co-order of Spirito and MC2
© onoma éditions musicales 2016
Whoever learns to fly
give the land a new name,
he will call it light.
F. Nietzsche, Zarathustra
Bach and Zad Moultaka have music in common, but also spiritual care and the art of joy. A deep and profound joy, anchored in a form of pessimism towards the human community, born of the tension towards a transcendence and a compassionate compassion toward it.
Zad Moutaka follows the psalms chosen by Johann Sebastian Bach, inspired, hopeful, like so many impulses towards the sky. The music, on the contrary, goes against the meaning of the words and sinks into slowness, into the grave, accomplishes its descent, its downfall on earth. The play is dedicated to God, this dedication also says the separation: “goodbye”.
Look here below echoes with the current conflict in the Middle East.
December 1, 2016 La Comédie de Clermont, by the Spirito choir, direction Nicole Corti
November 19, 2017 Archipel Theater, Perpignan, by the Spirito choir, direction Nicole Corti
Regarde ici bas
The next day, the Spirito choir of Nicole Corti who invests the great room of the Garnet for a concert intersecting the worlds of Johann Sebastian Bach Zad Moultaka. who invests the great room of the Garnet for a concert intersecting the worlds of Johann Sebastian Bach (Gemme)or that of Monteverdi (Combattimenti II), Zad Moultaka came closer to the world of Johann Sebastian Bach in Regarde ici-bas, borrowing the text of his psalms to make his own voice heard. Around this world premiere for mixed choir a cappella, two pieces by the French-Lebanese composer answer two motets of Cantor Leipzig.
If he likes to forge links with the past, Zad Moultaka nonetheless affirms his commitment “here below”, in the face of the conflict in the Middle East, whose horror and violence are denounced in all his creation. In No, a mixed work that begins the concert in the dark, it is the bullet impacts and explosions of the bombs that come to us from the only speaker placed next to the percussion set.
As for the percussionist (Claudio Bettinelli), he appears in front of the public, turning his back on his instruments that he collides by reversing the gesture: position of resistance or of a prisoner, whose arms were hindered which will, at the end, be agitated in the void. The striking work is written in homage to Samir Kassir, one of the leaders of the Cedar Revolution, assassinated in 2005. Mixed work always and no less claiming, I had a dream superimposes two layers of sound: that of the electroacoustic support suggesting the Reverend Martin Luther King’s famous speech, five years before his assassination, and that of the choir echoing the complaints of the inhabitants of New Orleans flooded in 2005. Slamming fingers and typing of the foot, the singers are then supported by the bass drum, instrument of the Moultakian ritual giving this heterophonic and tense space an incantatory force. This is a dimension that can be seen in the final tutti of Regarde ici bas, a kind of “motet de terre” with sixteen voices given in world premiere.
The work is sung in the Cantor language of Leipzig and on the words of one of its cantatas but departs radically from its objectives. Because Zad Moultaka diverts the prosody, distances the meaning, preferring the scansion and the game of rebounds (his way of virtuous ornamentation) with which he plays on the syllables of the words. A way of his own to weave between the sublime and the trivial and to anchor the divine word in everyday life. The choral page that closes the score does not return less to a fervent and celebratory verticality.
Under the frugal and sensitive gesture of Nicole Corti, le chœur Spirito is exemplary, by the quality of its voices and its responsiveness to each sound configuration. Bach’s two motets, which they sing alternately, can not belie us. The motet BWV 225, Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied (Let’s sing to the Lord a new song), one of the most demanding choral pages of Cantor, is given by two vocal quartets facing each other, supported by the positive organ and two bow basses. The bravery of the voices, the deafening energy of each desk, and the clarity of the articulation are astounding. Certainly a little tested by the creation of Moultaka, they end with the motet BWV 230 Lobet den Herrn (Praise the Lord) in the serene and bright space of a score which they will repeat the fiery Alleluia encore.
Photography credits : Serge Merlin © l’Archipel Theater ; Zad Moultaka © Jean-Baptiste Millot