In view of the creations that come from an abundant multidisciplinarity, one could wonder if Pierre Jodlowski (51 years old) is not to be classified among the versatile artists as comfortable with video and lights as with sounds. The answer is given unambiguously. “I am a musician, not a director or a filmmaker, and I use the musical vector to express myself. Everything is therefore in the score: “The gestural elements, the electronics, the images, the lights, everything that can be modelled. Sounds occupy a prominent place in the composer’s work, but they do not appear there at first glance. “I can’t start a play if I don’t visualize what’s going to happen on stage, so I do a lot of drawing. Scenographies, trajectories…”
According to Pierre Jodlowski, “the score is not the music” and cannot be “shared with the public”, his primary motivation. The stage, on the other hand, is essential for him, because it represents a space of freedom, “a place where censorship cannot be exercised, at least in the West”. The musician perceives it as a very pure mode of communication, which constitutes an “absolute privilege in an ultra-technological society, where our modes of relationship are constantly digitized, shortened, channeled, observed and sometimes even diverted by the systems we use. “.
The denunciation of this social drift appears in Post Human Computation (2014), for electric guitar and video, a magnificent indictment in which the galvanizing playing of the soloist is thwarted by images of sought-after gentleness (two Vietnamese musicians whom the composer filmed without instrument) and an imposed docility (women’s parades in Asia, found on the Internet). At the end of this committed happening, among other things against sexual slavery, a plastic toy guitar alone occupies the screen. “To demystify the figure of the ‘guitar hero'”, explains Pierre Jodlowski who, by entering the words “guitar hero” and “Japan” into his search engine, came across hundreds of videos in which young women in schoolgirl performed rock music imported from the United States on the electric guitar. This cultural diversion pushed him to brandish the instrument-gadget as if to say: “Stop maintaining these illusions which manufacture monsters. »
Monde « posthumain »
Eight years later, how does the artist manage to live in the “posthuman” world against which he rebelled? “Pretty badly…but I’m still conscious of healing myself with the works I produce.” What upsets me or makes me angry in this brutal and unjust world, I make it the engine of my creations. Unlike his teachers, notably Philippe Manoury (b. 1952), who taught him to always consider the work as a testing ground, Pierre Jodlowski does not see himself talking about his music “in strictly musical terms”. . Like Georges Aperghis (born in 1945), and two other composers to whom he feels close, the Italian Fausto Romitelli (1963-2004), for the heightened expressiveness, and the Greek Jani Christou (1926-1970), “who reintegrated into the theater an archaic dimension also claimed by an Antonin Artaud”.
Trained at the conservatory of Toulouse, his hometown, before joining that of Lyon, Pierre Jodlowski perfected himself in 1997 in the practice of new technologies at Ircam (through a piece, Dialog/No Dialog, still in the repertoire of flautists ). He has lived for more than ten years in Poland, where he directs a festival (Musica Polonica Nova, in Wroclaw) while continuing his activities within the collective éOle, which he founded in 1998, currently in residence in Blagnac (Haute- Garonne), and crisscrossing Europe as an “operator within the audiovisual environment” of his works.
Avoiding placing oneself too clearly in a geographical or aesthetic universe seems essential to the musician keen on improvisation since adolescence (under the guise of rock or jazz invested in the piano, saxophone or electric bass). An inclination he shares with Benjamin de la Fuente, the eldest of two years whom he invited in February to rub shoulders with the young composers of the Ircam course for which he is responsible. “Being a composer also means being a musician, an improviser, forming a band, taking an interest in the community”, proclaims loud and clear Pierre Jodlowski, who loves to watch a violinist play (De la Fuente or another) “for the very powerful connection that takes place between the physical energy and the sonic result”, but hates to see electronic musicians on stage, behind a computer, “pressing a button to trigger completely atomic things”.
For him, the machine is a companion that can be taken very far but which cannot decide the outcome of the trip. The question could be debated during the “Fictions-Science” meeting that Ircam will devote on June 9 to Alan Turing, the English mathematician who, during the Second World War, played a decisive role in the cryptanalysis of German machine Enigma and which subsequently laid the foundations of computing.
Pierre Jodlowski looked into the fate of the British scientist after reading in Le Monde in 2013 that the Crown of England had granted a pardon to the citizen “guilty” of homosexuality… “This news made me angry! We had to wait seventy years for him to be recognized as a national hero… Alan Turing then appeared to me as the victim of a social tragedy, both from the point of view of homophobia and that of Cold War, since he was suspected of espionage. »
Performed in Paris as part of ManiFeste for the fourth time since its creation in 2021 during the Warsaw Autumn festival, Alan T. marks a new stage in the work of Pierre Jodlowski through the collaboration with a playwright, Martina Stütz, who has was decisive in the realization of the project, acting “a bit like a mirror” to channel the desires of the composer, in relation to the libretto written in German by Frank Witzel.
As for artificial intelligence, of which Alan Turing would be the father, it interested the composer less than the “fantasy” developed around this notion. “It has been around for a long time, it’s Frankenstein, 2001, a Space Odyssey, Matrix…”, analyzes the film buff who, since 2005, has produced “series”. Unrelated to television, these pieces for piano and soundtrack are part of a cycle on colors that the composer plans to “continue until the end of [his] working capacity”. Black, white, red, pink and soon to be “ash” (creation by Malgorzata Walentynowicz in December in Warsaw), the colors would promote “emotional simplicity”. The peaceful side of the eruptive Pierre Jodlowski.