Clameurs (Clamors)

1 – the show

Like its many other stage offerings, the Surnatural Orchestra’s new concert repertoire is written and performed as an organic, surprising show in perpetual motion. All aspects of the performance – music, sound, lighting, space, audience – were conceived as materials to be sculpted and played with.
During the writing and creation in residence, the repertoire was composed with several aesthetic prerequisites in mind: a significant place for improvisation and soundpainting, the improvised and shared conducting technique that has been dear to the collective since its beginnings, as a space of freedom and complicity; research into the spatialization of sound, with the technical team working hand-in-hand to write and set the sound so that the pieces can be performed on stage as well as in the audience or backstage; and a luminous scenography that plays on reflective effects and intensities, notably through the use of faceted costumes and accessories.

2 – crew and distribution

Basile Naudet (guitar)
Bertrand Landhauser (trombone)
Camille Secheppet (alto sax, clarinet)
Clea Torales (flute, alto sax)
Fabien Debellefontaine (sousaphone)
Fabrice Theuillon (alto and baritone saxes)
Guillaume Christophel (tenor sax, clarinet)
Guillaume Dutrieux (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Hanno Baumfelder (trombone)
Ianik Tallet (drums)
Jeannot Salvatori (alto and baritone saxes)
Judith Lune Jansen (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Julien Rousseau (euphonium, trumpet, flugelhorn)
Léa Ciechelski (flute, piccolo, alto sax)
Martin Daguerre (alto and sopranino saxes)
Morgane Pommier (bass trombone)
Nicolas Stephan (tenor sax)
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Anne Palomeres (lighting)
Jérôme Bertin (stage management)
Rose Bruneau & Zak Cammoun (sound)

3 – required information and production

Collectif Surnatural is supported by the DRAC Ile-de-France (conventional package and stimulus fund 2021), the Ile de France Region (PAC – investment grants), the Departmental Council 93 (departmental company – investment grants), the CNM (investment grants), the SACEM (support for large-scale projects) and occasionally by Spedidam. It is a member of the artists’ federation for music in Grands Formats and the FSICPA (federation of independent artistic creation and production structures).

Pic

Preamble

The unrelenting erosion of the sandcastle at the base of our lives is not bad in and of itself. It forces us to stay mobilized. The fragility of what is being built can call for ironic and absurd responses, and that is the direction we want to take… Our answers (even if they remain questions) are in our artistic content as well as in the way we put it into practice. A way of being together. Of casting nothing aside…

1-The Show

Lightweight balsa wood planes move in circles under the tent, endlessly propelled by firefly wings. A tall chap bounces up and down, elastic, on a net in the centre. Like swarms of bees suspended from the sky, clusters of musicians play, huddling close together and eyes interlocking with the audience. The music is loud and heavy—yet the musicians fly, levitate, escape… while the instruments fall like rain, collecting dents along the way. Somebody has to save them. But here come twenty more players hurtling into the space, snatching him, from the trampoline where the other is still bouncing. Someone grabs the large circus prop from him, gives it back, and still he hangs on, like a bewildered cat. Propelled by the twenty-strong team, the trampoline master takes flight. Spins and swirls through the air. They let him go (the trampoline collapses), they strike up a new song, the cat has disappeared.

This opus is a big tent production born of the reunion between the orchestra and Yann Ecauvre/Cirque Inextrémiste. Vast and intimate, scenic… charged, made alive all at once. We’ll play a show in three dimensions and 360 degrees, right at the audience’s fingertips. Communing rather than representing. Like life in society, celebrating the subjectivity of all. No one is ever mere spectator, all are participants.

Pic aims to suspend our perceptions as much as our certainties. To fashion marvel with exposed seams and threads. The ultimate surprise is that this magic is the stuff of handicraft—which is another way of saying that we’re searching elsewhere… to give the impression that we are of a world where every logic is elsewhere, different, and difficult to discern.

