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L'​œ​il retourné / 1997 ~ composition de musique concr​è​te

by Lionel Marchetti

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--- 1997 ---

« L'œil retourné, nous nous enchaînons à une communauté de voyants »
Olivier Capparos


L'œil retourné

Musique concrète de Lionel Marchetti
pour une écoute acousmatique d'une durée de 24'36''

Production, composition musicale, conception et réalisation sonore, tournages sonores, synthétiseurs, instrumentarium, dans les studios du CFMI de Lyon : Lionel Marchetti – 1994/1997

Voix additive : Hélène Bettencourt (chant)
Jospephine Leask

Citations collages : Roger de la Frayssenet, Ralf Wehowsky, This Heat, La Reine au miroir… et divers hasards radiophoniques

Une première version de L’œil retourné a été composée pour une installation plastique de Pierre-Jean Giloux au Fort Beauregard de Besançon - Art(s) d'Europe - en 1994

Une première édition de L’œil retourné - accompagnée d’un poème original de Olivier Capparos - a été réalisée en 1999 en Allemagne par Ralf Wehowsky – CD Selektion Germany (SCD 026)


Une deuxième édition - accompagnée d’un texte original de Michel Chion - a été réalisée en 2010 par MonotypeRec. en Pologne par Jakub Mikolajczyk dans le double album CD intitulé Une saison – mono 036

Copyright : Lionel Marchetti/SACEM

Photographie : Lionel Marchetti/2009

L’œil retourné, par Olivier Capparos :

« Oiseaux retournés dans l’œil

Oiseau zéro : — Cet œil voyage sans répit. Coursier de lignes droites, hautes, et des assauts plus bas.

Nous voyageons en lui…

Oiseau premier : — En suivant l’axe de ses déplacements plutôt rougis par le fer, oreilles débouchées, que transis, il nous faut tenir dans l’équilibre de deux axes rompus.

L’un est une nasse suraiguë, tout un ciel, tout un piège.

L’autre est une phrase aux membres disjoints se débattant au plus bas. Cette gravité dompte le cœur…

Oiseau second : — Ces corps végétaux ont cette propriété intense de se rejoindre ou de s’affronter à l’occasion d’une naissance.

Entre l’un et l’autre s’étend le vide ouvert à tout le dehors…

Œil se dit (Oiseau trois) : — Œil dormant, bourgeons naissant aux feuilles d’or, ou encore œillet vivace

Oiseau quatre : — Stoppez, sous la paillasse endormie nos ombres peu à peu s’éveillent

et rendent un son

Des dents sonores persistent jusque dans les cris.

L’instant recru, à neuf, détruit tout ce qui n’est pas lui

Cinq : — Vents de l’est soufflent par ici comme le baiser ils ouvriront l’œil

Oiseau premier : — Monter, descendre se nourrir, pour une main : se mouvoir dans la caresse du couteau

Son vif des vrais insectes de l’esprit. »

Olivier Capparos/1995


by Ed Pinsent, www.thesoundprojector.com

"Another item overlooked for a shade too long is this double CD compilation of work by the excellent Lionel Marchetti. I can’t think of a single release where he’s let us down or ever short-changed the listener. All of his electro-acoustic compositions are significant updates on the musique concrète model, and he always displays strong imagination in his semi-narrative suites, while paying close attention to the tiniest of details. Even if his work sometimes borders on the mystical, and risks alienating the audience through its pretensions, Marchetti always continues with bold footsteps into virtual worlds rarely traced by others. On Un Saison (MONOTYPE RECORDS MONO036) we hear four pieces, all of which have been previously released elsewhere, but compiled together here with suitable alpine imagery on the cover photos, as there seems to be a conceptual unity among the titles if not the actual underlying themes of the compositions. For futher elucidation, I refer you to the sleeve note in the booklet by Michal Chion; he warns us not to think of them as “sonic landscapes”, but does admit that the “similarity of the titles…might intimate a certain landscape quality”.

