interview CDMC


- Est-ce que la question de la forme d'une oeuvre est toujours aussi pertinente aujourd'hui dans l'acte de composition ? 

oui


- Comment identifies-tu le métier de compositeur dans une création pluridisciplinaire, à la croisée de nombreux arts ?

mal. le compositeur n´existe plus. sauf quelques ringards à foulard et mèche.


- Chaque oeuvre réinvente-t-elle une nouvelle forme ? 

une oeuvre réussie oui, ratée non. ou bien par hasard.


- Le format de diffusion d'une oeuvre est-il une contrainte pour l'invention ? 

oui


- Le travail avec les interprètes : y a-t-il nécessité à former de nouveaux interprètes à l'écriture de plateau ? 

non


- La place du compositeur dans l'interprétation de son oeuvre : le compositeur plus comme directeur artistique ? 

alors, bien pauvre directeur artistique.


- Le "concert", un format daté ? 
 
oui, comme le reste.

the Suitcase


A movie written, directed and shot by François Sarhan  

excerpt of the script, and photos from the shooting




  


Ernst, mid forties. Unshaven, haggard look, eyes seem empty, glazed over. When he starts the engine, the radio starts as well. He starts to drive.





 VOICES OVER (radio)

radio news, interview. A radio speaker, and a lady from the shop. ironic, like a show, provocative, aggressive, laughters, loud music
– So Mrs Wolf, tell us how it happened.
– Well, this afternoon, i was in my shop
– Which shop, mrs Wolf, which shop?
– Shaum Benantes, Klosterstr.
– In Moers, Mrs Wolf, we are in Moers.
– Yes, yes...
– And so, what happened, in Moers, damn it?
– Well.. comes this man, very elegant, with a strange accent, from... Italy maybe or... i don´t know where... He asks me to try the costumes, from the last collection, you know, the spring collection
– Mrs Wolf, are you interested in purchasing the exceptional jewellery made by Pierre de la Benoare Prout, thanks to this phenomenal Angebot we offer you NOW, here, in your miserable shitty shop?
– But... well, i don´t know, yes, certainly, i must... think...
– Congrats Mrs Wolf! And then, what happened in your stupid shop?
– Then suddenly he showed me a knife, and started to threaten me. I was so scared, i think i fainted.
– Ha ha ha, you really are a complete idiot, mrs Wolf, aren´t you?
– Oh yes, yes, of course!
– Ha ha ha isn´t she lovely ? And then, finish your boring story Mrs Wolf, quickly, we have a lot of commercials to play. Did he rape you at least?
– Ah? Well when i woke up, two costumes were stolen. That´s all.
– That´s all? No murder? No rape?
– Hum no... at least not that i know.


The sound of the radio is crappy, and Ernst has to hit the autoradio to establish the radio connection. Cracks, noises, loss of text in the lines, interferences.







At the end of the interview, ERNST, irritated, turns the radio off, plays a CD. his favorite music (coming from the autoradio).
  he looks in his back mirror, and notices he is followed (from far) by the police, he drives quicker and quicker.


 



CUT TO:

2.2 INT CAR EVENING

the policeman follows ERNST.

CUT TO:

2.3. EXT- EVENING

A man (Schmuk) runs as quick as possible in the street, looking behind him from time to time. He carries a suitcase.

CUT TO:

2.4. INT- CAR - ERNST (= 1.52 and 1.54)

ERNST, very nervous, turns brutally on the right, hoping to lose the car behind him.
ERNST sees Schmuk crossing suddenly the street, Schmuk disappears under his wheels. ERNST brutally brakes, hears a shock in front of the car. ERNST stays a few minutes under shock, then puts his face in his hands. After a moment of silence, he hears cars, police, etc, a few shadows runs here and there around the car.
The policeman knocks at ERNST´s window.
ERNST opens his window. The policeman face gets in the open window, staring at ERNST.






DISSOLVES TO:


2.5. INT- POLICE DEPARTMENT

ERNST sits on a bench, still under shock. He sits before a desk, where the policeman writes on an old typewriter, without mentioning ERNST. ERNST has handcuffs. A phone, documents on his desk, the camera pans on the walls, posters, lists, photos. The policeman types for a few minutes, in silent.
He takes off the paper from the typewriter.

POLICE OFFICER
So, mr Schmidt, we already know each other, right?
This is your testimony. Let´s summarize. You´ve never seen the victim before, Michael Schmuk, you say: the victim ran in front of your car, and you had no time to stop before hitting him. However, it happens that you were at the edge of exceeding speed.
The problem is that you drunk before driving. Not a lot, certainly, the text gives less than 0,1 g. It´s luck, because last year, you were picked up on the road with 0.4 grams of alcohol.
What do you think of that?
Before i let you go, you owe us an explanation why you carry this knife with you.

