Jerome Bourdellon, flutes and shakuhachi and Thomas Buckner, voice
Improvisations with the sculpture of Alain Kirili
In August of 2005, on a visit to Paris to celebrate the birthday of sculptor Alain Kirili, singer Thomas Buckner and flutist Jerome Bourdellon gathered with Kirili at his studio to record these duo improvisations in the presence of his group of sculptures entitled “Totem”. Both musicians are longtime collaborators with Alain Kirili, performing most recently at a concert at the Theatre du Palais Royal in Paris celebrating to opening of an installation of his sculptures in the garden of the Palais Royal. The music is a spontaneous, abstract response to and interaction with the sculpture.
Jerome Bourdellon is a composer and flutist residing in Nancy, France. He collaborates frequently with the Musique-Actions Festival in Vandoeuvre-les-Nancy, and has just released a new CD of his music. His interests are wide ranging, and he has written and improvised music for dance, theater, and concerts with an international range of musicians–classical, jazz, and contemporary. The composer notes that this piece may be performed with any means of delivery possible, including but not limited to horseback, submarine, bicycle, car, unicycle, rollerblades, helicopter, etc.
For more than 30 years, baritone Thomas Buckner has dedicated himself to the world of new and improvised music. As a performer, producer, and promoter, Buckner has enabled the creation of an extensive body of new works by some of the worlds’ leading, most exciting and most challenging composers. Currently, Buckner works regularly with composers Robert Ashley, Roscoe Mitchell, Alvin Lucier, Annea Lockwood, Bun-Ching Lam, Jerome Cooper, David Wessel, Tom Hamilton, Leroy Jenkins, Phill Niblock, Wadada Leo Smith, among others. More than 70 composers have written works exclusively for him over the last 20 years. Buckner has been featured on over 40 recordings, including 5 of his own solo albums as well as recordings by Annea Lockwood, Sorrel Hays, Alvin Lucier, the Deep Listening Band, Jin Hi Kim, Roscoe Mitchell, Muhal Richard Abrams and many others.
The sculptor Alain Kirili was born in France in 1946 and divides his time between New York and Paris. His first solo exhibition was at the Sonnabend Gallery in Paris in 1972. His sculptures are in numerous museums and collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, NY; Centre National d’Art Contemporain, Paris; Musée d’Art Modern, St. Etienne, France; and as part of the Ludwig Collection in Cologne, Germany. He shows regularly with the Marlborough Gallery in New York.
He is a longtime jazz fan whose childhood memories include listening to the great reedman Sidney Bechet playing in his parents’ kitchen. Kirili first became involved with jazz as a sculptor in 1992 when he began a series of exchanges with the American saxophonist Steve Lacy. He also has collaborated with Roy Haynes, Sunny Murray, Archie Shepp, Billy Bang and many others. Cecil Taylor who Kirili said “is not only a ready collaborator but also an emblem of artistic freedom”, has performed among his sculptures at the Knitting Factory and the Café de la Musíque in Paris. A film titled Ifa captures 25 minutes of Taylor’s improvised dancing in an installation of Kirili’s sculptures in the musician’s backyard in Brooklyn.
Kirili has been involved in a number of artistic exchanges, most recently with the Malian sculptor Dolo from a Dogon tribe in Bamako, Africa. They presented an exhibition of collaborative pieces at The French Cultural Center in Bamako. The sculptures were exhibited on stage with-violinist Leroy Jenkins, saxophonist and flutist Joseph Jarman, singer Thomas Buckner, dancer Maria Mitchell and by 20 Dogon dancers and singers.