A farce on weightlessness and all that weighs on us, the show plays with contrasts. The levity of the trampolinist counters the weight of the apparatus propelling him. And the twenty humans transporting him are there to tell the story. From a heavy and unctuous solo, to a soft and vaporous tutti, the music is not there in service of the circus scenes—it shapes their sense and emotion. The choreographies of bodies and movements make light of every constraint. Let everyone be free, or bound to their neighbour with string pulling the counterweights… or see how the individual makes the group waver. With their whimsical softness, the flying “ultralights” by Fabrice Dominici (airplanes made of balsa wood, twisted high-tech materials and a jumble of feathers….) inspire a meditative silence. They serve as a counterweight to, at times simultaneous with, scenes evoking the power of the collective (orchestral sounds or human crowds), the immoderate effort of physical resistance (suspensions, pyramids, chains of acrobats hanging by a single arm), or the trifling lucidity of a clown.

Designing and performing such a show may seem out of place these days. We wish it as a poetic-utopian window open to our common future. A welcome overflow, a carnival in the rain. Our large group of people not only on stage, but in motion, like a parable of the social human. Window to the imagination, and to encounter.

2 – The Team

artistic direction : Yann Ecauvre
artistic coordination / outside consultation : Camille Secheppet and Delphine Dupin
stage manager and associate scenographer : Nicolas Legendre
lighting design: Jacques-Benoît Dardant
audio device design : Zak Cammoun
rigging design : Hervé Banache
costume design : Solenne Capmas
administration : Christine Nissim & Béatrice Brociner
booking : Roselyne Burger : roselyne@surnaturalorchestra.com / +33 (0)7 67 79 14 85

On and off the circus ring :

Antoine Berjeaut (trumpet), Basile Naudet (alto and sopranino saxes), Bertrand Landhauser (trombone, keyboards), Boris Boublil (keyboards, guitar), Camille Secheppet (alto sax, clarinet), Clea Torales (flute, voice), Fabien Debellefontaine (sousaphone), Fabrice Dominici (juggling and burlesque), Fabrice Theuillon (baritone sax), François Roche-Juarez (trombone, voice), Guillaume Christophel (tenor sax, clarinet), Guillaume Dutrieux (trumpet), Hanno Baumfelder (trombone), Ianik Tallet (drums), Jeannot Salvatori (alto sax, cavaquinho, voice), Julien Rousseau (euphonium, soprano trombone), Léa Ciechelski (flutes, voice), Nicolas Stephan (tenor sax, voice), Rémi Bezacier (trampoline), Sven Clerx (percussion), Viivi Roiha (rope and suspension), Yann Ecauvre or Delphine Dupin (burlesque acrobat)

Bernard Molinier, Max Héraud, Laurent Mulowsky, Benjamin Leroy (Builders and tent erectors) / Hervé Banache, Julien Favreuille (rope access technicians) / Jacques-Benoît Dardant and Anne Palomeres (lighting) / Zakariya Cammoun, Rose Bruneau and Manu Martin (sound)

3 – Production

This show is hosted in residence and co-produced by : The Agora – PNC of Boulazac Aquitaine ; CIRCa Pôle National Cirque, Auch Gers Occitanie ; L’Azimut – National Circus Pole in Ile-de-France – Antony/Chatenay-Malabry (residence at the Smallest Circus in the World – center for circus arts and emerging cultures); the 2-pole Circus Platform in Normandy, La Brèche – National Center for Circus Arts in Normandy and the Cirque-théâtre of Elbeuf; the Fratellini Academy (Saint-Denis) as part of a residence of the Departmental Council of Seine-Saint-Denis; The Jean Moulin-Les Guilands departmental park (Bagnolet-Montreuil).
Its creation is also co-produced by the Théâtre de Cornouaille – national scene of Quimper, center of musical creation; The 2 scènes – SN of Besançon ; the MSM-Normandy urban community ; le Parvis – SN of Tarbes Pyrenees ; La Coursive – SN of La Rochelle ; The Street and Circus Cooperative (2r2c) ; Cirque Jules Verne – National Circus and Street Arts Center – Amiens.

It receives National Circus Aid from the DGCA, aid for creation from the CNM, the Ile-de-France Region and Spedidam, as well as aid for the Onda tour.

