Outside music from Samuel Sighicelli

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Books: Samuel Sighicelli; interview with Guillaume Kosmicki; live music; MF edition; Paris, October 2022; 146 p. 13€

“Creation is not just for specialists; it matters”; this is what composer Samuel Sighicelli steadfastly maintains in his dialogue with the musicologist Guillaume Kosmicki in this book of interviews published by the MF edition.

It is a real inventory of emerging contemporary creations through the reflections formulated by two of our interlocutors and the journey undertaken by Samuel Sighicelli who currently includes more than sixty works in his catalog. Pianist and improviser, composer and performer, Sighicelli loves to design performances at the intersection of art, theatre, image (he wanted to become a director at the age of fifteen!) and electroacoustic. Like many composers of his generation, electronic integrated his thoughts on music.

With Benjamin de la Fuente, whom he met at CNSM in Paris in Gérard Grisey’s composition class, he founded Sphota in 2000 (the word denotes a genuine breath in Indian philosophy), “a music discovery cooperative” in which two of the institution’s troublemakers (who were also enrolled in Alain Savoret’s class of generative improvisation created in 1992) and their instrumentalist partners would satisfy their desire to explore the world of sound, without allowing themselves to be locked into categories and styles: leaving the concert black box behind and welcoming the public by integrating it into sound production is part of a desire to move the sound world line.

When the Sphota group disbanded in 2010, they formed Caravaggio, a collection of improvisational performers (Bruno Chevillon, double bass player, and Éric Échampard, guitarist) and composers who weave a balance between jazz improvisation and written scores. Sphota then became the production office managing the Caravaggio project (to date four albums) and the projects of two composers. “Improvisation and composition are two different ways of approaching music,” says Sighicelli. The problem lies at the heart of the debate defended by the interlocutors of this book. “Therefore, it is important to find a balance between the written and the unwritten”, added the composer.

Many of his projects/shows deal with two worlds (Slippery Oil, Spirals, Winter’s Song, etc.) or placing instruments and electroacoustics in interaction as in them Twelve studies for piano and sampler (2016), a piece he played without a score but whose writing he would correct. Sighicelli doubles down on long residences promoting experience in the field (particularly with schoolchildren) and makes it possible to establish strong human contact in which art takes on a whole new meaning. He is currently the president of SMC (French Union of Composers and Composers of Contemporary Music), a commitment to finding a place as a creator in today’s landscape, “by envisioning all kinds of futures based on the pleasure of creation, enabled by interaction, experience, meaning and intensity.” the present”: this is his way of imagining his work as a composer, in resonance with the world in which he lives.

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More information

Books: Samuel Sighicelli; interview with Guillaume Kosmicki; live music; MF edition; Paris, October 2022; 146 p. 13€

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