Ballet mec in Belgium…


contemporary music, brussels

Georges-Elie Octors, conductor

December 7, 2012 — Opéra de Lille — concert version
with music by Varèse, Chessa, Schwitters, and Luigi Russolo's "Intonarumori"
Program notes (in French)

March 13, 2013 — Kaaitheater — with the Léger/Murphy film
Ars Music Festival "Synchronicity"

Program notes

Report from Jean-Luc Plouvier, technician for Ictus:

Yesterday night, Opéra de Lille: our premiere of Ballet Mecanique. Huge success! Beauty, purity and fun!

We placed the propellers on higher podiums, and our sound engineer boosted the infra-bass frequencies: hair-raising. The 3 xylophones and their homorythmic movements on one line on another podium: fascinating, like the factory pictures in Chaplin's "Modern Times".

I made a quadraphonic realization of your MIDI file for 16 voices of digital pianos, with some "humanizations" (de-pitching some notes here and there, and slight rhythmical randomizations): a regiment of wild pianos. And the synchro-movie with the MIDI piano rolls is a great idea. It works. [They displayed the MIDI sequencer's "piano-roll" screen as the music played.]

Thank you so much for your superb realization and your help. The original score is definitely much better than the neo-classical 52 version, that's undeniable. We will do it again and again.

PS : I have in mind to try a new version without conductor and without click. Synchronizing with the tape should be quite easy, after all.
PS 2 : Our final tempo : 112. At this tempo, the xylos are incredibly virtuos[ic] but clean, and the pachydermic[!] effect is exhilarating.
PS 3 : We changed the score a bit : the two real pianos now double the digital pianos on some parts, e.g. the beginning, in order to avoid a "karaoke" effect.

The Opéra de Lille performance on YouTube!