2020 : Good work !


If we read his vintage as a fraction, this new year seems to self-award an excellent note, promising, certainly, but delivered perhaps prematurely, since not a line of the duty to be returned by December 31, 2020 is not yet written. So let us wait, before awarding her this satisfaction, for her to live up to the hopes raised than her classmates, the Previous Years, who were after all largely not-so-good than we though at the beginning.
If I interpret it as a time indication, I am forced to start the year with one finger on my nose, which is not very practical - you will agree - to get back to work. In fact, my daughter and her classmates have got into the habit, every time the digital clock marks a "twin" hour (11:11, 13:13, 15:15...) of putting their index finger on their nasal appendage, to the great displeasure of their teacher, and whatever the subject in class. For some years now, I have contracted this pernicious mania, which I indulge in as soon as I notice that it is 09h09, 17h17 or, more dangerously, 20h20 or 21h21., the times when baroque music concerts are usually held...
With my colleagues from Faenza, we have never yet indulged in this ritual on stage where, fortunately, we rarely get to watch the time. The year 2019, however, would have provided quite a few opportunities, since, with Faenza, have faced the public's gaze more than 70 times between 8 and 10 pm. From the "L'arsenal de Metz" to "le Chateau d'Eu" via"Le Théâtre de Valence", from the Hardelot Festival to the Ribeauvillé Festival via the Mont-Blanc Festival, from Dubai to Rome via Timisoara, from the "Château de Versailles" to the Auditorium of Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois, from the Péniche Adélaïde sailing on the canals of the "Grand Est" to the Church of Saint-Thomas-d'Aquin, from the "Aubrac" to the "Charolais", from the time of Polichinelle to Charles Dassoucy, I swear that no spectator can boast of having surprised us in 2019 with his finger on the nose.
2020 still evokes, multiplied by two, this marvellous "life 2.0" that the media complacently present to us. In this increased universe, we would therefore have, in addition, in 2020, the opportunity to double ourselves: 2.0 x 2? Is this desirable, given the damage that our way of life - even when it remains modest and frugal - causes to the eco-systems and in view of the dangers that it poses not only to our future and that of our descendants, but also to our very present?
2020, in any case, has an undeniable graphic appeal for me. This harmonious succession of twos and zeros reminds me of two reptiles proudly standing on their belly (assuming they have one) alternating with two eggs also standing, ready for action (assuming one egg can act).

The snakes bring me back, as on January 1, 2019, to the theme of nature, the one that disappears before our eyes in the hecatomb of the living that none of our good resolutions at the beginning of the year is capable of stopping. While the marvellous species that fed our childhood mythologies (rhinoceros, koalas, orangutans, giraffes) are disappearing at an ever-increasing - frightening - rate, more modest animals, less spectacular but just as necessary for the balance of the biosphere, are falling into silence: batrachians, reptiles, earthworms...
Eggs are for me, sort of, inhabited zeroes. Zeros full of promise. Nothingness full of future. Who was there first, the egg or... the snake? So in 2020, I see two eggs, or maybe two times two eggs. One year, at least, under the sign of the egg, of the zero, of the void. And I'm looking forward to it. The year 2019, with its dozens of concerts, its creations, its recordings, its barge tours and all the logistics that go with it, was so full that it left us... a little empty. If 2020 is less dense, maybe it will fill us up?
From a purely mechanical point of view, it is easy to understand that, since our energy resources are not infinite - any more than those of our planet are - two people (i.e. an artistic director and an administrator) cannot indefinitely provide the work of four. To stay with the symbolism of numbers: 2 x 0 = 0. Whether by choice or by force, whether it is at the level of the life of an individual, a company or a planet, at some point you have to consider lifting your foot off the pedestal.
2020 therefore proposes, because of the so particular form of its declination in figures, to multiply the voids, to lengthen the silences, to let time go by, and I want to follow this injunction. I want to listen to what I have to say and let what will probably only need to hatch around spring, or even later still, come to life in the heart of winter. In particular, I feel the dawning of a show that would focus on silence, that precious raw material that researchers tell us is disappearing in the world, and that certain types of music still preciously keep within them as relics of a world where we still knew how to listen.
Listen, even if "l’On n’entend rien dans ce bocage", as Francisco Mañalich sings in one of the songs of our Délire des lyres, a programme with which we will begin this year as a joyful epiphany, since the Magi from Éditions de l'Hortus will bring us the long-awaited recording of this extraordinary programme where, once again, two of us do the work of four. So come and meet us this Monday, January 6 in Ivry-sur-Seine, where we will have the pleasure of wishing you in person an excellent year 2020!

Cotignac, le 1er janvier 2020.

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Translations by Sally Gordon Mark

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