get away from the decibels and megawatts
control technology instead of suffering it
taste the pleasure of a free circuit.
The wind, the air in movement, is a great composer. Who has never listened to the bro ken melodies and swaying rhythmics of the halyards and hooks in a port? Who has never whistled along with the wind and its harmonics?
In Bali, the country folk use wind chimes as scarecrows, changing tempo with the strength of the wind. With this as his starting point, Pierre Sauvageot has invented a wind symphony for a moving audience and 500 instruments: harmonic cellos, vibrating drums, windmill glockenspiels, bamboo whistles, propeller sirens, gyrating musical boxes, Balinese scarecrows, chromatic tepees, pentatonic grails, acoustic bows, flute trees, rattlesnake fishing rods…
Composing means choosing, and the art of the composition of this Harmonic fields involves organising the assembly, the dialogue between resonance, space and temporalities. Composing for and with space. Listening to the winds and learning to understand them. Creating another form of encounter between the audience and a work. Anticipating and organising walking speed, the time taken to stop and listen, the blind sections…
In tune with our time, without electricity or computer, Harmonic fields is an invitation to take a wondrous journey : a concert which goes beyond a performance, an original sensory experience, a stroll through the very heart of music.
Harmonic fields is a circuit with a beginning, a middle and an end. The spectators-cum-listeners traverse different acoustic and musical colours in several movements. The audience strolls through an alphabet of the winds, slaloms between the bamboo organs, relaxes on loungers surrounded by harp cellos, follows the line of long strings to reach the grand finale.
Harmonic fields is a composer’s project. Each Harmonic fields has its own specific score combining the instruments, the circuit and its highs and lows, the wind and its whims.
The landscape which plays host to the Harmonic fields becomes the object, subject and the medium of the creation. It resonates with a singular poetry. But the wind is temperamental and defines its own territory. The choice of site is therefore particularly important: open sites, uplands or along the coast, far from the urban centres but readily accessible by the public…Philharmonic
The 500 instruments of Harmonic fields form a veritable orchestra and include the different sections of symphonic ensembles: woodwind, strings, percussion… It is this totality which gives the performance its volume, its fullness and its resonance.###PublicHarmonic fields is intended for all publics – children, adults, families – and there is no restriction on the size of the audience. The spectators move freely around the site, creating their own routes, relaxing on loungers. The success of the first performances confirmed the extent to which this type of project is in tune with our time.
Essentially designed for daylight experience, Harmonic fields can also be open for “special night time performances”, especially when there is a full moon.
Harmonic fields is inhabited by a number of characters, the Windmills. Professional performers, dancers or actors, they roam the site, emphasising the musical space, organising blind sections, impressing images, telling stories. The Windmills can include a number of local artists.
A welcome area and restaurant at the end of the circuit provides the public with a convivial forum for discussion, away from the promenade-concert.
Harmonic Fields was first performed in Martigues in 2010 during the Odyssey of Martigues when 10,000 people found their way to the Pointe de Bonnieu. It had already been rehearsed in public during the Oerol Festival 2009 in the Netherlands, a reference in the field of European land art (and land acting). In 2011, it has discovered the winds in the Alps (Grenoble, Détours de Babel), in the UK (Ulverston, Cumbria), in the Netherlands (Terschellings Oerol festival) and in Denmark (Metropolis Festival in Copenhagen).
In 2012, Harmonic fields was presented in August at the Strada Festival in Graz (Austria) and in September at the Inside Out Festival of Portland (UK). As a lack of wind is highly unlikely, Harmonic fields will continue to gallop on Eole’s wings in 2013 in Marseilles (France), Genk (Belgium) and Helsinki (Finland).
After a first presentation in Martigues (FR) in 2010, then at Lakes Alive Season in Ulverston (UK) and at Oerol festival on Terschellings Island (NL), Grenoble (FR) and at Metropolis Festival in Copenhaguen, at La Strada Festival in Graz (AT) and at Inside Out Dorset Festival in Portland (UK), Harmonic Fields goes on its european tour :
Next presentation in Arles (FR) from 30th July to 2nd August 2015 at Les Envies Rhônements festival, Mas Thibert, Marais du Vigueirat.
To be continued...
The sounds map
Take a look and a listen at Harmonic Fields sound map (Ulverston, June 2011) by Dan Fox
Blowing in the wind : Pierre Sauvageot's Harmonic Fields, The Guardian, 2 juin 2011
Pierre Sauvageot's sound has delighted Europe, now he's bringing it to Britain, The Daily Telegraph, 3 juin 2011
Prendre la clé du Champ harmonique, La Provence, 24 mai 2010