Close Up

7 - 14 February 2019: Stereo Spasms Festival: Celebrating Luc Ferrari at 90


Brunhild Ferrari, Ecstatic Peace Library and Close-Up are proud to present a series of talks and discussions focusing on French composer Luc Ferrari’s film works, complementing Café Oto's programme of live-interpretations from Ferrari's compositions. Stereo Spasms Festival is an 8-day programme of concerts, talks, films, readings, installations, and exhibitions, marking the launch of the first English translation of Ferrari's complete works.

Affiliated with French Radio’s Groupe de Musique de Concrète in 1958, Luc Ferrari (1929-2005) broke away to pave his own path of individualistic expressions of minimalist music, audio plays, musical theatre, soundtracks and installations. His groundbreaking works such as Presque Rien (1967-70) rebelled against the rigid institutions of his day and scandalized the French musical establishment. In 1982 Ferrari opened the electro acoustic studio La Muse en Circuit where he continued to compose unique award-winning soundscapes, absorbing such disparate influences as serialism and musique concrète. Luc Ferrari’s works resisted categorization during his lifetime and they continue to surprise, inspire and challenge new generations of artists.

By special arrangement with Mode, INA-GRM, CNRS and ELICA. With thanks to Brunhild Ferrari, Eve Patris Schaeffer, Dorothea Kares and Jacqueline Caux.

Programme 1: The Great Rehearsals: Karlheinz Stockhausen

Karlheinz Stockhausen: Momente
Gérard Patris & Luc Ferrari, 1965-1966, 66 min
Introduced by Thurston Moore

Preceded by drinks reception and Luc Ferrari Film Scores exhibit.

Filmed in Cologne during the rehearsals for the premiere of this monumental work Momente. The revealing rehearsal sequences with soprano Martina Arroyo and the WDR are interspersed with a rare, intimate conversation with Stockhausen, discussing his childhood, the tragic loss of his mother during the war, and the meaning of this work, inspired by love.

Programme 2: Far From Equilibrium + Les Jeunes Filles

Far From Equilibrium, Alain Bedos & Christian Moncel, 1978, 30 min
Les Jeunes Filles, Luc Ferrari, 1967, 25 min
Introduced by Brunhild Ferrari with David Grubbs

 Luc Ferrari’s directorial debut paired with a scientific/educational film he composed music for.

Programme 3: The Great Rehearsals: Cecil Taylor in Paris

The Great Rehearsals: Cecil Taylor in Paris
Gérard Patris & Luc Ferrari, 1965-1966, 44 min
Introduced by Thurston Moore

Fascinated by the emergence of American Free Jazz, Luc Ferrari interviews Cecil Taylor in Paris with his band (bassist) Alan Silva, (saxophonist) Jimmy Lyons and (drummer) Andrew Cyrille.

Programme 4: Presque Rien avec Luc Ferrari

Presque Rien avec Luc Ferrari
Jacqueline Caux, 2003, 50 min
French with English subtitles
Preceded by a Q&A with Jacqueline Caux

Presque Rien avec Luc Ferrari (Almost Nothing with Luc Ferrari) – which includes sequences filmed at La Chaux De Fonds with musicians from the Nouvel Ensemble Contemporain and at his exhibition of Cycle de Souvenirs an audiovisual installation/composition held at Musee des Beaux-Arts – tries to follow the path through electronic as well as instrumental and orchestral music of this prolific and multifaceted composer.

Programme 5: Films of GRM: Piotr Kamler

Etude, Piotr Kamler, 1961, 5'20 min
Chronopolis, Piotr Kamler, 1981-82, 50 min
Introduced by Brunhild Ferrari 

Two abstract films by Polish filmmaker Piotr Kamler with music by Luc Ferrari, including his animated experimental feature film on the creation/manufacturing and distribution of time into the universe. Kamler’s science-fiction inspired films were also scored by composer Iannis Xenakis.

Programme 6: The Magician’s Apprentice

The Magician’s Apprentice
Gérard Patris, 1977, 80 min
French without subtitles
Introduced by Eva Prinz

Deeply influenced by the Surrealists, Gérard Patris and Luc Ferrari made this odd Boris Vian bio-pic on the French polymath (musician, author, poet, translator, Jazz critic…) in an attempt to convey the extent of Vian’s imaginative works in theatre and fiction.

Programme 7: The Great Rehearsals: Hommage to Edgard Varèse

The Great Rehearsals: Hommage to Edgard Varèse
Gérard Patris & Luc Ferrari, 1965-1966, 66 min
French with English subtitles
Introduced by Thurston Moore

As a young man Luc Ferrari boarded a cargo ship to the USA with one aim: to meet Edgar Varèse. Ferrari arrived in Florida and wrote letters to the composer, working odd jobs until saving enough money to take a train to New York City to meet the composer. In 1965 Edgar Varèse would agree to have his rehearsals filmed for this documentary, but sadly passed away just days before the scheduled shoot. The film becomes an homage with several composers and artists in the first half of the film and in the second half, a rehearsal of Varèse’s greatest work Deserts directed by Bruno Maderna.

Full music programme available at Cafe Oto

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