Quodlibet

Nicole Peyrafitte
Independent Artist, USA
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Holland Hopson
Engine 27, USA

Pierre Joris
SUNY-Albany, USA


Abstract: The performance was named after Bach’s piece “Quodlibet” BWV 524, this title relates to a mixture of texts of various provenances. “Quodlibets” as a musical genre were practiced in the 16th 17th century, and they combined a succession of pieces spontaneously strung together. Hopson & Peyrafitte revisit this genre by juxtaposing and blending electronic technology, music, painting, voice, and poetry. They will use the words of Henri Michaux, Pierre Joris, and Marcel Duchamps, Bach Cantatas text, hipbones related medical jargon, 19th century Sacred Harp Songbook and French popular songs and web together a 60 to 75 minutes performance. Peyrafitte and Hopson perform the metonymic process of the juxtaposition of these media live on stage: Hopson plays a soprano saxophone combined with a computerized interactive performance system, and various outboard electronic music devices. He has designed software, which allows him to make music with the system in real time by writing algorithms for machine listening and computer-aided composition that allows him to create layers of sounds while Peyrafitte sings, recites, vocalizes and also interacts with her visuals projected on a large screen via a lcd projector.

About the Presenters:

Nicole Peyrafitte is multimedia visual/voice artist. Peyrafitte performs internationally, London, Paris, Luxembourg, New York City and State. This is Hopson and Peyrafitte’s third collaboration; they performed last spring at the Zinc Bar in New York City and at the Albany Center Gallery Albany NY last February. She also performs frequently with her partner, poet Pierre Joris; they will tour California this spring and Europe this summer with their new performance, “&Toiles”. For a detailed résumé go to: http://sites.netscape.net/peyrafitte/cvreviews.htm.

Holland Hopson is a composer, improviser, and electronic artist. He a Master of Fine Arts in Electronic Arts from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, where he developed a performance system for live, electronic music which combines a soprano saxophone and computer.

As an improviser he has performed with Thomas Buckner, Thomas Hamilton, Neil Rolnick, and LaDonna Smith. In 1997 he collaborated with James Keepnews to develop an interactive video editing and processing system for George Lewis' work Following the North Star Bugaloo; he also appeared in performance artist Linda Montano's Chakra Soundings and at the Knitting Factory with James Keepnews. He is currently Director of Engine 27, a gallery and performance space in New York City.

Pierre Joris left Luxembourg at eighteen & has since lived in the US, Great Britain, North Africa & France. He has published over 20 books & chapbooks of poetry, among them, h.j.r. (OtherWind Press), Winnetou Old (Meow Press, Buffalo, NY), Turbulence (St. Lazaire Press, Rhinebeck), and Breccia: Selected Poems 1974-1986 (Editions Phi / Station Hill), as well as several anthologies and many volumes of translations, both into English & into French, the most recent being Paul Celan's Theadsuns and Breathturn, Maurice Blanchot's The Unavowable Community & Edmond Jabès’s From the Desert to the Book. In 1992 he returned to the Mid-Hudson valley where he teaches in the Department of English at SUNY-Albany. With Jerome Rothenberg he has published a two-volume anthology of 20th Century Avant-Garde writings, Poems for the Millennium (University of California Press) the first volume of which received the 1996 Pen Oakland Josephine Miles Award for Excellence in Literature. Rothenberg & Joris’s previous collaboration pppppp: Selected Writings of Kurt Schwitters (Temple UP, 1993) was awarded the 1994 PEN Center USA West Literary Award for Translation. A collection of poems translated into French by Jean Portante, Jean Paul Junck the author under the title La Dernière Traversée de la Manche  was published in Luxembourg & Quebec by G-r-a-p-h-i-t-i Editeur in 1995. A new collection of poems, entitled POASIS is due from Wesleyan University press January 2001, as is a theoretical volume, Toward a Nomadic Poetics, from Spanner Editions in England. Rothenberg & Joris are presently co-editing & co-translating the collected writings of Pablo Picasso for Exact Change publishers in Boston.

As reader & performance artist recent work includes Manifesto&a, Quodlibet and déPLACEmentS in collaboration with Nicole Peyrafitte; "Pierre's Words (Toward an Opera)," a collaboration with composer Joel Chadabe & the Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company (Premiered May 3rd, 1997, The Egg, Albany); “Frozen Shadows,” a dance & reading performance based on Winnetou Old, choreographed by Ellen Sinopoli & danced by the Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company (Union College, Schenectady, NY January 21, 1996;  "The Egg," Albany, NY, April 12 & 13, 1995); and "This Morning" (part of Music Juggle) a multimedia collaboration with composer Xavier Chabot (Premiered at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY February 5, 1997.)