This documentary Storm Beneath a Skull is my first encounter with the music of George Aperghis. There are a number of short excerpts from various performances, and things done with the music and text… I have no idea what hit me. It’s unsettling and scary, and also devastatingly moving and hilarious. I see here in the office of the house I’m house-sitting there are three Aperghis CDs in the library; maybe I’ll dare touch them. Meanwhile, here are the words from the man himself, which follow the performance of Zig-Bang (2004) in the documentary.
I don’t try to graft images of the real onto what I do. What I aim for is to concentrate a number of–there it was phonemes, but it could be sounds–to concentrate them so that I obtain a texture which, when said or acted out, there comes a moment when it creates–apart from music, I hope–it gives rise to a behaviour… One cannot do it if there is not certain energy, a kind of state, bodily even, via which to do it. And from that point on, more everyday ideas, everyday images and sounds appear. And then the problem is, if it becomes overly precise, if people think “Ah yes, now they are arguing,” once we reach a conclusion, we no longer listen. We’re no longer listening to each individual sound. The mind must be constantly asking itself what is going on. Then we are all ears–and listening.
Lots of live goodies on YT. Here’s one of the Récitations: