MATA 2012 is happening right now for the first time at Roulette, and we wanted to take the time to talk to one of the composers featured on the April 20th concert SIGNS AND SIGNALS: David Coll. David has studied at the University of Illinois, IRCAM in Paris (Cursus and Cursus 2), and at the University of California-Berkeley, receiving his PhD in December 2010. He now lives and works in Belgium.
Position, Influence (2010), for soprano and electronics will be performed by Mellissa Hughes this coming Friday and we were really curious about that piece…
How did you discover the de Gaulle speeches that you used as a textual source for Position, Influence?
It was part of the journey of gathering material for the piece. I remember spending a lot of time with Pasolini actually, but his poetry was underwhelming compared to his highly charged films. I looked at Isidore Isou as well, but nothing came together. Finally, getting more into the Enrages and the Situationists, I realized I needed to look at some historical documents. I subscribed to INA (Ed. French for National Audiovisual Institute) and all of a sudden I see de Gaulle (Ed. Charles de Gaulle was a French general and statesman who led the Free French Forces during World War II. He later founded the French Fifth Republic in 1958 and served as its first President from 1959 to 1969). What an incredible look and figure, I thought.
In fact the pieces opening line (Je ne me retirerai pas / I will not step down! (from office)) is the only fragment that is De Gaulle. And it is his first statement after returning from abroad and having the Mai 68 events already in full force. After that, the piece moves in many directions, and the text is mine actually.