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CHION, MICHEL - La vie en prose

Format: do-CD
Label & Cat.Number: Brocoli 009
Release Year: 2011
Note: a new "concrete symphony" composed 2006-2011 in four parts, using sounds collected in the past 40 years !
Price (incl. 19% VAT): €20.00

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"A concrete symphony composed between 2006 and 2011. Four parts : 'Le chant des heures', 'Le souffle court', 'Dans la chambre', 'Salut au jour'. 'Thanks to musique concrte ways and means, La vie en prose fulfils my childhood dream of composing a Symphony of Energy in four movements of sharp contrasts. The title of the work was inspired by Flaubert, in a sentence explaining how as the era of rhyming poetry ended the age of prose began. There's no narrative in this one hour and a half long Symphony, but a cast of characters, some vocal instrumental theme and sounds that circulate, disappear, pop up, stretch, decline and lose themselves in time. MC. Michel Chion is a French composer, director, writer and theoretician. La vie en prose is his first musical work composed in the 2000s. This work features analog and digital sounds that have been carefully collected for 40 years." [label info]


"When I discussed 'Diktat' in Vital Weekly 767, I wrote about Chion: 'I believe, a devoted catholic', which caused some ripple of laughter. They never 'I believe', do they? And the fact that Chion did compose a 'Requiem' also didn't escape my attention. Here on another double CD, Chion composed a symphony, in the true, absolute form, as opposed to program music. There is no narrative in these pieces, but elements re-occur from time to time. Like with a classical symphony there are lots of sounds, culled from Chion's forty years of work as a composer. They pop up, disappear, stretch out, decay, and Chion uses rapid montage techniques to create a piece that is full of energy. Perhaps a little too much energy, even when the first movement, 'Le Chants Des Heures' is labelled as 'moderato' (parts of symphonies get such things as 'Andante', 'Moderator', 'Scherzo' which indicate how it is played, 'wild', 'quiet' etc.). As said, Chion's 'La Vie En Prose' is all about energy, and this rapid montage of sounds is also a bit tiresome - it left me at least quite breathless, after disc one, and then I still had another thirty-four minutes to go. Lots and lots of sounds, people talking, skipping records, field recordings, instruments (wether or not lifted from other's people work is hard to tell) drop in and out. It resembled in some ways Mixed Band Philanthropist or Nurse With Wound's 'Sylvie & Babs' record, without sounding too much like plunderphonics. I did take up Chion's suggestion and played the whole thing in one go, but deemed it was all a bit too much for me at once. Played with something in between, the four movements are however great. Excellent stuff, great musique concrete." [FdW/Vital Weekly]