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19/01/11 à 08:59

X'TET/Bruno Regnier

« Au large d'Antifer » is a set to music of Louis Gagez's painting, on a series of paintings created since 2004 up to now.

In Gagez's work, the music is showed by its romantic breath as integral part of the body of the painting.
The similitude between the painter's approach of creation and the compositor's (ideas and materials superimposed, scratched, pounced, rubbed out, research of transparency...) sets down as a precondition to soloists' improvisations, to their extrapolations constantly renewed on a music built as a strolling of the visitor-auditor over the exposition.
After heading for Buster Keaton or Douglas Fairbanks, for the storyteller Marc Buléon or for dances of various continents, the X'TET place this new program at the junction of Arts and of languages' confrontation which characterizes the approach of Bruno Regnier.
We do know Bruno Regnier: musician, arranger, compositor, conductor. We do know his X'tet and CineX'tet "middle big" band with flexible geometry. The first one let free expression to the creator's desires (his last creation on cd is Suite de danses). The other one set to music Buster Keaton's films and The Mark of Zorro by Fred Niblo -with Douglas Fairbanks-, which will come out these next days and whose live performance we will be able to see and listen to on the 13th of December at the Balzac cinema in Paris.
But we underestimate his talent of composer. On the Scène Nationale of Orléans, Bruno Regnier sets to music the paintings of a young artist: Louis Gagez. (ndr: I might as well say it immediately, I didn't wish to join a picture of a painting - though I feel like doing it - by Gagez, because this picture won't bring to light the stunning pleasure that I have felt eyeing his works in the little gallery of the Scène Natinale of Orléans just before the concert of the X'tet. You must see them in real in front of you and quiver.)
We understand immediately where Bruno Regnier has drawn inspiration from to compose "Au large d'Antifer". Antifer is a headlamp at the top of a cliff in Fécamp and the only one painting of Gagez with a title. What we notice in his painting is the inexplicable impression of depth of the figures on a smooth canvas. Then there is life which spreads on the canvas, the movement of elements of landscapes - concerning either the sea into a rage or a chaotic desert - the obscure atmosphere where we feel - without really identifying it - this reassuring and gay beauty, this colored halo, as a radiant sigh. Gagez has a secret: he works the darkness of his canvas, he stains it with a white juice, then scratches, pounces, sculpts and cuts his painting. The result is exciting.

This original way of working was a triggering factor for Regnier: he has found a correspondence with his way of composing. The same language of work.
To set to music contemporary paintings is demanding. You must find the underlying theme, illustrate the music to arouse the urge of seeing them among listeners. During the concert, a video is projected. It shows the paintings of Gagez from all sides, with filters of colors, hidden in the darkness or over lighted. We discover the hand of the young artist handling colors, tapping the canvas, twisting brushes and sculpting the paint. Images take the audience to tame sounds to associate them to the canvas: woody clarinets which conjure up oppressive atmosphere, stormy trumpets and hailstones in percussions, spreading of painting on wide trombones, brushes tingling for teasing clarinets.
By every possible means, Regnier displays the atmospheres, transcends them sometimes: we experience some of them, we make out others. Above all, the composer has understood the whole of the artist's work. First obscure or opaque - it is the first impression about the paintings of Gagez - his music makes itself slowly pop, takes us along in his subtle swing and makes us enter in the heart of the canvas structures...
As the concert goes along; Regnier brings out the joyful and radiant aspect of Gagez's painting: this mysterious side attracts us. Inexplicable. More than a put to music, Regnier serves the painting with a calmed and polished musical suggestion -turning away from a free interpretation in music - where we perceive odors, heats and winds. Regnier puts senses to music.

Translation of a article by Jérôme Gransac