- Ekstasis | creation 2019
Music by Kaija Saariaho, Jean-Baptiste Barrière
Visual conception and realisation by Jean-Baptiste Barrière
Aliisa Neige Barrière | violon
Camilla Hoitenga | flutes
Raphaële Kennedy | voice
Jean-Baptiste Barrière | design and realisation of the images, electronics realisation
Pierre-Jean Bouyer, François Galard | video processing
Isabelle Barrière | cameras and video control
Thomas Goepfer | electronics realisation
Sensory correspondences, displacement of the imaginary, reversal of perspectives: it is to such an experience that Ekstasis invites you, constructed from sound and image centred on six works by Kaija Saariaho and Jean-Baptiste Barrière. The complementarity of their creative paths, living together and often working together, shape the fairly precise organization of the work. Prima la musica, dopo la visione… The three works by Kaija Saariaho are musical compositions – sonic, acoustic and electronic constructions, which already existed before her husband unfurled his vision of them. The three pieces by Jean-Baptiste Barrière were conceived as multimedia works, and primarily for a visual concert, with lines and rhythms that are perhaps more direct, leaving spaces open for receiving the images.
This concert/show, with its visual dimension that is closely linked to my musical writing, offers […] a path, a passing through my work. It testifies of my musical career in an original way.
Above all, images must not prevent from listening to music […]. They should not be stuck on music or, on the contrary, not be an illustration of music. They should not be either a comment on or around music. Therefore, they have to exist through their own writing which is structured with musical writing. They must have the same ideas or techniques of musical composition developed in another sensitive dimension, without pleonasm nor arbitrary antagonism, in a dynamic and evolutionary interaction. […] In this program, music extends into images, the one becomes the continuation of other one.
Soprano Raphaële Kennedy gave an outstanding rendition of the vocal element of the piece, which includes much pure singing but also a wealth of extended vocal techniques. Accompanied only by electronics, Kennedy managed to retain her sense of pitch while sailing magnificently through the enormous vocal challenges Lonh presents.
Opera News, Argo McKinnon, 2012
[…] Lonh, a solo soprano work given a virtuosic reading by Raphaële Kennedy […]
The New-York Times, Allan Kozinn, 2012
Raphaële Kennedy was the riveting soloist in the newest work on the program, Ekstasis (2014).
The New-York Times, Zachary Woolfe, 2014
- L’île Paradis qu’on ne doit pas dire
The writer Henry Bauchau (1913-2012) writes to himself and gives his readers his intimate thoughts. From his letters and diaries written during the gestation and the writing of the novel L’enfant bleu (Actes Sud, 2004) based on a true story, this show explores freely the correspondances between what we don’t know, live, dream or create when everyday life tears. Inside the mysterious echo of images and sounds, the young psychotic Orion draws at the day hospital with his “psychotherateacher” the labyrinths that will lead him towards creation.
L’enfant bleu is a text meant to be read and perhaps oneday set to music.
Henry Bauchau, Passage de la Bonne-Graine, 1999
Thank you for having made me – made us – live this unique moment. I am sure that Henry [Bauchau] was with you, with us and that he would undoubtedly have loved your Enfant bleu. […] One does not stand out unhurt of L’île Paradis qu’on ne doit pas dire. […] We were all together with you, with each other, with the living, with what in us exceeds us and includes us. We were in the « physical hymn », that one which drives us and carries us towards the hope. […] We were raised. We went down in love and we felt the most buried « in the island and the treasure ». We were in front of the abrupt of a nameless evidence.
Régis Lefort, writer and poet, specialist of Henry Bauchau, 2018
With meticulous attention to detail, the show […] shapes a labyrinth of sounds and images, of colors and words, of voice and singing… in which each can get lost according to his imagination. Pierre-Adrien Charpy’s music […] develops a rich sound world […]. It is omnipresent but it makes necessary room to discourse, to the mosaic story of Raphaële Kennedy’s and Vincent Bouchot’s speaking and/or singing voices. Their duo moves beyond the subject, by their powerful and collusive presence which is amplified by the phantasmagorical « put in sound » of ingenious-engineer Franck Rossi. This « total artwork » show is also good thanks to Isabelle Françaix’s poetic video creation and its moving images […].
Zibeline, Jacques Freschel, 2018
- À elle-même révélée
Music by Pierre-Adrien Charpy, Robert Pascal, Kaija Saariaho
Have we only idea of how much a singer is alone in such a program, in spite of infinite staff and unlimited timbres of the widest orchestra? Undoubtedly alone but not absolutely alone. […] it is above all the relative uniqueness of the voice passed through « live electronics processing ». The inelegant expression still sounds his geek a little; it means nevertheless nothing more esoteric that a new way to open and to fill musical spaces which get dug around the voice. Doubled and redoubled voice, taken in the echo, accompanied, followed, anticipated or caught by these other voices which live in us without we are really aware of it, until a composer just reveals them.
Vivante morte éblouie (extract from two-CD set Sillages)
Xi ling (live extract)
The voice of Raphaële Kennedy […] has a crystalline quality, a spark shooting up from the angle of the word. A crystal through which pass the elusive colours of stained glass windows smelted at a very high temperature; yes, it is something like this, a fusing voice, virtuoso without grandstanding, a crystal, transparency incarnate. Even if a crystal beats in electronics, it is not enough to sing phonemes, using all ways of expressing that ring the language […]. It is also necessary to get flesh and blood as well as meaning palpitation out of them, to gave us the taste in order to convey emotion, at the same time and with the same requirement. This is exactly what happens on both sides of the mirror of electronics, little miracle renewed all the time by the interlacing of fixed voice and living voice.