Collectif Surnatural is supported by the DGCA/DRAC Ile-de-France (contracted entity and 2021 recovery fund), the Ile de France Region (PAC – investment aid), the Conseil Départemental 93 (departmental company – aid for investment), the CNM (investment aid), the SACEM (aid for large housing estates) and occasionally by Spedidam.
He is a member of the federation of artists for music in large formats and of the FSICPA (federation of independent structures of creation and artistic production).

La toile (Canvas)

We share an affinity for ineffable things and uncharted terrain; for the outer fringes of the mind and vistas yet to explore; for all those places where the seeds scattered by the winds of sheer exhilaration find room to grow. Neither of us knows where we’ll plant our tent’s pegs tonight, nor which sheets we’ll borrow and lay under our lamps to make ourselves a home ‘til tomorrow. We feel the same vertigo for the ground we left behind to walk the exacting path of the tightened rope. We feel the same joy in making the audience shiver, in tiptoeing across all that is fragile, in sensing the echoes of our own risks reverberate around us.

From all those places, we meet. From the circus to us, there is but one step—and we will take it, once again.

“Toile”: a single word, whose meanings stretch from cloth to web, canvas to tarp, and that lends its name to our show(s). With this concept, we seek to capture the meeting point between Surnatural Orchestra, its vast repertoire, its inventive disposition, and circus people in all their diversity. The meeting takes the shape of a short residency, designed to cater to the strengths of its protagonists while stimulating dialogue on the manifold possibilities for combining circus numbers and orchestral energy. Through these dialogues, universes blend until they’re impossible to tell apart, creating a show that is thoroughly unique. Performed on a one-off basis and with 20-25 people onstage, the show channels the beautiful fragility inherent to its concept.

La Toile has been performed in many guises since 2009, with members of the following companies:

Les Colporteurs, Cirque Inextremiste, Basinga (Tatiana-Mosio Bongonga), L’Immédiat, Bikes & Rabbits, Cheptel Aleikoum, Toi Dabord…

Post scriptum: An initial collaboration with Compagnie Inextrémiste ultimately led to the creation of several evolving editions of “La Toile.” All very diverse, they in turn became preambles to an original circus show: “Esquif.”

Après Z

Repertoire of renewal, After Z begins a new period in the life of the orchestra. With the arrival of new musicians / composers, the music, always very orchestral, records this turning point of the desire for voices, taken from the making of the show Tall Man. Songs and choirs trace their furrows in the heart of this recent repertoire which advances without nostalgia. The after is always a before.

Team

Léa Ciechelski (flute, alto flute, piccolo), Clea Torales (flute, alto sax), Camille Secheppet (alto sax, clarinet), Basile Naudet (alto sax), Jeannot Salvatori (alto sax, cavaquinho), Guillaume Christophel (tenor sax , clarinet), Nicolas Stephan (tenor sax, voice), Fabrice Theuillon (baritone sax, effects), Pierre Millet (trumpet, flugelhorn), Julien Rousseau (trumpet, flugelhorn, euphonium), Antoine Berjeaut (trumpet, flugelhorn), François Roche -Juarez (trombone), Hanno Baumfelder (trombone), Judith Wekstein (bass trombone), Boris Boublil (keyboards, guitar), Fabien Debellefontaine (sousaphone), Ianik Tallet (drums), Sven Clerx (percussion)

Zak Cammoun and Rose Bruneau (sound), Anne Palomeres (lights), Jérôme Bertin (general management)

Tall man

concert (set) design by Surnatural Orchestra

Created at the Nouveau Théâtre de Montreuil (93) between November 16-22, 2018

“He says nothing, doesn’t flinch. Our breath pulls him in, our balsa puppet. He swings back and forth, like a pendulum, says nothing, doesn’t flinch. Have you lost your way, beacon of bones, beacon of bricks and baubles? Where are you going, with that static gait? Eyes closed, to avoid seeing the red earth paths under our feet. We are here, hanging off your every breath. With a bat of your lashes, you’ll let us know. Train tracks, rust powder. But if everything falls apart, don’t tell anyone what you see…

A collective creation by the Surnatural Orchestra, Tall Man blends lyrics and texts with new compositions. All the while indulging the group’s narrative inclinations, it marks a merger with the universe of visual artist Elizabeth Saint-Jalmes.

