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«Europa Rome»

«Europa Rome» is the third chapter in acclaimed French Orchestre National de Jazz (ONJ) portrayals of European capitals. Previous chapters were dedicated to Paris and Berlin. The final chapter in this cycle will be dedicated to Oslo and will conclude Olivier Benoit’s seminal project at the artistic director of the ONJ. «Europa Rome» was conceived by guest composers  – ICRAM (Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique) alumni, French Benjamin de la Fuente, known also from the avant-prog group Caravaggio, and Italian Andrea Agostini, and was premiered at the Carreau du Temple in Paris, in partnership with IRCAM’s festival ManiFeste.

The collaboration with de la Fuente and Agostini charged the new compositions with ideas and sounds from experimental contemporary music. The guest composers challenged the ONJ aesthetics with innovative compositional ideas taken from  seminal Italian composers as Luciano Berio, Luigi Nono and Fausto Romitelli, their personal approaches of treatment of sound, timbre and rhythm and the ONJ improvised interplay.

De la Fuente «In Vino Veritas» is an attempt to evoke his relationship with Rome, «a city of severe beauty, the caress and its luminosity, its ruins and days without end, the vivacity of its rain, its intoxicating heat… irony and self-importance… back through time and history, the insidious slide into the before, the olden days, without the possibility of any kind of struggle». He added to his colorful, rhythmic sonic collage of Rome as a noisy, busy city voices from Ettore Scola’s film «Genta di Roma» (2003) and daily sounds captured in the streets of Rome.

Agostini «Rome: A Tone Poem of Sorts» is more ambitious in its experimental spirit and its arresting sonic spectrum. It envisions Rome as a city of «thousand ages, a thousand architectures, a thousand souls and no coherence at all, or a thousand coherences, maybe». Agostini tried to establish an emotional link to all that fascinates and disturbs him in Rome, letting himself «be guided into building a work whose architecture are meandering but solid, always keeping in sight its expressiveness, now fragile, now brutal, of sound». His complex suite introduces a highly nuanced palette of sounds, moving freely between brief delicate, chamber sonic searches, aggressive and atmospheric electric sounds and dense, rhythmic eruptions, all spiral in colorful, kaleidoscopic flow.

«Europa Rome» guarantees that you will never experience the actual Rome the same way as before.

Eyal Hareuveni

Benjamin De La Fuente (composer) Olivier Benoit (artistic director), Jean Doustesyssier (cl), Alexandra Grimal (ts, ss), Hugues Mayot (ts), Fidel Fourneyron (tb), Fabrice Martinez (tp, flh, ptp), Théo Ceccaldi (vio),  Sophie Agnel (p), Paul Brousseau (Fender Rhodes, eff), Didier Aschour (g), Sylvain Daniel (b), Eric Echampard (dr)


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