Aperghis — Les Guetteurs de Sons

Composer: Georges Aperghis

Title: Les Guetteurs de Sons

Instrumentation: 3 kick drums, 3 toms/congas

Approx. Length: 22’

Description: Theatrical multiple percussion trio, movement (miming, motions) and vocalizations (nonsense syllables), French speaking (text), interpretive, dramatic, interactive, use of silence and space, Ayun Huang says “Aperghis uses gesture, vocal sounds, and text to construct an abstract narrative of three lives from the stage of infancy through old age.”

Composer Note:

The silence, The sounds In the head. Outside.

Three musicians side by side.

Three individuals, or three versions of the same?

Identical instruments for all three.

Instruments which sometimes play on their own, in spite of the will of the performers for their sharpest astonishment, or which serve to model sounds as if they were palpable.

The mechanism is mounted here: silence – will to produce a sound – transmission to arms, hands, fingers.

Production of sound – listening.

The hands of percussionists sometimes work independently of their bodies. They themselves are surprised.

All this gives rise to small tender and comical sequences during which connivances are created between the three musicians who model the sounds to fight against the silence.

Who will have the last word?

– Georges Aperghis, Trans. Gabriella Mayer

Annotated by Gabriella Mayer