Strings in the air with feet over the floor

designed concert-piece (An Exhibition To Listen To)

CREATION on 20 October 2018 at Museum Art.Plus, Donaueschingen (DE)

with 6 guitarists from ensemble Open Source Guitars ensemble (Trossingen) : Phileas Baun, Florin Emhardt, Martin Köhler, Robert Menczel, Mikolaj Pociecha, Boris Slavov –
music and staging Benjamin Dupé | artistic director Barbara Lüneburg
live electronics Sébastien Naves(IRCAM) | advices Olivier Thomas, Christophe Forey | stage constructor Marion Gervais


This new piece for OSG ensemble, commissioned by Ircam and Muzikhochschule Trossingen, is inspired by three different and very concrete things.
First of all : the instrumental nomenclature. I considered the idea of a six guitarists ensemble as something weird, as the genetic multiplication of a single guitarist. I was interested in the notions of double, clone, standardization of the individual, identity disorder in the performer as perceptual disorder in the listener. So, rather than using the various types of guitars offered by OSG, I chose to focus on a set of six identical acoustic guitars.
Then, when I learned that the creation would be given at the Museum Art.Plus Donaueschingen, I enriched this first concept with the concept of exhibition : show fair phenomena, expose guitarists as one expose automatons. In addition to the scenographic aspect, it is an opportunity to question the dialectic proper to the interpretation of a score: what is pure and disembodied performance, what is singular gesture, individualized and deeply human?
Finally, the playful aspect of the play and its dimension of musical theater are a little tribute to Henri Fourès’ piece, given in the same program. Here, a miniature juggling responds to Jérôme Thomas’ jugglery, in precise and virtuoso interludes, both gestural and musical. These interludes have their origin in the playful potential of the guitarist: sit down, file nails, change a string, adjust his footrest, lose his scores.
Thus, this creation is a demonstration, at once enigmatic and spectacular, between the one and the multiple, between the mechanical and the human, between the acoustic phenomenon and its increase by the technology.


Production Comme je l’entends, les productions.
Commissioned by Ircam – Centre Pompidou.

© Mechtild Neininger-Hofmann
> download the press review (french/german only)

diffusion • 6 December 2018 · Nouveau Théâtre de Montreuil , salle Maria Casares - Montreuil
• 5 December 2018 · Nouveau Théâtre de Montreuil , salle Maria Casares - Montreuil
• 24 October 2018 · Theater im Kunstquartier, Mozarteum - Salzburg
• 22 October 2018 · Kesselhaus - Trossingen
• 21 October 2018 · Museum Art.Plus - Donaueschingen
• 20 October 2018 · Museum Art.Plus - Donaueschingen

photos © Mechtild Neininger-Hofmann