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Yves Favier – English

Return to the French original text: Éloge des écotones



To Live on the Edges, to Praise the Ecotones

Yves Favier



1. Edges, Fringes
2. Improvisation, Social Practice
3. Free Comments about “Gaya Sapor”


Edges, Fringes

Evidently the notion of “Edge” or “Fringe” is the one that tickles the most (the best?) especially when it is determined as an « autonomous zone between 2 territories », moving and indeterminate musical zones, yet identifiable.
They are not for me a “no man’s (women’s) land”, but rather a transition zones between two (or more) environments…

In ecology, these singular zones are called “ecotones”, zones that shelter both species and communities of the different environments that border them, but also particular communities that are specific to them. Here we touch on two concepts: Guattari’s “Ecosophy”, where everything holds together, and Deleuze’s “Hecceity = Event.”

These edges between meadow, lake and forest are home to prairie species that prefer darker and cooler environments, others more aquatic ones, and forest species that prefer light and warmth.

Isn’t this the case in improvisation?…

  1. Would the improviser be this particular “being on the alert”?
    Hunter/gatherer always ready to collect (capture?) existing SOUNDS, but also “herder”, in order to let those “immanent” ones emerge? Not yet manifest but already “possible in in the making”?…
  2. “The territory is only valid in relation to a movement by which one leaves it.”
    In the case of the notion of Hocquard’s border associated with the classical political conception, the improviser would be a transmitter between 2 territories determined in advance to be academic by convention: a transmitter between THE contemporary (sacred art) music and THE spontaneous (social prosaic) music. …we’ll say that it’s a good start, but which will have no development other than in and through conventions…it will always be a line that separates, it’s an “abstraction” from which concrete bodies (including the public) are de facto excluded.
  3. What (musical) LINE, could mark as limit, an “extremity” (also abstract) to a music so-called “free” only to be considered from the inside (supposedly from the inside of the improviser).
    Effectively taking away any possibility of breaking out of these identity limits (“improvisation is this and no other thing”, “leave Improvisation to the improvisers”) comes from the fantasy of the creative origins and its isolated “geniuses”. … for me the “no man’s land” suggested by Hocquard can be found here!

…fluctuating moving data…leaving at no time the possibility of describing a stable/definitive situation…
temporary…valid only momentarily…on the nerve…
to touch the nerve is to touch the edge, the fringe, the margin…
improvisation as rapture…temporal kidnapping…
…where one is no longer quite yourself and finally oneself…
…testing time by gesture combined with form…and vice versa…
the irrational at the edge of well-reasoned frequency physics…
…well-tempered…nothing magical…just a fringe, an edge, reached by nerves…
ecotone…tension BETWEEN…
…between certainties…
…between existing and pre-existing…
immanent attractor…
…between silence and what is possible in the making…
this force that hits the nerve…
…that disturbs silence?…
…the edge, the fringe, the margin as a perpetually moving continuity…

The inclusion of each milieu in the other
Not directly connected to each other
Changing its ecological properties
Very common of milieux interpenetration
Termite mound
A place where one changes one’s environment
For its own benefice and for that of other species

What narrative does the edge convey?…


Improvisation, Social Practice

Moving from a belief in certainty to working creatively with uncertainty.
Moving from frozen equilibria to proliferating disequilibria.
Moving from instilled objectivity to inter-subjective productions.
Moving from frozen equilibria to proliferating disequilibria.
Moving from ingrained objectivities to intersubjective productions?
Moving from deterministic predictions (hegemony) to an awareness of fundamental instabilities.
Moving from the unsurpassable to the possible/probable horizon.
Move from universal knowledge (centralization/hierarchicalization) to localized knowledge (rhizome/decentralized networks).
Moving from the supposedly objective structure to a broader movement of thought and dialogue between subjectivities…
…the edge of science/art being ecotone…

Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari:

From the central layer to the periphery, then from the new center to the new periphery, nomadic waves or deterritorialization flows pass through, falling back on the old center and rushing towards the new.

Connectivité Plus forts Le centre comme milieu

et vice versa


Free Comments about “Gaya Sapor”

August 2020

1/ Foreword

Living in the environment in the time allotted to us, engages us in 3 simultaneous ecologies:
 · Environmental ecology
 · Social ecology
 · Mental ecology

Contemporary globalized society/civilization is dragging us into a particularly powerful anxiety-provoking “maelstrom”, heightened by the media grinder.

The conjunction of these anxiogenic currents (crisis: employment, financial, political, environmental, health, cultural, etc.) pushes us, by combined powers under the millstone of the injunction to adapt to the maladjusted, to resignation, surrender, individual abdication or collective struggles fueled by despair (even despairing)…

In order to “move from a belief in Certainty, to recognition and creative work with uncertainty”, emerges the need to implement “antidotes” to this toxic mental construction, to “produce” an alternative… unconventional… not “conventioned”… subjectivity?


2/ To live “on the edges of…”, or “Praise the Ecotones”

The edge between Arts and Sciences (erudite or incorporated) is an “ecotone”, a precarious shelter, a “skènè” (stage) that changes/turns the conventional order “between” the different actors, inhabitants (human and non-human), audiences… Nothing can remain fixed, frontal, everything becomes precarious and uncertain… everything is in perpetual movement, change, evolution, emancipation from one to/for/against the other… But always in diversity… biodiversity, in interdependent (autopoiesis) & interdependent moving ecosystems…

The music(s) in “social ecotones” are major vectors of shared sensibilities, transmitted in and with total uncertainty as to how they will be perceived (if, in the best of cases, they are) nor by whom they will be perceived.
It is now time to “overlap” these vectors of active sensitivity…

All the rest of the subject and its implementation could be under the sharpened poetic gaze of Italo Calvino… in Le città invisibili, 1972:

– Everything is useless, if the ultimate landing can only be the infernal city, if it is in this background that, on an ever tighter spiral, will end the flow.
Marco Polo:
– The inferno of the living is not something that will be; if there is one, it is what is already here, the inferno where we live every day, that we form by being together. There are two ways to escape suffering in it. The first is easy for many: accept the inferno and become such a part of it that you can no longer see it. The second is risky and demands constant vigilance and apprehension: seek and learn to recognize who and what, in the midst of inferno, are not inferno, then make them endure, give them space.

I like the latter … it carries the flavor of knowledge(s) … in perpetual movement. To be continued…

– Félix Guattari, The three ecologies, The Athlone Press, 2000, transl. Ian Pindar & Paul Sutton (first pub. in France, 1989).

– Gregory Bateson, Steps to an Ecology of Mind, University of Chicago Press, 1972.

– Bernard Stiegler, Automatic Society: The Future of Work, Wiley, 2017, transl. Daniel Ross (first pub. in France, 2015), see chap. 5.

– Hans Jonas, The imperative of responsibility in search of an ethics for the technological age, University of Chicago Press, 1984, transl. Hans Jonas & David Herr (first pub. in Germany, 1979).

– Barbara Stiegler, « Il faut s’adapter ». Sur un nouvel impératif politique, Paris, Gallimard, coll. NRF Essais, 2019.

– Ilya Prigogine (The End of Certainty: Time, Chaos and the New Laws of Nature, Free Press, 1997, first pub. in France, 1996), cited by Deborah Bird Rose, Wild Dog Dreaming. Love and Extinction, 2011, Univ. of Virginia, and The ecological humanities in action: an invitation, Australian Humanities Review, 2004.

Upper course of river Vishera. View to left coast.


The ecotone is often also a corridor, which according to the seasons develop different functions for different species.




Céline Pierre – English

Return to the French original text: Tragen.Hz – French




TRAGEN.Hz – Oratorio Ratures

Céline Pierre


Summary :

1. 1. The Text of the Project as a Whole
2. The Video/Electroacoustic
3. The Images

1. The Text of the Project as a Whole

TRAGEN.Hz – ondes portées – oratorio ratures [carried waves – erasures].
Soundrecordings, videos, conception and composition : Celine Pierre.

Through a subject pertaining to the current events and European history, a creation which emerges from a collection of images, sounds and texts from the Calais migrant camp. The work carried out at the Reims Regional Conservatory and Centre National de Création Musicale Césaré [1] gave rise to a series of electroacoustic and video pieces, mix-media pieces and performances for pluri-disciplinary sites and scenes.

“At a time when the world is being ever more de-realized by the spectacle of its own display, at a time when ‘the world is gone’, there are something singular that in Calais has been experienced by all those who came to meet the migrants; there, with those who are out of any home, is given to share something real. Through the voice, that of migrants, of reading and singing, the project tries to say a little – what’s left – about this.” (Lp for Tragen.Hz)

“TRAGEN.HZ – ondes portées – oratorio ratures” for multiple performances: “HZ” symbolizes the Hertzian waves. “TRAGEN” means to carry in German. The title could therefore be translated as “waves carried”. “HZ” could be the acronym for “Hertz”, the heart in German. As Paul Celan wrote: “Die Welt ist fort ich muss dich tragen”. The world is gone I must carry it. “Oratorio ratures”: in the subtitle, one word taken from the sound register, another from the visible – the erasure as a hiatus, an opening through which images and sounds can respond to each other. An option and a sharing of the sensitive inseparably poetic and political.

