A composer’s dream: a fail-safe orchestra at one’s fingertips obeying ever so gently to his every command: a timeless sounding orchestra, both futuristic and slightly dada, conjuring ancient traditions in its surprisingly sensuous music. This is, in a nutshell, what Pierre Bastien’s “Mecanium” is all about, a daydream of sorts that he has successfully pursued since 1976. The musicians of his orchestra are machines. And the idea behind it is simple, efficient, and poetic : to have traditional instruments (Chinese lute, Morrocan bendir, Javanese saron, koto, violin, sanza, etc.) played by a mechanical instrument made of meccano pieces and recycled turntable motors. These hybrid and self-playing sound sculptures perform a series of short pieces, charming and hypnotic.
Pierre Bastien (born Paris, 1953) post-graduated in eighteenth-century French literature at University Paris-Sorbonne. Since ’77 he has been composing for dance companies and playing with Pascal Comelade while constantly developing his mechanical orchestra. Since 1987 he’s been focussing on his musical machinery through solo performances, sound installations, recordings, and collaborations with artists such as Pierrick Sorin, Karel Doing, Jean Weinfeld, Robert Wyatt, and Issey Miyake.
The French composer and multi-instrumentalist Pierre Bastien played first in some collective bands (Operation Rhino, Nu Creative Methods, Effectifs de Profil), and with the Dominique Bagouet Dance Company. Around 1986 he started participating in Pascal Comelade’s Bel Canto Orquesta. At the same time he created – and literally built – his own orchestra called Mecanium : an ensemble of musical automatons constructed from meccano parts and activated by electro-motors, that are playing on acoustic instruments from all over the world.
By using a bass clarinet, backed with sound effects, Ben Bertrand aimes in the direction of the contemporary classical section of your record collection. Dreamlike compositions that take you to his warm and minimal world. In the musical sauna, Ben Bertrand sits in between Gavin Bryars and Jon Hassell. Influenced by fellow minimalists such as Steve Reich and Terry Riley, he combines simple musical patterns, offset in time, to create a slowly shifting, cohesive whole. He makes use of his clarinet – effects and loop pedals – to construct modal, hypnotic grooves, over which he plays microtonally-inflected clarinet phrases. The use of loops permits to phase patterns on which simple and audible processes let him explore musical concepts. Rich harmonies are built, always increasing in density, before the whole thing gradually fades out leading the auditor back on earth.
Lucija Gregov is a cellist, improviser and artist whose work describes and explores new sonic landscapes. Adding to her instrumental cello practice, she integrates analogue synthesizers and processed field recordings to her compositions. Her visceral approach to improvisation proposes a distinctive way of creating, co-creating, thinking and performing in and about current sonic dynamic. Following indicators of flow, experimentation, investigation of unexplored physical and spiritual spaces, Lucija’s work enables emergence of practice and sound materials that are open-ended and continuously transformative.
An active member of ‘RE#SISTER’ collective, ‘Hydra Ensemble’, ‘Batavierhuis’, ‘Ma’ and creator and curator of Sonosphere radio programme at Worm Rotterdam ánd also one of the Roodkapje Hamburger Community of Live residents.
Futura Resistenza is a label and platform from Brussels and Rotterdam, that operates somewhere on the border between performance, music and visual arts. Roodkapje asked the label to program a series of concerts in our venue. Throughout this year Futura Resistenza invites musicians and artists who already have a connection with the label, as well as people who they simply admire and want to see perform. Some confirmed names include: Matchess (Circuit des Yeux), Frank Hurricane, Pierre Bastien, Ben Bertrand and Efraín Rozas.