On CD 1, ‘La Grande Vallée’ is a vivid assemblage of field recordings from the wilder side of nature, including howling wolves and other animal cries; the treated sounds are mingled with the voice of Hélène Bettencourt, and pre-composed clarinet music. Bettencourt may not say much, but when she does you could use her voice as an ice pick or piton. More than most who work in the phonographic area, Marchetti edits and assembles his field recordings in exciting fashion, to create a sort of “magical realist” portrait of nature, and to tell half-glimpsed stories. No wonder this was originally issued in the Cinéma Pour L’Oreille series; Marchetti would have made a great sound recordist for avant-garde cinema.

‘Portrait D’Un Glacier’ contains some field recordings captured at Mont Blanc with the help of Bruno Roche; this alpine work also uses plenty of electronic music and analogue synthesisers in the composition, and the final work achieves a seamless blend of all the materials. Highly ambient and mysterious (Brian Eno meets Messiaen), full of the baffling near-silences which Marchetti delights in, with punctuation provided by water splashes, shouts of men in the mountains, and a general sense that somehow the sweeping scale of mountain ranges has been successfully rendered in small and intimate sounds. Subtle, understated; yet compelling listening, and importantly it’s a zone still populated by human beings. One need only think of how F. López tends to approach the same subject matter; his soundscapes are generally unblemished by any sort of human presence, preferring the emptied-out beauty of nature’s sound by itself. This 1998-2000 composition originally appeared on Ground Fault Recordings.

On CD 2, ‘Dans La Montagne (Ki Ken Taï)’ has already been heard and reviewed by us in its reissue from Chloe Recordings in 2003, although it was composed in 1995-96 and first appeared on La Muse En Circuit. Again, it’s a rich mix of field recordings with electronic music, supplemented by performing voices and the voices of the Kendo teams whooping and shrieking and clacking weapons together as they enact their martial sport. The “mountain” theme here in the title always leads me to believe we’re hearing climbers swinging on ropes and coming to a terrible end, but it’s nothing of the sort. Leaping out vividly from the synthesised gloom and deep sombre tones, these uncanny yelps make this one of the most memorable and striking pieces on the set.

‘L’Oeil retourné’ has also been heard and reviewed by us when released on Selektion in 1999. It also involves some mountainside walking with Bruno Roche, and contains quotations from other records in amongst the gently fizzing and gliding electronic sounds – including Ralf Wehowsky (who was originally on the split CD), This Heat, Jospehine Leask, and others. Random radio station noise plays a part in this brittle and minimal music, as does the crisp voice of Hélène Bettencourt. It exhibits the “quiet and inscrutable” side of Marchetti; the listener has to play close attention to catch every nuanced detail of sound, as some of these events are so fleeting and near-imperceptible.

In all of this music, Marchetti presents a portrait of nature as something somewhat dangerous and frightening; it has a scale that defeats us; it seems to embody forces that cannot be fully known or understood. Through his intensive phonographic studies and compositional reworkings, Marchetti does not propose to diminish any of that power, but rather foreground it and heighten it with his subtle and ingenious art. In so doing, he manages to stir primal forces in the listener."
Ed Pinsent


Lionel Marchetti is a French composer of concrete music
an improviser (electronics, various analogic systems with modified speakers, REVOX reel-to-reel recorder…)
as well as a visual-sound artist, a writer and a poet

Whether his music is composed or improvised
the body has an important role (Lionel Marchetti danced with the university company Relyanse between 1986 and 1991)

To define his music, one can borrow Kenneth White’s saying :

« Concrete or abstract ?
I like abstraction where a memory of substance remains, concrete refined on the frontiers of emptiness. »
[free translation]


NB : for a complete bio & diverses web links
have a look here : Archives radiophoniques…
(below, in my bandcamp discography)


released May 5, 1997


all rights reserved



Lionel Marchetti France

Lionel Marchetti (1967) : compositeur français de musique concrète, acousmatique & improvisateur avec instruments électroniques divers

...ses compositions musicales sont considérées comme
un véritable cinéma pour l'oreille…

"Concret ou abstrait ? J'aime l'abstrait où subsiste un souvenir de substance, le concret qui s'affine aux frontières du vide." (K.White)
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