(shows a large knife on the table. a beat)

ERNST
Is it forbidden?

POLICE OFFICER
Well my record also tells that in 2008 you´ve been suspected of murder in a shop.








ERNST
I had nothing to do with that, it´s a misunderstanding.


POLICE OFFICER
The murderer used a knife as well. Between alcohol control, this murder suspicion, and this... accident tonight... you must be a little careful...
If you agree with the testimony, sign here, and we have no reason to keep you here.
So go home, try to relax and sleep. The doctor says that you can ask for two days of rest, do you need a certificate?

(ERNST shakes head: no)








ERNST
Ok i made some mistakes, i´m a bit easy on the bottle but... i never ever molested anyone, neither have i robbed anybody. And this guy, he ran ... so quick... It´s crazy.






I carry a knife since i´m 15. I never use it, i don´t need it. It´s a habit. But i don´t use it, or to open cardboard boxes, papers. i´m not paranoid, i don´t think this knife as a weapon..it´s a tool..












POLICE OFFICER
Mmmh, I see. 
I just need your footprint here....
And your signature, there. Good bye mr Schmidt, and i hope not too soon.

The policeman gives ERNST documents.


ERNST, devastated, nodges, and takes his head in his hands.


 





1.29. INT DAY-alternating with INT CAR- SCHMUK

Stolnaya is in her car. She has a little screen (ipad or other) where she spies on Schmuk.
a luxury low table, a few long drinks, champaign, a phone. She picks up the phone and dials his number.
we see schmuk from this surveillance video camera (above, noisy, distorted)


TCHORNAIA
So Schmuk, you like very much to travel, don´t you?

SCHMUK
Euh... yes, what do you mean?

TCHORNAIA
you wouldn´t like to leave us too soon, Schmuk, we would miss you so much.

SCHMUK
Oh no i wouldn´t, i don´t, no no, of course.

TCHORNAIA
Even if you would have beautiful luggage, it wouldn´t be a reason to leave us.

SCHMUK
No of course, of course. i don´t have any luggage.

TCHORNAIA
oh ho oh oh, Schmuk, [laughter] do you think it´s good to lie to Mam? You think she likes when you lie that way? You have no news from your friend from 5.5.5.5.5, don´t you? I´m the last one to have news, Schmuky. And they are not good.

SCHMUK
You mean, no of course, no i.. i can bring it to you, Mrs TCHORNAIA, how do you want to get it?
 
TCHORNAIA
...

SCHMUK
ok, well i certainly can give it to, to MONIKA, for instance. And she will, i mean.. as soon as...

(more and more nervous, he swallows)

TCHORNAIA
...

SCHMUK
Or Ladislas, if you prefer.

TCHORNAIA
...

SCHMUK
I, i don´t forget what i owe you, Mrs TCHORNAIA, i know you´ve been very generous with me, and i will


TCHORNAYA
I wonder what your dear MONIKA is going to become, Schmuky, mmh?

SCHMUK (shocked)
...

TCHORNAYA
10 pm.

SCHMUK
Yes, 10 pm, yes, of course, i will.

we hear the phone hung up and the tone.

SCHMUK
what a fucking bitch. FUCKING BITCH!

we come back to Tchornaya, who looks at Schmuk insulting her. She stops the video of Schmuk, and dials another number.

TCHORNAYA
Ladislas.... you´ll have to work a little on our friend Schmuk before he leaves with the suitcase... no no no don´t thank me... just find something clean. You know i can´t stand blood.




The suitcase, by François Sarhan
with Janina Akhmetova, Ernst Surberg, Magdalene ArteltPatrick Dollas, Matthias Heße, Marissa Möller, Frank Wickermann


corps et musique

Il ne faut pas composer le corps, mais le décomposer. De quel corps parle-t´on ? le corps sexuel, le corps politique, le corps biologique, le corps malade, formaté, et formaté comment, par quoi ?
L´injonction au corps dans la musique est la même que l´injonction à la jouissance : la reconnaissance d´un manque de reconnaissance, mais qui se suffit de la déclaration, et par là effondre toutes les possibilités de réponses.


