Lyrics, poetry and music by Laure Gauthier

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From one lyric to another / The creation between poetry and music / Laure Gautier in dialogue. Philharmonie de Paris, MF Edition. 384 pages. €24. April 2022

The lyrics, or what does the music say and what does the poetry say today? And do it together? This ambitious work – the length of the apropos, twenty-four interviews, as many bio-bibliographical notes, scores and poems – takes into account the connections that music and poetry maintain or can maintain today. To peck or read avidly!

Lyrical reflections, ways of questioning the renewal of poetry and music, modes of artistic expression linked since Antiquity and separated in the 20th centurye century, seems to have become firmly established in the contemporary landscape, as evidenced, for example, by the works of the earlier poet and critic Jean-Michel Maulpoix, author lyrics (2000), Not on the snow (2004), For critical lyrics (2009), Unknown music (2013) or even An elegy story (2018). With embarrassment already expressed, the observed balance between formalism and “new lyrics”. In short: what was the possible outpouring after Auschwitz, where is the place of lyricism in the field of creation? In his work From one lyric to another / Laure Gauthier’s creation of poetry and music in dialogue (2022), the merit of Laure Gauthier (b. 1972), the author-interviewer who is also a poet and academic, is to show that this idea not only interests musicians as much as poets, but also serves as a bridge between their disciplines.

Depicting in “After all the islands (overture)” the clash of politics and aesthetics XXe particularly the bloody century, Laure Gauthier finally decided to “see reality head-on” and asserted “a common, singular and collective lyric”. Good news, when we consider that nothing is expected from heaven, that all ideologies have failed and therefore individuals must define themselves, alone and together! Ace! as Dominique Quélen reminds us in the second interview made available to her, not only does the majority of the population prefer songs to poetry and especially listen to rock and pop music; but still, “the poet and the composer did not see each other, did not read each other, did not listen to each other”. However, the poet’s partner composers such as Sofia Avramidou, Arturo Fuentes, Pedro Garcia-Velasquez, Nuria Giménez-Comas, Fabien Lévy or even Xu Yi, are optimistic: “if every era has its threats, every era has also produced its resistance, its violations and its new solidarity. »

Five other chapters in “Archipelago” follow the introduction, with evocative titles (“Facing a song from a distance without touching it”, “Every poem can be music to be understood”, “Other languages ​​open to its passage from ‘foreign light”, ‘I am more sensitive to speech rather than the meaning of words’…) and called upon poets and musicians, including: Georges Aperghis, Sofia Avramidou, Philippe Beck, Olivier Cadiot, Aurélien Dumont, Francesco Filidei, Nuria Giménez-Comas, Philippe Leroux, Clara Olivares and Gérard Pesson.

This is how we hear a symphonic poem made of echoes. Extract.

– Philippe Beck, whose poem is reproduced below for pastoral (2006) by Gérard Pesson: “It seems that today few people are busy writing poetry about the art of music. This is generally explained by the translation (and export) of poetry into plastic art. Magnetization occurs in this sense, as if the music in the poem is ultimately the most dangerous or the most disgusting, even the most frightening. »

– Gérard Pesson: “Joseph Conrad said that every job is an opportunity to be taken advantage of. Every poem can be music to hold on to. […] I have admired and read Dominique Fourcade for decades and I have (yet) never put him to music. I read, re-read poets I admire, who I had never put to music, sometimes because everyone who writes on lined paper has done things before me. »

Philippe Leroux: “For me, text is first and foremost a source of sound through the materiality of the words themselves. Its meaning generates sound movement, and the relationship between words sounds paradigm. I deduce structure from composition, and direction from form. »

– Nuria Giménez-Comas: “Poetry offers the concept of time, in a very different form from prose. As in music, we could propose in this sense listening on multiple levels, multiple layers, as distinct from directive or imposed discourse in a perpetual temporality that leaves no room, for example, for ideas like listening from outer space. »

– Referring to her relationship with music, Sereine Berlottier admits: “A distant relationship. I listen to very little music, and I don’t know what constitutes ‘contemporary’ music very well. This question is a puzzle for me. […] I live in silence, as much as I can, but the sounds take up a lot of space. Maybe the meeting between the text of the poem and the resonant music seems to me comparable to this oddity? »

Resolution with the final chapter, “Poetry is a song from offscreen”, in which Laure Gauthier talks to Dominique Quélen. While evoking his activity as a poet, the latter embraces the whole issue and concludes the work in a splendid way. Launching “we have to rethink sound together”, he explains: “meeting with others, composers, videographers or visual artists, is very important to me because it prevents any fallback to the automatism of language and therefore thought, and confuses us.” Hence the job” with composer”, “which is very different from writing to “.

In addition, from one lyric to another, it can only be done from one coast to another. Beautiful messages of hope!

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More information

From one lyric to another / The creation between poetry and music / Laure Gautier in dialogue. Philharmonie de Paris, MF Edition. 384 pages. €24. April 2022

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