Writing for solo instruments has always been a very important part of my production. The main reason is probably that it enables me to dig quite deeply into a specific instrument as well as developing some close relationship with musicians. The title of this piece focus on this « introspection » of the instrument [anatomy] and the aim is to "enter" as deep as possible inside of its sonorous and visual aspect. Harpsichord is indeed a very complex and rich object in terms of manufacturing and the closest we look at it the more interesting phenomenons we can get. Some time ago, I was attending to a contemporary art exhibition in Paris and I discovered the work of Yuri Ancarani, a young italian artist who was using, as a principal matter of his video, some medical footages done with microscopic cameras inside of human body. What was amazing in this work was the fact that we were able to be completely out of any empathy due to the abstract beauty of the pictures which were leading us far away from the subject itself.
When we observe the complexity of an harpsichord mechanism, it is fascinating to see how many little pieces of matter are linked together in order to make it work in a proper way. Such as human body, there are thousands of interactions for a simple gesture. This very close observation, opens some doors of a new perception of the instrument and this was the starting point of my experimentations as I started to work on this composition.
Beyond this « observation process » I also decided to push some limits of manipulation while improvising on the instruments. As I was both recording the sounds and filming some actions, I just wanted to cross the limits of the « normal » way of playing the harpsichord by using objects and going beyond the resistance of the mechanism. Maybe because harpsichord is this kind of « precious » instrument which we shouldn’t hurt of damage ? So far, this investigation beyond the limits became the strategy to develop this project and the nature of the relation between the instrument on stage, the performer and the pictures on the screen.
Video : extracts of concert with Ensemble MusikFabrik - 2019
Images extraites de la vidéo de concert