50/50 - JANIS JOPLIN / JIMI HENDRIX

Sequenza 9.3 / Trio Polycordes / Lydie Salvayre

Cross-over

50/50 - JANIS JOPLIN / JIMI HENDRIX

Sequenza 9.3 / Trio Polycordes / Lydie Salvayre

Fitfy years ago, just two weeks apart, two icons, two legends disappeared: Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix. 2 male composers (Fabien Cali, Claude Barthélémy) and 2 female composers (Justina Repeckaite / Carol Robinson) meet their visions today (between memories and representations), of a bygone era but so much present, so far yet so close! Sequenza 9.3 and the Trio Polycord will be the interpreters of this joint tribute, a hymn to eternal youth. Lydie Salvayre will lend her voice and her sensitivity as a novelist to these multiple mirrors and dialogues at the edge of history, music and literature.

Evocation of an era by 4 commissions
to 2 male composers & 2 female composers
(Claude Barthélémy, Fabien Cali, Justina Repeckaïte and Carol Robinson)

Ensemble vocal Sequenza 9.3
Conductor: Catherine Simonpietri

TRIO POLYCORDES
Florentino Calvo, mandolin
Jean-Marc Zvellenreuther, guitar
Sandrine Chatron, harp

& LYDIE SALVAYRE - narrator
extracts from his book Hymn - a Jimi Hendrix biography
extracts from Janis Joplin, black voice on a white background by Véronique Bergen

(WOODSTOCK, 1969) … all the rejections of youth that was sickened by the greed, brutality and ordinariness of society of that time, the memory of an era which believed that "the power of flowers would overcome military power ". 50 years ago, two icons, two legends disappeared just over two weeks apart: Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix, icons of an eternal youth, in love with dreams and freedom, icons of a revolution and its disillusion, at the edge of history, music and literature. Today questioning these myths and this era which is so far yet so close, letting today's composers tell us about it and confront it with a contemporary reality is the project that the Ensemble SEQUENZA 9.3 and the Trio POLYCORDES bring together by lending lyrical voices and plucked strings to this unique joint tribute.

Claude Barthélemy's note of intent

"Janis, Jimi, Jimi, Janis .... these two figures have become such icons that we tend to forget that they are first of all great professionals, immense surveyors of the Blues, the founding genre from which all the so-called popular music in the West today came, starting with Jazz, and Rock.
I would also like to emphasise their intelligence which is remarkably illustrated in the words of Hendrix, which do not seem aged or dated today, and by Joplin in the wise choice of her accompanists. Her recordings are a testament to the perfection of her interpretation, unusual for records at that time.
It will therefore be first a question of Blues, a way more than a norm, but also colourful, multicoloured moods, and, I hope, of humour, and emotional impact."
« Oh Lord ! Would you buy me a Mercedes Benz… »

Fabien Cali's note of intent

"Until adolescence, I was what Nadia Boulanger called a" sleeper". A passion for electric guitar, blues, rock or even metal brought me out of this torpor very unexpectedly and finally led me to my life as an artist today. After the overwhelming impact of my studies, hindsight and experience bring me back to the music and artists that have carried me along from the beginning to integrate their influences into my work as a composer. And among these artists there are of course Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix.
Beyond the richness of the repertoire they created, what affects me is, above all, their relationship to sound, phrasing, spontaneity, play, the unexpected but most importantly the raw energy. All this is at the heart of my approach and I hope to be able to go even further with the artists present in this project.
Woven around meticulously chosen texts, the palette of sounds offered by Sequenza 9.3 and the Trio Polycordes is such that the possibilities seem inexhaustible. The roughness and spiciness of the plucked strings are in my opinion perfectly complementary to the flexibility and density of the vocal ensemble. More than a tribute, it will be for me to create a moment of personal powerful music, in which the shadows of our two icons will sail freely."

Véronique Bergen’s note of intent

"50 years after the death of Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix, almost half a century after the end of Flower Power, the energy and freedom of "Pearl" and the Voodoo guitarist are intact. 50/50 does not fuel nostalgia. The project that brings together the vocal ensemble Sequenza 9.3, the Trio Polycordes, Lydie Salvayre and myself is located as far as possible from commemoration in a retro gesture.
It embraces the contemporaneity of Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin, and questions the topicality and the subversive power of Flower Power beyond its death. In this way, in the alliance of music and word, 50/50 opens the present and the future, recounts the possibilities bequeathed by the free spirit of the Sixties."

Lydie Salvayre's note of intent

"I wanted to go back to that unforgettable moment of music, that moment when Jimi Hendrix, in Woodstock, on August 18, 1969, played an American Anthem of incomparable power.
Because he had black blood and Cherokee blood mixed with white blood he was therefore all of America himself, because the war in Vietnam aroused in him a violent feeling of refusal that was shared by all young people, because his guitar was his electric lady, his passion, his house, his hunger, his strength and because it was played with genius, Jimi Hendrix made this American Anthem, until then so white, so clean and so wise, a real event.
I am delighted to see it celebrated 50 years later by Sequenza 9.3 and the Trio Polycordes"