The theme for the forum being “How can we define humanity today?”, guests were asked to consider, as artists, the issues of war, terrorism, imperialism, ethnical conflicts, and bring forth new ways of solving these problems, as utopian as these may be. What are the new ideas the avant-garde movement can bring us, and how can this help us understand these issues in a different perspective.
Music and Politics
In this society, one of the main purposes of music is to maintain social order. How can we turn to music to find inspired political ideas? When music is made, body and spirit merge into one. Music has the ability to bring back the basics of human existence and show us how to coexist, live and think together. Society will sustain itself as long as music lives. Art serves as a social laboratory, an incubator where new society models can be tested, but where old ones must be preserved. This piece being a political one, we felt an obligation to defy traditional ways of presenting classical music by refusing to create just another disposable object. The project was approached in a compositional manner, combining traditionally written segments, random (or modular) segments which the performer is free to interpret in any order, as well as framework and improvisation games, leading to open improvisation segments. We are very aware of the negative implication of the word “improvisation” in classical music as well as in politic
The String Quartet
A string quartet is in a way a microcosm, a reflection of society and its organization, and is absolutely fascinating to observe. The notion of community is essential for the survival and the success of this sort of ensemble because a good quartet plays, thinks and acts as one. Although the instruments and individuals inside the group are constantly merging as they perform, each ensemble represents a mingling of different realities: in the case of Bozzini Quartet, two women, two men, one couple, two sisters, different backgrounds and different languages. We explored the connections between the members of the group, adressing them as individuals as opposed to machines capable of producing music. This enables them to speak, scream, sing in different languages and move freely on stage.
Composing with a partner
As we were exploring ways of breaking out of the classical quartet form, the Bozzinis challenged us by asking us both to work together, which in a way had political repercussions of its own. This sparked our creativity, but it also left us unhinged, and our first reaction was to ask the Bozzinis if they were putting our relationship to the test! We were forced to revise our entire working methods, and we came up with a truly reciprocal exchange of ideas, in which we were able to put forth new material as it was written and new concepts as they were thought out, and in such a way that the other person was able to modify any piece of material produced by the other, or change its context as we went. We are very pleased with the way the piece evolved, and this is largely due to the unrelenting involvment of Bozzini Quartet in the interpretation of our piece, Le Mensonge et l’Identité.
Jean Derome, Joane Hétu [English translation: Gabrielle Dumais, ii-11]