D’un geste de la main (2013)

instruments and video

Programme notes

In 2013, Joane Hétu approached Manon De Pauw to collaborate on an animated score. Together, they created D’un geste de la main (With one movement of the hand) for Ensemble SuperMusique’s concert Machination. The animated score D’un geste de la main is composed of manipulations of coloured acetates (translucent gels used in theatre lighting) on the surface of a light table. While the audience perceives one continuous movement, the piece is actually a montage of multiple gestures performed before the camera. This chromatic and geometric étude could have been executed using solely digital means, but this was not the case. This work subscribes to research of “performative images”, where the body is present, though sometimes very subtly, in the formal construction of the piece.

From this original animated score, Hétu proposed a musical reading wherein the principal parameter consisted of “playing the image”, with each part (divided into 10 equal sections) distributed to one of 10 musicians. For this new version in 2018, Hétu and De Pauw are revisiting the score and its interpretation. Does the animated score boil down to playing the image? How does the image bring something different to the music, distinct from pure improvisation? Without explicitly answering these questions, Hétu and De Pauw have added and elongated moments free of image, in order to encourage and facilitate moments of unstructured improvisation so that these two worlds can coexist, flowing between structured and unstructured playing. Beyond these considerations, D’un geste de la main is a work that arises from a symbiosis between the animated score, the musical parameters outlined therein, and Ensemble SuperMusique.