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OUTER EAR: Jacques Demierre & Vincent Barras

Jacques Demierre and Vincent Barras, will perform their 90-minute epic text-sound piece, Voicing Through Saussure, in its entirety for the first time ever in the final presentation in our Live in Studio A spring series. Barras and Demierre have been composing Voicing Through Saussure for the past nine years and have performed and recorded parts of it, but have never before presented a performance of the complete piece.  Not only wildly variable in sonorities, vocal interplay, and body-text resonance, the piece is also intellectually profound and compositionally rigorous. Demierre and Barras draw from materials found in the work of linguist Ferdinand de Saussure on various ancient and modern languages--the so called “Indo-Europeans” languages. Detailed analysis of the sonorities of these ancient and modern languages, their re-elaboration and re-composition is finally embodied in a score-text, spread out on stage in its concrete dimensions through the language performance of the two sound artists. The body is where this vocal investigation takes place, digging in the primitive sound matter of language.

Jacques Demierre is a pianist, performer and composer based in Geneva. His musical and sound work takes various directions: improvised music, contemporary music, sound poetry and sound installation. His compositions and sound realisations are concerned with the activity of listening and with sound space, and develop a very cross and interdisciplinary conception of music. He collaborates with many improvising musicians, Barre Philips,Urs Leimgruber, Thomas Lehn, Joëlle Léandre, Axel Dörner, Fritz Hauser, Sainkho Namtchylak, Hans Koch, Brandon Labelle, Jason Kahn, Butch Morris and many more.

Vincent Barras is performer, historian, translator also based in Geneva. He teaches at the University of Lausanne (history of medicine) and at the High Schools of Art and Applied Art in Geneva (sound, history of the body). He is member of Contrechamps Editions in Geneva (contemporary music and aesthetics) and programmer of sound poetry and art language festivals (La Bâtie Festival and Roaratorio in Geneva). He has published various books, essays, articles, on body theory, medicine and psychiatry, contemporary poetry and music. He has translated books by Galen, Edoardo Sanguineti, Theodor Adorno, Carl Dahlhaus, Georges Seferis, John Cage, Eugen Gomringer, Simon Cutts, Robert Lax.

Made possible by generous financial support from Pro Helvetia, the City of Geneva and the Republic and Canton of Geneva.