Ictus / Jérôme Combier / Johan Leysen [BE/FR]
A soundtrack for an imaginary film
On the very day when, ten years ago, the great German writer W.G. Sebald died, Ictus and the French composer Jérôme Combier are paying him a tribute. Sebald died in a traffic accident in 2001. In his novel Austerlitz, the English art and architecture historian Jacques Austerlitz goes looking for his roots. This takes him to Antwerp, Brussels, Paris, Prague and elsewhere. He discovers that his real father fled the Nazi regime and that his mother was deported to Treblinka. His wanderings around the old Europe and his conversations with the narrator make for some fascinating thoughts.
• ‘The chief subject of this project,’ according to Jérôme Combier, ‘is the memory. It is about travelling around, between remembering and forgetting, and also through many languages and countries in Europe. It is also a reflection on chance.’ Combier wrote a ‘soundtrack for an imaginary film’ and will design the setting with the French video film-maker and stage designer Pierre Nouvel. Nouvel has created improbable spaces by, for example, projecting films onto actors’ bodies and by using transparent projection screens. In an installation of this sort, Johan Leysen will read from Sebald’s novel.
concept & composition Jérôme Combier, after W.G. Sebald’s novel | video & scenography Pierre Nouvel | light Bertrand Couderc | with François Deppe (cello), Dirk Descheemaeker (clarinet), Alain Pire (trombone), Jean-Luc Plouvier (keyboards), Michael Schmid (flute), Aurélie Entringer (alto), Alex Fostier (sound), Johan Leysen (actor) | production Festival d'Aix-en-Provence | co-production Opéra de Lille | co-presentation Bozar, Kaaitheater & Ictus