Demi-cadratin.fr, Didier Lamare, may 2015
Vivante morte éblouie, two paragraphs in Belle du Seigneur by Albert Cohen in which the swell runs on electronic waves, illuminated by the bright foam of Raphaële Kennedy’s voice […].
Le blog-note de Benito on radio dialogue RCF, Benito Pelegrín, 2017
- Écrire la nuit
Music by Kaija Saariaho, Philippe Leroux, Loïse Bulot
In this program based on eclectic texts, the voice wears the artists’s desire to write the night, their night. The astral music of Loïse Bulot makes us dream. It comes with Emily Dickinson for whom shadows are always necessary and liberating; it responds to Kaija Saariaho’s inner world, to the troubadour Jaufré Rudel’s ethereal love which is lived beyond distance ; it opposes dynamic sound gestures of Philippe Leroux and burning expression of darkness and light from Edmond Jabès’s text.
A singer is never more alone on stage than in pieces with electronics, which moreover paradoxically variegate her voice with incredible spells. Wanted by composers of today, Raphaële Kennedy has made herself a speciality of this, with a requirement comparable to that of her interpretations of vocal polyphony from the Renaissance and Baroque airs de cour. On this nocturnal programme: […] Lonh, by Kaija Saariaho, one of the masterpieces of such music, of which Raphaële Kennedy became the privileged interpreter.
Valeurs actuelles, L.L., december 2018
TOGETHER WITH YANNICK VARLET | Organ
- O beata Virgo
Music by Claudio Monteverdi, Alessandro Grandi, Giovanni Felice Sances, Bonifacio Graziani
« Who is she who shines like the dawn when it appears? … Fair as the moon, clear as the sun, she brings abundant joy to earth, heaven and seas alike. »
- Gott, eile zu mir
Music by Heinrich Schütz, Dietrich Buxtehude, Johann-Christoph Bach
In the 17th century it was said that Italy sang, Germany prayed and France danced. The musical production of Germanic composers of this period is marked by a profound piety.
- Veni in hortum mum
French music of the 17th century
The music illustrating this programme is based on that universal but at the same time so individual biblical text that is the Song of Songs. This great love poem, attributed to the great King Solomon, the wisest of sages, can be seen as an expression of both human love and mystical love.
TOGETHER WITH JEAN-LUC HO | Harpsichord
- Faces of women in Purcell’s songs
The women who feature in the poetry of Purcell’s songs are all so many contrasted images. We can find in Orpheus Britannicus and Harmonia sacra – whose extracts are the object of this program – the absent beloved woman, the scornful or cruel one, the eternally in love one, the later to become Queen, the goddess, the Virgin. With his incomparable genius Purcell pays homage to all of these images of women, all equally captivating.
- Sances and Valentini, italian composers in the court of Vienna
TOGETHER WITH MARYLISE FLORID | Guitar
Texts and Music by Federico Garcia-Lorca, Manuel De Falla, Enrique Granados, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Andrée Chédid, Pierre-Adrien Charpy
In sublimating the alternation of temporal suns as a natural phenomenon, this contrasted, personified poetry and music depicts two interior, emotional suns. The first is the symbol of day, of life, of action, of passions, of extreme and exalted feelings, whilst the second is that of nocturnal rest, of contemplation, of nostalgic and melancholy sentiments.
Canciones españolas antiguas (live extract)
Ce corps (extract from two-CD set Sillages)
[…] one hears every aspect and nuance of the word in the voice. Its melancholy interior and its light, its power to carve by making frozen breastplates flow red, but also the breath which brings it to life, the soft fragility of felt : one can also hear the body in a state of permanent tension, each word of the poem being brought out by the counterpoint of the guitar.
Didier Lamare, 2017
TOGETHER WITH CAMILLA HOITENGA | Flutes
Music by Patrick Burgan, Pierre-Adrien Charpy, William Brooks, Kaija Saariaho
Complicity, energy, playfulness, poetry, work on the texture created by the interweaving of the flute and the voice, these are the qualities that we hope to develop in the existing repertoire as well as in new works.
Jeux de femmes (live extract)
The pale pink satin of flutist Camilla Hoitenga, and the black lace of soprano Raphaële Kennedy set the tone for the evening: it was to be a sensual, vibrant dialogue. […] Camilla Hoitenga plays with brio. […] Raphaële Kennedy, an early music specialist, masters all the difficult expressive techniques demanded of her: soaring high notes, pianissimi, strange, magical and spoken sounds. […] This evening a vibrant homage was paid to contemporary music by the oldest of all musical instruments : breath!
Zibeline, Yves Bergé, december 2009
TOGETHER WITH ANNE ETIENVRE | Piano
- Alanguies ou fantasques?
French melodies and songs by Claude Debussy, Gabriel Fauré, Francis Poulenc, Vincent Bouchot, Pierre-Adrien Charpy
Le coeur du poète (live extract)
Les narvals©Lionel D.
L’île Paradis qu’on ne doit pas dire©Isabelle Françaix
Marylise Florid and Raphaële Kennedy©Isabelle Françaix
Anne Etienvre and Raphaële Kennedy©Isabelle Françaix