when the hours are going, you start to loose yourself , you don t even remember where you are , if you turned the page , if you are at the end ... this is really a terrible feeling !!

For the first hours everything went perfectly. I had to deal with the stupid questions of journalists that wanted me to "stop performing" to tell them how long i was performing (it was a live interview). Of course my answer was firmly a NO ! And for the funny things, i was almost praying for someone to bring me a heater !

I must also confess that many people in internet sent me support message from all over the world. That really helped me a lot.

When i passed the 400, things serious started. I started to slow down, and really get into it.
Also after such a time, you start to forget about the concert itself, the people surrounding you...

You try to relax your muscles, and slowly by slowly you even start to forget about your own body and you have this feeling that you are directly plugged to the piano... i guess it happened after 6 hours ...

After 10 hours things serious really starts ...

In every Vexations performances you allways have a "break point". A point were all your fears, sadness and despair are culminating.
At this moment you really want to stop... you are wondering why on earth you are doing it .... why not a normal concert ....
Normally this "break point" last 1 or 2 hours.... but you have the feeling that they last frever.

For my 1st performance i got the strongest reactions possible. Maybe the fruit of the surprise ?
With the hours passing, i even started to hypnotise myself, i was dreaming about the piano, the sound.
For the first time i also feel a link with the audience, a strong link !

here you can have 30 minutes of Vexations

I was also dreaming about Satie, his life and the relation with Suzanne Valadon, the only Satie relation, the reason he wrote such a piece...

And i saw them, there were also under hypnosis, moving their head like you see only in Voodoo rituals ...

The the biggest surprise was the end ... When i reached the n°800 i felt like the end was near ... and i slowed down more and more... i simply could not stop. When i reached 830 i got this terrible feeling that ... i was on a train station, and i would say farewel to someone with whom i shared so many things and will never see again ...
When i reached the 840 and performed the last notes, i was almost crying.
But i was not the only one, the audience who followed me for hours was also crying.

on this vidéo you can listen to the very end 

After the concert, i talk to the audience and they told me how strongly they felt the music. One told me that he felt he was flying on top of clouds, and another one told me that he was able to talk to his dead father ... Yes it was really a strong concert !

Unfortunately, i did not take care of the vidéo , so .... i got only incomplete recording ... this is really too bad ....

After it i was extremely hungry ! I had a wonderful dinner (allways in Perpignan !!! ) with wonderful wine, and a loooong bath ! (i think i slept in my bath, it was a jacuzzi).
I still could not belive i did it !

Forthcoming one would be in Prague - april 2011 ... but i did not know that at this time ...

Frustration !

Yes, i am today very frustrated.

No nothing to go with soccer or sport or whatever. On the other hand ... for 10 years i was avoiding to work with ProTools. When i was still a composition student with Favotti or Groult i "had to" compose with this software, but ... i never liked it, and on the other hand continued to compose in my way (but never showed them my work, only the final project).

It was the same when i did the edit of my Liszt cd. everything worked perfectly well.

But now ... with the Naxos expectation : ( 24 / 96 on surround ) , my Equipment is far from good, and .... i will need to wait the weekend end to upgrade it ... (i got everything on FireWire, but none of my computer actually has this plug anymore )

Too bad for me .....

lundi 11 novembre 2013

P. Glass ... yes i am a fanboy !

I was waiting for years to see Einstein on the Beach !
so of course i took a nice place !

dimanche 10 novembre 2013

Liszt pianos !

As you might have seen with a previous blog post :

Right after my Budapest recital (no i did not perform front of an empty audience, just check the videos), I had the honnor last january to perform on the Liszt last Bosendorfer (newly restored), and it was a very interesting experience. As i guessed since years, everything is different on the composer piano, sounds, pedals, touch...
I still remember Maestro Entremont that was allways complaining on the terrible XIX century pianos and how such great composers were able to do masterpieces on those terrible machines...

As my recital got a nice success, and (more important) pleased the Liszt association members there, i got a private visit to Liszt museum. And as a Liszt lover, i really enjoyed it a lot !

Food experience in Budapest

Of course, i can not go to a country without even trying to taste the local food ! Specially when it comes from my father country !

Unfortunately i totally forgot the name of each plate, forgive me for that !

But it was delicious !!

Dynamo: one of the most incredible exhibit i ever seen

Yes I love to go to see exhibit whenever i have time, or possible.

 6 months ago i went to a really incredible one : Dynamo at the Paris' Grand Palais

Normally i don't take many pictures during exhibit, but this one was so incredible that i could not resist (ha yes i must confess my sins, i am a huge lover or Optical Art !)

Since i don't think i am too much skilled to make interesting art comments, this is a (big) selection of works. There were also some Optical Vidéos, but i don't think i can put them on youtube (as i am not the owner of the sculptures)

Hope you will enjoy my selection !