Sunday, 24. July 2011, 23:03 - 23:45, Ö1


„Le Crachecophage“

by Jocelyn Robert and Laetitia Sonami

Laetitia Sonami and Jocelyn Robert have matched up for the finalisation of their trilogy of sound pieces dealing with silhouettes, borders and the outside. Started in 1999 with the piece Le Crachecophage, the series continued with Les Scaphandres (both released on CD) and is now completed with a new radio produced in Vienna in collaboration with Kunstradio.
In an interview, recorded in Vienna in May 2011, Sonami and Robert explained their concept, the analogy between field recording and chicken sauce and what it's like to collaborate.


general concept Statement on the silhouettes trilogy

„The general concept was the idea of silhouettes. In drawing, if we go back to visual arts, you can draw your hands, which is a common exercise in school, but you can also  draw the rest of the room, everything but the hand, and your hand would still be there. That is the general approach we had when we started: What would be everything but the movie? What's around a movie, what defines its exterior? That's the first project we did, we called it Le Crachecophage.
A movie is time based, so it's kind of easy, you just follow the line. But how would we do it from a text, which is a completely different time object? That's what we wanted to find out in the second part, which ended up being Les Scaphandres.
And very early in the process we thought: it should be three things: a movie, a text, and a place. We were waiting for an occasion for the last part to happen, and now this was the case in Vienna.“


crachecophage Statement on part 1, Le Crachecophage

The process is interesting in order to understand how this piece came out. For Crachecophage we said that each of us, on our own, begins the project. We picked a movie – and I am not going to tell you what movie it was – and said, we are making a silhouette of this movie and each of us works by themselves. So we brought ideas.
There was a time line, a length that was to be followed, alongside the progression of the movie. So, whatever we would inscribe, followed this time line. Are you illustrating, are you documenting, responding? Or are you free in associating? How much glue do you need to keep the material together?
There is a range of possibilities in field recordings, and at some point in Crachecophage we made up text and it was also inspired directly by the movie.


radio Statement on radio spaces

„We kept moving between different depths of spaces. Sometimes you can hear the object very closely, and sometimes it is a bit in the distance. Sometimes what you hear is actually the cardboard of the loudspeaker, so the source of the sound is in your room. Sometimes somebody is talking to you and the voice is in a different space, so you can imagine that this is a represented space. And sometimes the voice is speaking directly to you, it is almost in your living room or inside your headphones.
This is, I think, how the radio space exists: all these depths of spaces that we use, channeled through radio, expand again in the listener's space.
We also discussed the idea of an empty space, a container, a space where everything can happen. What if we just represent the outside or the borders, sonically or conceptually? And when you think of a space, where everything might happen, then it comes close to radio, a space which comes alive or doesn't, depending on how you use it. In terms of the potential, the two notions of space are very related.
And there is another thing we discussed before: When you watch a movie, you do that from the beginning to the end. When you are in a space, there is not just one way to use it. The way you choose to relate to the space, you miss all the other ways. You have to commit to one way, and all the other ways are lost. And in the radio piece, we are caught with that, too. You want to have a personal point of view, and loose out on the distant one, or the other way around. Radio is just like that: you can't rewind. It is not a CD. It is a commitment to this time now, to one channel and to one point in space and time. Even thought it is hard, and it hurts, too.“


collaborations Statement on collaborations

Jocelyn Robert: „I love doing collaborations and the basic reason for it is that I like to change my mind, when someone says: no no, you are wrong, this is another way to see it. I like that. Laetitia and I don't think the same way at all, completely different. I was an architect before, I am used to looking at the land and then the house etc. – from the big picture to the small details. And Laetitia is like a jewel maker, she's like: Oh, I found this little sparkling thing, it is perfect! But it is three seconds short – and nonetheless perfect. And then she crystallizes around it, finds another little piece and brings them together... We have completely different views on the world and how we rebuild the world.“
Laetitia Sonami: „You do a lot of collaborations, I don't collaborate that much, and also I don't record. I don't actually enjoy recording and completing a recording project so much. I like playing live, mostly. Working with Jocelyn, especially on the third one, I experienced: You know he is thinking completely differently, but at some point you welcome it, because that's why you decided to work together. And you have trust. There is no territory to defend, there is nothing we have to protect. That is quite good.“

Chaîne Culturelle in co-production with the 'Association de Création et de Diffusion AVATAR', 1999.

CD Le Crachecophage