Vanitas was commissioned by the Berlin Percussions-Piano Ensemble; the piece evokes the relationship of artists to nature in our contemporary period. Could nature still be a source of inspiration today, as it was, for example, for artists of the Romantic era? I have chosen to treat this subject from the angle of Utopia / Dystopia; as if to let hope arise in our relationship to nature even though, in the Anthropocene, man undertook a kind of systematic destruction of it.
On the stage: two pianos, two drums and two tables. In the background, a video screen on which are projected two tables (the same as those in the foreground). The performers control this video with principles based on the correlation between physical gestures and visual phenomena. On the video, objects are falling on these tables and then are evacuated from them. We will thus see a succession of pots of flowers, real or plastic, living or artificial animals, organic matter, waste, insects, plants, pebbles, artificial materials... A game is then established between a nature that continues to express its power through the organicity that characterizes it and its modern "avatars", toys and plastic objects. A visual and gestural choreography will thus be born between the stage and the video, structuring the discourse in the form of a constant question about our use of natural resources, their beauty and their power, which are contradicted by the disasters generated by the consumer society.



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2 pianos, 2 percussions,
video, lights and electronics


dur. : 15’00

Commissionned by Ensemble Berlin PianoPercussion with the support of the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation
Coproduction: studio éOle
Conception, composition and video: Pierre Jodlowski
Video shootings assistance: Matthieu Guillin

First performance: 19th of January 2022 at the Konzerthaus Berlin (Germany)


Pierre Jodlowski publishing
score pdf / 1.5 Mo

Available on request