Performance – live radio play
Presented by Yellow Solo at R50
Ritterstrasse 50, 10969 Berlin
(Club room in the basement of the residential building)
December 2, Saturday
Door opens: 7:30 pm
Starts: 8 pm
“Debussy’s Secret Devotions” is an ongoing research/performance project based on the unreleased correspondences of the father of French modern classical music, Claude Debussy. This iteration of the piece is for one performer, who weaves together stories and musicological research with sonic textures in the manner of a live radio play.
This speculative musicology reimagines Debussy’s music as holding secrets which could have made it too dangerous for contemporary audiences to hear. Drawing on some of the composer’s actual correspondences, it reveals his association with a shadowy sect called the Sequanae – a fringe spiritual terrorist group who worshipped the goddess of the river Seine, Sequana, and who sought to reset Western civilization by summoning a natural disaster. Urgently-needed corrections of Debussy’s music are therefore suggested here through detailed annotations of the 1905 manuscript of “Reflets Dans L’Eau” for piano, and presented alongside the narrative parts.
Louis d’Heudières (b. 1988, Suresnes, FR) is a sound artist, composer and researcher. He lived in the UK for a while and is currently based in Hamburg.
Spanning live performance, installation and writing, his work speculatively (re)imagines pasts, presents and futures of human and non-human music-making. It is characterised by stream-of-consciousness descriptions of recorded sound; pseudo-intellectual ramblings underpinned by hobbling instrumental pulses; speakers talking to floors; transcendental climaxes squeezed through MIDI timbres; paranoid associations between musical details and religious hegemonies. His work has been exhibited in institutions such as Kunstverein Harburger Bahnhof, Imagine the City and Museum Ostwall Dortmund, performed in several state-funded international festivals (Lucerne, Darmstadt, Gaudeamus, Bang On A Can), broadcast on national radio stations (BBC Radio 3, SWR 2), and published in Pfeil, Posthumanist and TEMPO magazines.
He works frequently with artist Annika Kahrs. His collaborations have included music for sound and video installations at the 16th Lyon Biennale of Contemporary Art, Schering Stiftung and SAVVY Contemporary, amongst many others.
His research interests include materialities of sound, speculative music history, participatory art, and music’s sociality, in particular the culturally-embedded and -enacted roles of composer, performer and audience
Special thanks to Péter Barta, Maya Schweizer and Clemens von Wedemeyer, and to the residents of Ritterstrasse 50.