The duo Vincent Barras & Jacques Demierre extends an experimental tradition of sound and poetry at the boundaries of established categories such as literature, scenic arts, and music. The spoken word as medium of poetic expression constitutes the very material of their work, based both on poetic techniques and music. The writing, in four hands, is done simultaneously in pencil and on the mic: listening, transcribing, mouthing, recording, re-listening. The detailed analysis of speech, its rearrangement and re-composition, takes form in a single text-score whose ultimate end is its embodiment on stage in concrete dimensions: the space of a body, the time of a performance.
Jacques Demierre is a pianist, composer and improviser. Whether acoustic or electroacoustic, respectful of the frames of traditional writing or freely improvised, his experimentations can be music just as well as sound poetry and sound interventions in situ. They are nonetheless all moved by the same search for awareness of sound. Author of numerous pieces for ensemble or voice, the pianist Demierre also readily explores the evocative force of the most quotidian noises. While expanding the sound possibilities offered by the piano instrument, Jacques Demierre explores ways in which it approaches the field of language. His critical reflection develops a highly transversal and “interdisciplinary” conception of music, which has brought him to work with a number of musicians from very diverse backgrounds. Jacques Demierre is the 2007 laureate of the Ville de Genève Music Award, awarded once every four years. His scores are available from SME/EMS. His work is published by Tzadik, Héros-Limite, Psi, Victo, jazzwerkstatt, Leo, Plainisphare,
Vincent Barras teaches history of medicine and science at the University of Lausanne, while also being a specialist of sound art, experimental literature and sound poetry, which he practices as author, performer and program director (Festival de la Bâtie, from 1985 to 2003; Association Roaratorio since 2003). He also contributes as translator to make known and to disseminate certain major works representing diverse trends in contemporary poetry, music and literature: co-founder, together with Philippe Albèra and Jacques Demierre, of the Editions Contrechamps, he has published with the printing press and publishing house Héros-Limite a French version of John Cage’s Silence; a volume by the inventor of concrete poetry Eugen Gomringer; an anthology under the title 1 2 3 by the American poet and thinker Robert Lax; and a volume of poems – Journal de bord – by the Greek poet Georges Seferis.