Le corps militaire, le corps à uniforme, vêtu, dévêtu, sportif, obèse, souffrant, immobile, objet.
Le théâtre musical des années 60 s´est confronté assez frontalement et naïvement à la question des corps sur scène. Associer la composition musicale à celle d´une activité d´un corps qui ne produit pas forcément de son, et par là associer l´écoute à la vue, voilà le pari de Kagel, riche de promesses. Mais il a achoppé contre une pierre angulaire de l´économie musicale : le corps du musicien n´était pas absent, vide, à remplir, mais plein de convention, dont la plus importante est un appel à la dénégation : " ne me regardez pas en tant que personne, sexuée, racée, mais regardez moi comme un animal interface entre la musique et vous" nous dit le musicien sur scène avec son instrument. Ce musicien peut être maladroit, beau, grimaçant, comique, sobre, mais jamais absent : son appel à l´oubli est un simulacre. C´est la limite du théâtre musical : on ne peut briser impunément ce contrat entre le musicien, l instrument et le spectateur, car le corps mis en béance ne peut pas aisément composer un autre simulacre.


Le pacte du théâtre, le contrat avec le spectateur "je m´appelle x, je viens de y, j´ai z ans, mais maintenant je suis Hamlet", est un pacte parce qu´il dure. Durée nécessaire à la fois à l´interprète qui pactise avec Shakespeare, et au spectateur qui accepte le pacte parce qu il le connait avant que la pièce connait, et parce qu´il accepte (ou non) de pactiser avec l´acteur.

Mais pour le musicien qui tout à coup chante, incarne, se déplace, joue ? Quel pacte ? Quelle durée ? Si le musicien n´a pas rempli ces questions de la nature du corps à habiter, des pactes à passer, et sur la durée, on tombe dans les travers bien connus du théâtre musical : du mauvais théâtre avec de la mauvaise musique, ou plus précisément du théâtre scolaire avec de la musique mutilée.

the suitcase, first steps

The Suitcase is a show/project/movie, in 3 episodes, plus a prologue.
I wrote the script, and will shoot the movie with the team of Moers Schloss theater, plus Ernst Surberg and Janina Akhmetova as extra actors.
Them ovie will be made with Tobi Jall, who will be in charge of the camera, and the light. 

This first stage shows the preparation of the movie, namely the making of the set (Bühne Bild)



 These are models, about 50 cm x 50 cm big.
The objects are in paper. printed paper.





 Here are real sizer cars, in paper as well.
The actors will perform in a black box, inside these cars for instance, or other decors made of paper cuts.





 this is an example of how it looks combining 2 paper layers.



Wandering Rocks / Commodity Music CD


This is at last the cover of the CD of Wandering Rocks / Commodity Music, released in December 2016!

Wandering Rocks is a piece conceived for four electric guitars and 27 loud speakers in 2014. The source of the prerecorded sounds is mainly synthesis elaborated with an analog modular synth called SERGE, in La Muse en Circuit.
This piece, about 35 minutes long, is not meant for concert halls, because it is not frontal, but for a large room which can welcome a moving (wandering) audience: the public can walk between the loudspeakers, which are disposed in concentric circles, and between the guitarists, who are in the smallest circle, therefore surrounded by the loudspeakers. All the loudspeakers play distinct sound sources, so that the result evokes a moving ocean of sound waves and musical figures traveling in space, as well as in time.
The title comes from a chapter from Ulysses, by James Joyce, entitled "Wandering Rocks". Joyce´s voice, reading a short excerpt from Ulysses is heard in the second half of the piece.





Commodity Music is a music installation/concert realized for Darmstadt Ferienkurse für Neue Musik in 2016. It uses electronic material extracted from Wandering Rocks, as well as its time frame, but the guitar parts are radically different.
Moreover, texts and videos have been added and build up a completely new work.
The subject of the piece (as described in the libretto samples given below) is to represent the musicians in various sound actions, put under the common auspices of their UTILITY.







It´s a sad truth that music per se is disappearing from our life (after poetry), because of our difficulties to focus on an exclusive and demanding concentration to listen to it. It is replaced or diluted in videos, commercials, movies, etc, when in parallel the musician is more and more iconic – although his or her distinction shrinks.
In Commodity Music, the space is also different from the one of Wandering Rocks, since the audience can now move in different rooms, where each musician has some tasks. The premiere of Commodity Music took place in the Design Haus in Darmstadt, and was followed by a performance of Wandering Rocks, in the adjacent garden.








A CD is certainly problematic to fully represent a work which was on the one hand an immersive sonic experience, and on the other hand linked to a political/satirical dramaturgy, expressed via movements, videos and projected texts.
This recording, therefore, is a third easy-teenage version of this material, devoted to a stereo elate-by-night entertainment.
Elements from both pieces have been used, as well as another time organization, because the movement of the listener in Wandering Rocks as in Commodity Music require another musical pace.

François Sarhan
sept. 7, 2016