di Luisa Santacesaria
[We interviewed d’incise (pseudonym for Laurent Peter) on the occasion of his performance on April 17 of TRK. Sound Club at Galleria Frittelli. Photos © Simone Petracchi | The Factory Prd]
What is your musical background?
I don’t have a classical musical background; I didn’t make music when I was a kid. Basically, I started with doing experimental music: that’s how I discovered that I really could do music, with noises, without knowing how to play an instrument. I was also more into the dub scene – sound systems, and stuff. I was more interested in the techniques, like how to use machines, cables, effects… So, when I discovered experimental music, I realized that it was ok doing music just with these things.
If I look at your catalogue, I can find scores (written compositions), sound installations and visual projects. What pushes you on working on a specific field?
I never play something “specific”, like an instrument or so. I’m kind of free. Every project is one thing. That’s why for me is more a question of “tools”: sometimes it makes sense to write on paper and give the piece to other musicians – because, for example, I can’t play guitar. It always starts with an idea, then I think of the best way to realize it.
So, is there like an identity between the tool and the work?
Yes, I suppose… yes.
Can you tell us about the work you perform for TRK. Sound Club?
It’s a solo piece, where I play some metal sticks with the bow. The whole thing is that it is not an instrument, but I’m really appealed by the sound, the pitches, the melody, the harmony… I didn’t have an instrument, so I invented it. And it is really not an instrument: but you have the gestures of the bows, and it sounds a bit like a violin… There is something very instrumental, and something that is not. So, I looked for a way to realize it with the electronic, to make it sound like an instrument. But it’s played like a solo… it’s a very poor thing.
And did you choose the metal sticks and cut them in order to have specific pitches?
Yes, they are tuned in some way, in relation with the electronic sounds.
With Cyril Bondi you founded INSUB., which is a label, a netlabel, a concert organisation, and an orchestra, all based in Geneva. Concerning the label, is there something in common between all the projects that you publish, or every project has its own features?
I think it changes with the time. It is very much a project of me and Cyril Bondi, a musician I’m playing a lot with, so it can follow what we do, and it’s also a tool for us: we call “INSUB.” whatever we do, it’s a big basket for many different stuff. First it was very much about improvised music, also because it was just a netlabel – so, on the internet – and improvised music was not so much represented in this context. So, we decided to promote music we liked.
And what about the INSUB. orchestra? I read that it’s an orchestra that stresses the boundaries between composition and improvisation, and the relationship with silence. How many musicians are part of it?
There are fifty permanent members, and usually there are about 30 people per concert. But all the fifty people are following the projects for years. Also, the orchestra evolved a bit over the time: at the beginning we used to improvise very much, then we wanted make things happen. Like silence. So, we figured out what was the best tool to create sound (if improvising it or composing it). The choice came from that. Because we wanted silence. Now it’s more composed (by me and Cyril Bondi), although very simple – a few lines, a few indications – also because we can’t meet and rehearse very often. We have about five concerts per year, and every two years we schedule two days for recording.
Do you have future projects you would like to talk about?
With Cyril we are working on a new piece that questions what free jazz is. We love free jazz, but we haven’t play it for years. This piece doesn’t sound like free jazz at all. And also, I’m working on a techno project now, which seems very different but it’s not! Because it’s super minimal, super radical, super repetitive… like what I do. It’s called Tresque.