Sunday, May 19, 20198:00 pm
Founded in 2012 by Joane Hétu, the “noisy” a cappella choir Joker will premiere its latest creation, Les Lucioles, at the upcoming 2019 edition of the Festival International de Musique actuelle de Victoriaville (FIMAV).
Conceived by the choir’s director, Les Lucioles has been co-composed by Joane Hétu’s long-time associates and Joker’s co-directors and regular members, Jean Derome and Danielle Palardy Roger. The trio will be joined by 17 vocalists from Montréal’s music, dance and theatre community, all of whom share a frenzy of expressing themselves through the idiosyncratic use of their voices.
Les Lucioles is a feverish tale inspired by fireflies and by their power to emit light at night in early summer. Like little embers dancing in the darkness, for a long time fireflies have fed the imagination of poets. The ghostly glow of the firefly evokes the evanescence of life itself, which, like beauty, is only a fugitive gleam in the night of time. Borges wrote: “Extinguished light. Is it of an empire or that of a firefly?” Pasolini associated the firefly with resistance: a fragile glimmer fighting against the blinding glare of power.
Hétu, Derome, and Roger’s Les Lucioles thus becomes an allegory about hope in a world constantly threatened by obscurantism, power’s simulacra, financial stupidity and political chaos.
Menacing shadows and bright lights follow each other. How do we make sense of our current situation within the darkness surrounding us?
Using improvised music’s unique conducting gestures, the three composers lead the choir through the piece’s movements and mazes until the light of the fireflies will burst forth in the midst of unheard-of phonetic eruptions and words rising between rustling and hissing.
Les Lucioles is a daring collage piece, a collective composition bearing the imprint of all three composers and yet outlining Joane Hétu’s unmistakable creativity.
- Joker (Joane Hétu, voice, objects, composition, conductor; Danielle Palardy Roger, voice, objects, composition, conductor; Jean Derome, voice, objects, composition, conductor; Alexandre St-Onge, voice, electric bass, electronics; Cléo Palacio-Quintin, voice, bass flute, piccolo; Lori Freedman, voice, clarinet; Catherine Tardif, voice; Christiane Charbonneau, voice; David Cronkite, voice; Elizabeth Lima, voice; Éric Forget, voice; François Couture, voice; Gabriel Dharmoo, voice; Géraldine Eguiluz, voice; Ida Toninato, voice; Isaiah Ceccarelli, voice; Kathy Kennedy, voice; Maya Kuroki, voice; Pierre-Luc Senécal, voice; Vergil Sharkya’, voice)