The musical walks of Palimpseste are co-designed by the artist-walker Hendrik Sturm, the composer Jean-Christophe Marti and Sébastien Boin, musical director of the Ensemble C Barré. It is a question of articulating the experience of a territory and musical proposals that are truly meaningful to this experience. The shared preparation in situ is therefore decisive, during a two-week residency by Hendrik Sturmde, punctuated by joint scouting. The itinerary of the walk and its thematic axes are thus conceived in parallel with the emergence of the musical proposals. Moreover, these walks cannot be reduced to a single theme. The openness, superimposition and diversity of the historical, social, geological, etc. strata (hence the word palimpsest with the towers of the Chappe telegraph as reference points) are essential. The music does not “decorate” a walk, it develops its own experiences, both resonant of the territories approached and autonomous.
The first walk [18 and 19 September 2021, from the Traverse du Télégraphe to the Place des Moulins, Marseille] is a selected confrontation between music and the powerful sound volumes of the urban environment. Thus, the two tams of James Tenney’s Having Never Written a Note for Percussion cover the sounds of the motorway, then make them re-emerge. Panayotis Kokoras’s Asphyxia emits a surprising transformation of breaths, distressing and comical; Eastman’s Stay On It, a piece on the movement of walking, resonates in a busy street; Marti’s Haylanduru 1 (L’eau souterraine), a specific creation, takes up the theme of underground networks developed during the walk.
The musical programme of the second walk [22 and 23 October 2021, from the Col du Télégraphe to the centre of Lançon-Provence] is a series of solos, a sort of relay in the garrigues shaped by numerous techniques (harvesting and storage, hunting, oil and gas networks, transmitters, military grounds…). Trumpet (Scelsi), percussion (Lou Harrison), cymbalum (Kurtag), cello (Britten), accordion (Moussorsgski) take turns and come together at the end of the route for Haylanduru 2 (À contre-vent), evoking the harsh conditions of the work of the stationary Telegraph workers, whose pendular movement the walkers experienced during the walk.
The third walk [23 and 24 May 2022, from the rond-point des célibataires, Les Pennes-Mirabeau to the Plan d’Aou, Marseille] brings together graphic musical notations and the maps used to “map” the territories. The scores of Eastman’s Buddha and Cardew’s Treatise draw a path that the musicians reinvent, with the participation of the public for the pages of Cardew displayed and played in a bus shelter. Jaime de Angulo’s ethnographic surveys resonate with the remains of the Oppidum of Verduron. Haylanduru 3 (Nuits, auras) is a sound journey mixing nocturnal and luminous urban perceptions.
Commissioned by the French State