samedi 19 mai 2018

The Cold Gates, for Köner & Winderen - Cloître - Live Évreux 2014

The Cold Gates, for

Köner & Winderen - Cloître - Live Évreux 2014

En juin 2014, à l’invitation de Frank Dubois dans le cadre de L’Atelier(s), Thomas Köner et Jana Winderen ont donné un concert au cloître de la cathédrale d’Évreux. Les deux musiciens jouaient ensemble pour la première fois. Mike Harding a rapidement exprimé le souhait d’en publier l’enregistrement sur le label Touch. Thomas Köner m’a alors demandé de rédiger le texte qui accompagnerait la première sortie, numérique, de l’album. Ce que j’ai accepté avec plaisir. Depuis, l'album a été réédité, toujours par le label Touch, en CD.
Voici l’essentiel de ce texte, que j’avais rédigé directement en anglais. Je remercie Stéphane Abraham et Mike Harding pour les quelques heureuses corrections qu’ils ont su me suggérer.

                                       The Cold Gates

Both Thomas Köner and Jana Winderen frequently explore a stage
of the grey area that is intensely cold, one as subject, the other as matter.

These methods are not so different. First because their expression often appeals to the same global droning form, second because, by different means, they circumnavigate a blank space.

It is not enough to know that frozen brushstrokes are used by Thomas Köner and Jana Winderen to feel their collaborative sound painting. That night of June 2014 in Evreux, Normandy, they fashioned together a very discreet and evolutionary soundscape, which included mist, birds, slow – very slow – breathing, celestial humming, rain… all of which integrate a panorama their common music designs, which is not necessarily cold. The concert had to happen in a peculiar place, like an island in the midst of town, a square garden-like space cornered between two parts of the ancient bishopric: the cathedral itself and the bishop’s palace converted into the town’s museum of art and archaeology. Around the box tree labyrinth and the lawn rectangles, hundreds of years old gothic architecture and gargoyles were watching over an unusual sacred event: modern, instrument-less, outdoor. Shortly before going on stage, Jana told me “It’s really strange because I usually play in the dark”. Indeed, we were getting close to the longest day of the year and the sky was still luminous. It was up to the musicians to recreate a night before the real one fell, up to them to call it.

A night, or maybe a dawn, a zone of passage for the light, the forms: a soil to enhance imagination. It all began in the mist, vaporous powder and sizzling waves, upon which birds songs appeared. No more is needed to create a fairy tale-like invitation, an attraction to a forest of dim light beams, sometimes scattered, sometimes dense. A three dimensional sound space over-impressed the empiric one, and the eroded layers of drones penetrated in a vertical tide pouring over the spectators. The garden and the passageways hosted a mesmerized audience. Some remained still, some walked slowly in the stone corridors, experiencing another penetration of the sound. Gently pounding, a thin aqueous metal call slowly reshaped the light rays into a luminous hum, leading the second half of the performance at the suburbs of figuration, the gates of melody accorded to a deep and cool, cool breath.

Then it was time for the birds to flock and sing a last song before flying away to hotter places. It was time to contemplate the cold places to which the drones had led. It was time to watch the slow motion of icebergs, mirrored in the real sky by huge clouds moving to the same rhythm. We were at the border.

We have to be cautious, while getting close to the doors of the absolute. Some of us hum, some of us draw. A manner of digging a corridor towards the unspeakable, and make it efficient in the empiric world. Some of us also discover poems. Open, Sesame!

Denis Boyer – La Ferrière sur Risle, July-August 2014.

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