eight to twelve flying can players
A multitude of whirlwinds of sound spin overhead as flying-cans, instruments invented by Jean-François Laporte, are brought to life by the circular movements of the musicians, placed high above throughout the space. The audience is brought to the heart of this vast and organized vortex of sound, the instruments whirling above their heads, naturally producing whistling and singing sounds, and blending with the ambient sounds of the location to form a whole. Vortex, with its peculiar instrumentation, amazing sonorities and tight relation to the specific location where it is performed, offers the audience a voyage to the heart of sound, to the heart of wind, through a unique space-work.
This piece was premiered by the Ensemble Totem Contemporain during the Festival Agora no 7, on June 5, 2004, in the garden of the Hôtel de Sully (Paris). Since then, Vortex has been presented on several occasions, in France, Lithuania, Iceland, Japan, and other countries, each time yielding an experience going far beyond the simple public performance. Indeed, by working along with a dozen local musicians and composers for each new presentation, the whole project takes on a whole dimension of meeting and exchange that allows every person involved to experience a real contact with the music and the instruments. It is thus an event that makes for a truly deep encounter, having sound as its center in its most organic sense.
N Pascal [English translation: M Ouellet, ii-07]