Home > Pierre Sauvageot, director and artist > Grand Ensemble

Champs Harmoniques

A dialogue between an apartment block and a symphonic orchestra
Grand Ensemble
  • An apartment block, like so many others in the neighbourhoods of France and Europe’s cities and towns. Like so many others in Marseille, in the difficult neighbourhoods in the North of the city, where Lieux publics has its home.
    Balconies, stairs, satellite dishes, laundry hanging from the windows, children’s bicycles are private spaces in plain view. Noises, sounds, and music can be heard from the windows. A child cries, a television hums, a dog barks, lovers quarrel, a saucepan falls to the floor, a toilet flushes, a rubbish chute trickles… They are all sound signals for people passing by the building from residents living so close yet far away from their neighbours. This is a sound puzzle treasured by Georges Perec and his Life a User’s Manual, or straight out of the film Delicatessen.

  • Up on the balconies of the building, forty, fifty or eighty classical musicians take their places. It is a full symphonic orchestra with all the distinctive signs – tuxedo tails and long gowns -, the easily recognised sounds, the emblematic
    instruments - the harp, and kettledrums.
    In front of the building, an audience of 500 to 2000 people sits or stands as if in the stalls of an opera theatre.
    The stage is set, the two main characters are present, the apartment block with its residents and rumblings, and the orchestra with its history and incongruity. The warm-up is over, the show may begin.

On tour
  • After a successful Premiere in Paris, where it was invited by the Coopérative De Rue De Cirque and played by the Orchestre de chambre de Paris, and in Marseille (France) in October 2017 by Regional Avignon-Provence Orchestra, Grand Ensemble is heading on a European tour !

  • Pierre Sauvageot, composer
    Jany Jérémie, setting's space designer
    Nadine Estève, scores writer
    Guillaume Bonnet, computer musical assistant
    Josëf Amerveil, sounds' collector

    Elodie Sannier, production manager
    David Mossé, technical director
    Drazan Kuvac, sound technician
    Alexandre Pax, technical coordination
    With friendly help of Roland Hayrabédian, Orchestra's director of Musicatreize Ensemble, and Philippe Carrese, writer and film director.

    Nadine Estève is a viola player and composer and has the key role of producing all the scores and sound cues for the musicians. Her many collaborations with Pierre Sauvageot (Allegro Barbaro, The Public Concert, oXc) and on other artistic creations in public space (Symphonie mécanique by François Delarozière), her experience as a viola player in various symphonic groups and her composer's ear make her an extremely useful member of the team.
    Choreographer Jany Jérémie
    , who has worked on Pierre Sauvageot's creations for many years (Allegro Barbaro, The Public Concert, oXc, Harmonic Fields, Igor Hagard), will focus particularly on images, movements and spaces.
    Sound designer and composer Josëf Amerveil
    will work on recording the sounds and words of residents so that they can be used as samples. This first collaboration with Pierre Sauvageot follows a number of encounters and listening to each other’s work.
    The Lieux publics team will also be involved:
    - production and installation: Fabienne Aulagnier with Élisa Schmidt.
    - technical direction: David Mossé.
    - communications and public relations: Jasmine Lebert with Fanny Girod.

  • Pierre Sauvageot is an eclectic composer who has made public space the text, context and pretext for his work. After playing in activist brass bands in the 1970s and ten years of free jazz and trumpet, he teamed up with Michel Risse in 1983 to create Décor sonore, which would provide a launchpad for a whole series of creations. Mechanical Ballet for helicopters and heavy machinery, Grand Mix for Tambours du Bronx, Bulgarian voices and philharmonic orchestra, Des corps sonores, a megaphone octet, etc. At the same time, he worked on the creations of choreographer Jany Jérémie (Black Label, J’voudrais être blanche, Kiosque Nègre, etc.) He also worked with Serge Hureau (Gueules de Piaf, Au Bon petit Charles), with Oposito (Transhumance) and with Toni Casalonga (Voce in Festa). Then began a long-term focus on outdoor work, deciding to dedicate his work to public space: Allegro Barbaro for 100 amateurs playing mopeds and horns, The Public Concert performed by the audience itself, oXc [Odyssée], a urban opera for main town squares.
    Harmonic Fields, a symphonic walk for wind instruments and a moving audience, created in 2010, was presented all over Europe. Igor Hagard, created in 2013, takes the audience on a stationary journey based on a re-orchestrated score of Igor Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring.
    Pierre Sauvageot’s artistic career has often brought him into contact with the world of symphonic music, with the Orchestre Philharmonique des Pays de la Loire, the Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse, reorchestrating the Rite of Spring, and more.