A festival and multidisciplinary academy, an open house to discover innovation and surfacing creation, ManiFeste-2015 is an invitation to cross through world-works (œuvres-mondes) liberated from formats, limits, contemporary usages, and customs. In these works, the clamor of the present; through them, multiple forms of time. We find a striking incarnation of this in the collage and confusion of time that presides over Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s Requiem für einen jungen Dichter (Requiem for a Young Poet) (1967-1969). ManiFeste-2015 opens with a world-work and a monster-work; an immense tableau that condenses the political and poetic statements of the 20th century, the Requiem references a shattered century as seen by the German artist who committed suicide a year after its composition. The “spherical” and ecstatic time in Zimmerman, the infinite spiral in Pierre Boulez’ Répons that evokes the flowing architecture of the Guggenheim museum, litanies of a fall and alteration in La Métamorphose by Michaël Levinas… Experiencing the series fitted into Daniele Ghisi’s installation, the destruction of History and stories with François Verret, or the fusion of the present with archives in In vivo Théâtre by Guy Cassiers on the figure of the fascist Léon Degrelle is to have a unique experience with temporarily… The past is no longer a pedestal assigned to a specific date but given a moving image, awakened by our present and by the vivacity of a technological device. The world-work shapes a specific plot using History. Music, an art of time, is it not the art of simultaneity by excellence? The very hypothesis of this manifest!
The Sphericity of Time
IRCAM’s festival—and its academy placed, in 2015, under the guidance of Michael Jarrell and Ivan Fedele—focuses on the consequence of a form developed over time rather than the banal exoticism of “new” sound: a crucial question for musical creation. The escape from contemporary delimitations is possible in the alliance between orality and writing— Fado errático by Stefano Gervasoni—between artifice and live performance (Christian Rizzo, Daniel Jeanneteau), or in the shadow cast by an orchestral triptych, by Philippe Hurel, that takes over an entire evening.
Whenever music deals explicitly with time, it gives itself visual analogies and spatial dimensions. Whenever philosophy uses music to express this unchanging time, when everything else continues, it settles on melody as a metaphor for the irrevisablity of time—the line that I sing, or that I experience, now after now. From Saint Augustine’s Confessions to the lessons of Bergson and Husserl, there is always a linearity, always a flow of experiences. The blind spot of philosophy, that wants to update everything, is the characteristic of similarity analyzed by Elie During and Laurent Feneyrou in the pages of the Étincelle. Zimmermann’s founding intuition—time curves and makes a sphere—can be found in the description and spatial organization of his opera Die Soldaten “An upcoming event precedes a past event; the choirs of Bach, jazz are close to the rudiments of “opera numbers” and “musical theater” – everything is continuous and in a sort of pan-acoustic structure of the musical stage that mixes together all the elements of spoken and sung theater, of music, the visual arts, film, ballet, pantomime, montage on tape (noises, speech, concrete music) in a pluralistic conception of time and events…”
This is the cost and meaning of a world-work: initiate an inalienable consistence and presence, establish a common order for simultaneity and succession, endow the musical event with a polyphonic power and a multitude of heterogeneous scales. The perception of these scales is both singular and multiple; this “all at once” distinguishes musical singularity.
The ability to make worlds solicits our ability to inhabit and understand these worlds. In this sense, the invention of different forms of time is truly the invention—and the IRCAM—of tomorrow.