The idea of childhood, the childhood of an idea: two sides of the same coin for ManiFeste 2019, the rendezvous for musical creation in concert and other artistic disciplines. The festival opens with Lullaby Experience by Pascal Dusapin—a reverie of childhood—a constellation of singular lullabies, a limitless number of “Rosebuds” drifting through the nursery. The festival ends with Stockhausen’s liturgical ritual: Samstag aus Licht. In the Licht saga, we discover a world of childhood fears and archetypes; Stockhausen’s career was marked by a passage from the initial to the original, from the invention of azimuths towards an edifying Unity, monumental and religious. This desire for fusion, for immersion, and for a continuum is also felt in the conquest of spectral music. From Scelsi to Harvey, from Monet’s Nymphéas by to those by Saariaho, but also from Xenakis to Bedrossian, from the films of Man Ray to that by Peter Tscherkassky, ManiFeste is open to sources and filtrations. Childhood and the archeology of an idea, “Rosebud” yet again.
How can we give substance, voices and cries to the obsessions of the past and to the tumult of the present? A crowd gathers in front of a group of spectators, Lab.Oratorium emerges from a crumbling Europe and a wandering individual. Philippe Manoury continues here with his old desire: reflect the clamor of the world by a multiplicity of sounds, bringing together the spoken and the singing voice, contaminating the concert with theater. Create a work or create a system—meaning practical and discourse, theatricalization and visualization, this front line crosses the entire festival. Accordingly Simon Steen-Anderson razes the exercise of the concert to transform it into a visual and sonic trap, a universe of amplified gesture and found objects. Work-System? This choice belongs to young artists, determined to bury the 20th century which created them.
Frank Madlener, IRCAM Director