I wrote in 1965 a “text-score” called SOCIETE I.
This score put on stage an orchestra of 8 musicians giving them rules of game (as in a parlour game). Each one, while following this score, had an absurd relation with the society and was torn between the individual and the collective.
So the score proposed a motionless state in which the individuals played their role without ever being able to communicate between themselves. The hierarchical structure given in example is the orchestra that is, in fact, taken as symbol or microcosm of the society.
Each “musician” has his psychology and a role to be played.
Here some extracts of the score from the origin:
This score should be carried out in a bar, or a café theatre.
In a room having of a kind of platform or stage and a consumption place where the consumers consume on dispersed tables, assembled around a kind of center called counter which all in all is used to serve everyday consumption and to count and deduct until the balance change-payment-credit-discount-loan is balanced.
Some true or fake instrumentalists or actors are on the stage and enjoy a true or fake score.
(I do not know if this score exists, this is why one can replace his absence by a fake score that at this time would become true. It is like the laws, before they are invented, they do not exist, once they were invented, they exist like laws and as crowned.)
They have moreover a list of things to do, called Score of Action.
They can repeat several times an action, or a series of actions or a series of actions in loop if they consider it necessary, according to the interest they feel and to the organization of the situation of the moment.
At the end of the score of action: begin again at the beginning.
They must be aware that an action must obstruct the others, must try to push if need be, this embarrassment until disorder.
Société I symbolizes modestly the society. A certain number of people are joined together in a given place; it is a ground on which the gestures of a certain number of individuals are produced.
These individuals have a private life, therefore are independent from each other, but live joint in a society regulated by laws, practices, habits and conventions.
Each one has its job and its character, each one its psychology and its reactions.
That is the score of 65. I speak about it because it is a starting point.
In last fall, 1980, Maurice Fleuret asked me to work out a theatre and music show for the Museum of Modern Art he is in deal with. And, I proposed SOCIETE I to him, by saying that I would like to work not with musicians as it is generally the use for the musical theatre, but with actors. I also suggested Didier Flament, director of what I had seen of his work, seemed to me absolutely interesting.
Didier Flament and me decide to do a work of improvisation on the original score and to make a scenario from there.
Didier Flament gathers a group of actors of which each one plays a little an instrument. This wise the orchestra is made up.
During three weeks, we repeat and write the scenario. I write also the music according to the instrumental capacities of each one. Some can play only three notes and I compose with.
The scenario that I could not tell summarizes in some simple ideas whose scenic and musical action is complex:
An orchestra come from abroad gives one evening a concert in a casino of province. The “musicians” are dressed in “very old-fashioned” evening dress. They speak an imaginary language. One sees the orchestra as a structure in which the power is reflected by the composer and so by the score.
The responsible pianist and conductor makes a presentation of the work (caricatures of a intellectual analysis of author). If its language is invented, it is perfectly comprehensible. The actors with whom Didier Flament works practice for several years the invented language. It is a search for communication in which the language is coherent without any word being known.
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