Analysis / Thoughts

Cellule 75

Strength of the rhythm and forced cadence (May—November, 1975)

For piano, percussions and tape — (31′)

About Cell 75, I found two texts that come of two different periods. The first one, the time of the composition, and the second, which seems to be a shortcut of the first one or maybe even a sort of mockery, but I am not sure of it.


” This piece for piano, percussion and tape tries to express – and it is not sure that it succeeds – some ideas which are in touch with the daily problems. The musical means being ambiguous, they do not allow anticipating precise meanings, but they can sit the listener in the presence of a sampling of propositions and possibly incite him on reflection.


“75” it is the year of the composition, i.e. a social context suitable for year 75. What does mean that it is different in 76, but simply that a creation is dependent on the moment when it was conceived.


“Cell” it is of course the idea of musical cell, but also of cell of prison; political prisons, refugee camps, ghettos and apartheid, as well as the cultural and intellectual bulk-headings.


“Force of the rhythm”, it is to try to find in the rhythm a release through imagination, the intuition, vitality, the feet on the ground (contrary to the head in the clouds), in two words through the dynamics of reality.


“Forced cadence”, it is in opposition, the constraint, it also is to walk in step as demonstration of the oppression.


The ambiguity comes because ” strength of the rhythm ” and ” forced cadence ” are based on the same regular rhythms. The one is positive and would like to be turned to the life, whereas the other which is negative, tries to imprison the first one.


These some ideas are far probably of what we can feel by listening to this piece of music, that is why it is itself as a cell that imprisons the meanings. ”


Luc Ferrari, Paris, on July 13th, 1976