Tall Man, ambiguous and emblematic figure of Authority, is the connecting thread for this show. If his presence seems as ineluctable as his vertiginous absence, it nevertheless causes much trouble. It opens an opportunity to ask: from what domination should we free ourselves? What pains do we suffer from? Are we still on the right track when this society of abundance, entertainment, security and control seems to immobilize us—physically, mentally? What new world(s) can we build together?

At the heart of the show is the pop-suffused repertoire, sweeping across a wide spectrum of sounds—from ellingtonnian ballads to African grooves, from the sonorities of Kurt Weill to the flights of a tarantella. Sung, spoken or recited, written or improvised, words take centre stage with conviction and humour, distilling visions and making provocations… before inviting an escape to Utopia, immediate and collective.

Invited to support the concept and explore it in tandem, visual artist Elizabeth Saint-Jalmes has created costumes for the story… and a mastodont of a set. It is a matter of before and after, of paths to reinvent, of codes, of holding back and letting go. A moment together to share immediate joys and mischievous tricks, doubts and questions. A place to try creating a taste of that After, for everyone to see—in confidence, abandon, play, dance; in a moment of show, ball, carnival; in a court of miracles. Photos: Valérie Frossard and Stephen Bedrossian.

Esquif

A circus and music show

by Surnatural Orchestra, Inextremiste and Basinga

created at Grainerie (Fabrique des arts du cirque et de l’itinérance), Balma (31), between April 18 and 28, 2016.

They won’t go far, they’ll go there, a few steps forward, wood plank bassline cord tightening,

Gas tanks by the dozen flute theme on a bed of brass.

Rhythms travelling from bottle to bottle (the hollow steel reverberates),

If one of them trips, the whole group capsizes.

18 musicians (a real-life orchestra), uncouth acrobats, a tightrope dancer on her high-up perch, beings that fight to stay standing, in (precarious) balance over what they find at their feet, whether they believe it’s solid earth or a playing field.

An eclectic troupe, united by a certain penchant for risk,

A strange habit of diving headfirst into uncomfortable situations,

With the intuition that something alive and exciting will always surface.

Fragile and strong all at once, all together, all in time.

To buy the disk, please click here .

Team

Fanny Menegoz (flute, piccolo), Clea Torales (flute), Adrien Amey (soprano and alto sax), Baptiste Bouquin (alto sax, clarinet), Jeannot Salvatori (alto sax, cavaquinho), Guillaume Christophel (tenor sax, clarinet), Nicolas Stephan (tenor sax, vocals), Fabrice Theuillon (barytone sax, effects), Guillaume Dutrieux (trumpet, bugle, mellophone), Julien Rousseau (trumpet, bugle, euphonium), Antoine Berjeaut (trumpet, bugle), François Roche-Juarez (trombone), Hanno Baumfelder (trombone), Judith Wekstein (bass trombone), Boris Boublil (keyboards, guitar), Laurent Géhant (sousaphone), Emmanuel Penfeunten (drums), Arthur Alard or Sven Clerx (percussions)

Yann Ecauvre & Rémy Bezacier (acrobats, Cirque Inextremiste), Tatiana-Mosio Bongonga (funambule, Compagnie Basinga)

Zak Cammoun, Guillaume de la Villéon, Rose Bruneau and François-Xavier Delaby – alternating (sound), Jacques-Benoît Dardant (lights), Nicolas Legendre (technical director)

Coproduced by

La Grainerie – Fabrique des Arts du cirque et de l’Itinérence-Balma, Cirque théâtre d’Elbeuf, Pôle National des Arts du cirque, L’Agora scène nationale d’Evry, Les 2 Scènes scène nationale de Besançon, Nouveau Théâtre de Montreuil, 2R2C Coopérative de Rue de Cirque and Théâtre du Vellein with the support of L’Académie Fratellini.

ESQUIF was supported by the Région Île de France (production support for circus arts) and the ADAMI (dispositif ADAMI 365). The music for this show was partly created during a composition residency at the Théâtre les deux Scènes – Scène nationale de Besançon, supported by the Ministry of Culture and communication, the SACEM, ONDA and the Groupe Caisse des dépôts. Seasons 14/15 and 15/16.