Writing the project calls for sequence shots of the Calais camp recorded during its dismantling, fires, earth and burnt grounds; and a corpus of sound sequences linked by the scream: screams and stridencies of the stringed instrument, screams stemming from the tradition of mourning songs and lyrical singing, a scream that carries what remains silent and is erased in all writing, that calls for voices, carries them from complaint to lament, even to consolation. All of these constituents provoke a suspension of time and space, in which resound convocations, evocations and disappearance of anonymous voices. An evocation in the tradition of the oratorio, which through one of its origins, the « lauda »- a monodic hymn written in the thirteenth century by penitents who walked through devastated lands – is part of this long history of migration and war. Path, sand, soil and ashes, everything lightly touches in a situation of erasure where the voice seeks to make its way and where time stretches in the direction of the poem:

“Poems thus move also along the pathways, they set a course, where to? Onto something that is open, available, in which you have someone to talk to, a reality to talk to” writes Paul Celan. (Lp for Tragen.Hz)

A production of LES SEPTANTES/laboratory of multiple writings.
The project is realized at he Laboratoire de Composition of the CRR-Reims [Composition Laboratory of the Reims Regional Conservatory] and in residency at the Centre National de Création Musicale Césaré-Reims; the projet is supported by “Help to Création & Diffusion Visual Arts” of the Region “Grand Est” and by “Help to Music Project” at the DRAC “Grand Est”.


2. The Video/Electroacoustic

Presentation of the video:

TRAGEN.HZ – oratorio ratures [erasures]:
Voice and video sequences recorded in a refugee camp on the French-English border and sequences of screams, alterations and instrumental and vocal iterations recorded in studio. Whole entity that expresses what is silent and erased in all writing, which, from complaint to lament, summons the voices and provokes a suspension of time and space in which convocations, evocations, and disappearance of anonymous voices resound.

Conception, collected material, and visual and sound composition: Celine Pierre. Voices: Thierry Machuel, Caroline Chassagny and voices recorded on the camp of Calais. Viola, Elodie Gaudet. Viola da gamba, Louis Michel Marion.

A series of visual and sound studies also exists:

Voice/Mixt-violin. code TRAGEN.HZ

Based on a lyrical singing improvisation, ERASURE is the instrumental and vocal opening of the project. Sections of screeching sequences alternate, wear down and alter the envelope of voices like those who tried to cross the barbed wire border known as “razor blades” that borders the entrance to the railroad tracks of the Channel Tunnel. ERASURE, the English word at the limit of the French whispers the razor edge and the scratch on the map.


Viola/Baroque bow.
With displacement of the instrumentalist on the stage. code TRAGEN.HZ

Bordered by an expressway, a dried-out land of overexposed sand, trodden by the suspended footsteps of waiting men. A wandering and slowed down walk, in a situation of being crushed on a ground to be crossed. From  bow’s pulsations iterative sounds,  to the hindrance of waiting, the harmonics pierce, draw, sharpen or sign the wind’s environment.


Viola da gamba/Theorbo/Fieldrecording code TRAGEN.HZ

A hole made of images where a void sizzles. A swarm of pixel dust, the “under-ex” falling scrap image… The effigy or the stele of a woman from behind and the pulsations  extricated from the theorbo turn the acoustic space upside down in order to convey the fire at night.


SO LONG 03:10
Viola da gamba/Theorbo/Fieldrecording code TRAGEN.HZ

The image’s flickering, its sizzling, tips over into a kind of hoarse voice; the hail, the grail of the viola da gamba mingles with the inflections and complexions of the voice of a young teenager coming out of his shelter.


3. The Images

Series of images extracted from the visual and sound study of SYNAPTé:

SYNAPTé 2305e

SYNAPTé (07:40):
Based on a vocal improvisation inspired by mourning songs and notations of ancient tragedies – synapté – meaning litany in ancient Greek,  this video/visual and sound study of the project TRAGEN.HZ serves as a kind of matrix. The voice, rough, a moan, stretches and is diffracted: the dismantling of life communities in the camp. Voice as if withdrawn from the precarious living conditions of burnt wood, lonely, it raises in a bit of hot ashes what remains of waiting in passing silhouettes. Moaning of the oracle, lament in search of consolation, primal and altered voice, voice of the evidence that erases and recollects and restores these images as a witness of this long history of migration and war.

SYNAPTé 2305i

SYNAPTé 2305oSYNAPTé 2305k

1. See the Reims CRR: conservatoire-a-rayonnement-regional-de-reims and Césaré – Centre national de création musicale :




CELINE PIERRE : Artistic producer with degrees from CRR-Reims in electroacoustics and ENSBA-Paris in multimedia and performance, she realizes site-specific projects with participation of the population, projection environments, radio plays, film-essays and oratorio videos.
With the project TRAGEN.HZ, she produces, from collected material from a refugee camp, a work of visual & sound writing intended for multidisciplinary sites and scenes.

Celine Pierre.
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