Yves De Mey: Lichtung

Unusual for a Line release, Lichtung presents a score for a dance solo. Obviously, we're not talking the “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies” or Swan Lake here but something considerably more experimental in both visual and sonic design. The thirty-five-minute single movement work by Yves De Mey, a Brussels, Belgium-based electronic artist, was premiered in March 2008 at Kampnagel in Hamburg and performed by Catherine Jodoin and choreographed by Antoine Effroy and Anne Rudelbach. It begins with the kind of low-level austerity which we've come to associate with Richard Chartier's imprint but an unexpected change in character soon appears when the tremolo see-saw of an electric guitar hovers over the simmer of static ripples and soft clicks. Eventually an organ drone settles into position, peppered by tiny pops, before the abrasive scrape of the guitar threatens to destabilize it; near the work's end, a lulling machine rhythm emerges to guide the piece back to the stillness with which it began.

The dance performance choreography involves a measured movement from the back of the stage to the front, with De Mey's score evolving in parallel to the dancer's movements. Listening to the work, one can easily visualize the dancer's onstage movements which presumably would unfurl in graceful slow-motion in sync with the music's similarly glacial unfurl. Lichtung develops organically in unhurried fashion, following a trajectory which is unpredictable yet feels natural, with De Mey's manipulations allowing each industrially-tinged component to transform in its own time.

June 2009