The Right Ear
THE RIGHT EAR
music theatre without words
for ensemble, electronics and video
There is usually a golden rule in film, not to show how things are done. In The Right Ear, which could be described as ‘manual cinema’, on the contrary, all the artifices are revealed, inviting us to observe the process close-up, with decors in the form of models arranged on consoles used to create the sound effects live. A satire on modern life tinged with dark humour, in which we follow the absurd mechanics of a character caught red-handed in flagrant consumerism.
What an eruption of the imagination, and audiovisual art, and what a lace job it is to combine it all. It is impossible to describe. The performance merges various elements, previously filmed and recorded with those created live, not only in terms of sound, but also in visuals - the author constructs the entire set, a bit like a dollhouse, where a live camera was operated. Unusual. And when it comes to the content - something from the most beautiful tradition of French Surrealism. One of the most important events of this year's festival whoever has not seen it should regret it.
Dorota Szwarcman, classical music critic "Polityka" weekly
François Sarhan - French composer, director and visual artist
Sarhan has been presenting multimedia works at the CRwTH artists’ collective, which he co-founded. His works are presented at international festivals including Musica (Strasbourg), Donaueschingen, Wittener Musik Tagen, Ars Musica (Brussels), Holland Festival, Maerzmusik (Berlin) and have been interpreted by Ensemble Intercontemporain, Ensemble Modern, ensemble recherche, the Ictus Ensemble and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France.
The Ensemble focuses on exploring methods and means to create fields of expression through contemporary composition. It regularly performs at renowned festivals in Germany and abroad, such as Acht Brücken Festival Cologne, Eclat Stuttgart, Ruhrtriennale, Donaueschinger Musiktage, Kunstfestpiele Herrenhausen, SPOR Festival Aarhus (Denmark), GAIDA Festival Vilnius (Lithuania) and Mixtur Barcelona (Spain). It hosts its own concert series entitled Acts ‘n Sounds in Cologne.
Is it a movie, a music piece, a musical theater? Was it made by a director or a composer? Sarhan's method is based on reversing the principle of cinema, it wants to show as much background as possible: we are to see how music, sound effects and animations are created live (although some of them have already been prepared). Summarizing the plot of this film-piece is pointless, suffice it to say that it is a parable about the absurdity and hardship of life sometimes turning into a nightmare, all in the Kafka-Svankmajer convention. We observe the victim, but it is a very cheerful film, suffering is accompanied by warmth and overwhelming melancholy.
Filip Lech, music critic of "Biweekly"
François Sarhan: concept, video, set design, music
Yann Philippe: video assistance
Annegret Mayer-Lindenberg: viola & voice
Akiko Ahrendt: foley artist
Timm Roller: guitar
Malgorzata Walentynowicz: keyboards & voice
Yuka Ohta: percussions
Frank Riedel: saxophones
duration: 60 mn
International premiere at Warsaw Autumn on 25.09.2020.
French premiere on 29.09.2020 at Musica Strasbourg.
supported by: Impuls neue Musik
photos: Grzegorz Mart