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Pierre Thoma (CH)

«Wagòn»

Live - Electroacoustic

15'

SATURDAY 22 NOVEMBER 2014

BÂTIMENT DES FORCES MOTRICES

Pierre Thoma, a Swiss composer fascinated by the “natural” sound of things that he weaves to produce sound mirages, will give us the pleasure of investing the Forces Motrices Building with a novel work, Wagòn, composed entirely from the human voice, that of a survivor of the Buchenwald concentration camp. A powerful concept that will gain a particular scope by being multicasted on the acousmonium.

Tram, wine cellar, nature, street… Any place is fine to go fishing for sound. And every sound is, for Pierre Thoma, material for composition. The same is true for the human voice, which he fashions with predilection because it reflects, for the composer, the depth of a personality. It’s that voice that’s central to the project Wagòn, set to music with as sole sound material the voice of a survivor of the concentration camps. Interned at Buchenwald at the age of fourteen and now a retired 84 years old academic, Yeshayahu Nir recites in Slovak – his mother tongue – one of his own texts evoking his deportation and his current vision of things. The voice is then cut, copied and mixed without further processing or addition, to give rise to sounds that thus processed can be identified or not, highlighting questions from the composer about reality, its access and perception.

Wagòn is divided into 3 parts : the shock of the arrest and deportation, where the sounds become integral words, with notions such as « without », « days and nights », « people like you and me »; this is followed by the internment, cold and deprivation, and intonations that evoke elements neccesary to the survival of the body, such as breathing and swallowing ; finally, the life after liberation, with words of hope such as « light », « silhouette of a flower » or « beauty of life »…

[photo] © Copyright Sylvia Kamm