PREMIERED JANUARY 2017
OLIVIER BENOIT composition, guitar
HANS PETTER BLAD texts
MARIA LAURA BACCARINI voicals
JEAN DOUSTEYSSIER clarinets
ALEXANDRA GRIMAL tenor saxophone
HUGUES MAYOT alto saxophone
FABRICE MARTINEZ trumpet, flugelhorn
FIDEL FOURNEYRON trombone
THÉO CECCALDI violin
SOPHIE AGNEL piano
PAUL BROUSSEAU Fender Rhodes, bass synthesizer
SYLVAIN DANIEL electric bass
ÉRIC ECHAMPARD drums, electronics
Olivier Benoit brings his EUROPA project to a close by setting a northerly course with his musicians that takes them to the capital of Norway. Oslo is an atypical city. Nestling in the heart of triumphant natural surroundings, it has constantly pursued its architectural and cultural transformation, somewhere in between ancient tradition and the incredibly modern. At the close of the last century, this city was already setting the tone for new artistic concepts. To accompany the capital of Norway in music and establish a subjective portrait of the city, first an immersion was necessary. Living to the rhythm of Oslo’s seasons constituted a vital source of inspiration that provided the composition with its starting point.
Exploring this fourth European capital gave Olivier Benoit the desire to associate words and speech with the project, hence the two-voice evocation that he imagined with the complicity of contemporary Oslo writer and poet Hans Petter Blad. This singular author, a writer who chisels into the chiaroscuro of souls, selected excerpts from his writings forming a series of realist poems in which the music composed by the ONJ’s artistic director finds its echo. To incarnate Hans Petter’s texts — which the author himself has translated from Norwegian into English — Olivier Benoit chose Maria Laura Baccarini, a multifaceted artist who is a singer and actress.
As an orchestral suite whose movements offer a very broad dynamic range — alternating moments of intimism and melancholy (the image of a hearing of confession), hypnotic atmospheres and powerful crescendos — EUROPA OSLO plunges us with rare intensity into the very heart of the city and the flesh of its inhabitants, moving between wounds, wanderings and renaissances. The panoramic universe of Olivier Benoit continues to draw from multiple sources — jazz, repetitive music and progressive rock — and they provide a made-to-measure setting for the elegiac pen of Hans Petter Blad. The outcome is a sensitive tribute to Oslo nourished by the expressive strengths of each of the orchestra’s musicians in the company of Maria Laura Baccarini, here an inhabited performer. An ultimate opus, magnetic and thrilling.
AVAILABLE APRIL 28, 2017
ONJ Records – L’Autre Distribution
Photo © Olivier Benoit
DECEMBER 1 TO 11, 2016
AT THE NORWEGIAN ACADEMY OF MUSIC / OSLO
With the support of the Institut français in Norway
JANUARY 21, 2017
FOR “JAZZ SUR LE VIF” CONCERT
AT RADIO FRANCE’S STUDIO 105 / PARIS
JAZZ OR JAZZ FESTIVAL
THÉÂTRE, SCÈNE NATIONALE, ORLÉANS
CONCERT IN SUPPORT OF NEW ALBUM RELEASE
LA DYNAMO DE BANLIEUES BLEUES, PANTIN
NEW ALBUM AVAILABLE
APRIL 28, 2017
ONJ Records – L’Autre Distribution
HANS PETTER BLAD
Filmmaker, writer, poet… Hans Petter Blad is all of that, and also a friend of painters, a fan of jazz and art from Monk to Munch, and an acute observer of every nook and cranny in his native Oslo: he has walked all its streets. His work is an opus written in rhymes and rhythms, and cardiac rhythms especially, because beneath the surface of his work lies rage: the rage to create. To observe. To listen. To read. Since his first feature-film — “Hodiak”, shot in the early Nineties, launched a new Norwegian wave — and also in his many novels and plays, Blad has never ceased swaying between black and white: the fragile equilibrium of humans in search of identity. Hans Petter Blad takes a chisel to the chiaroscuro of souls. Outwardly humorous and poetic, but deep down, icy and opaque. Like a frosted version of French writer Olivier Cadiot. Every text he writes is a proposal. An invitation to go on a journey. An extension to the domain of struggle beneath the midnight sun. At the age of 54 he has traversed every art form in the world, and his Rimbaud-like accents have taken him to numerous continents, but with a slight preference for the old one and particularly its Paris-the-City-of-Light. It is the city of all things possible for this artist from the North: this explorer of vagabond moods is sculpting his own creations like some tipsy onlooker drifting with the currents of his own sensibility.
With an ear permanently screwed to the hearts of the living, Hans Petter Blad is a hunter: he hunts poetic breaths, and as a younger man his dreams were of Albert Camus and “The Rebel”. For this collaboration with the ONJ he has sifted through all his poetry collections, from “Bibliothèque” (2008) and “Marbre” (2010), to “Musée” (2014) and “Clair-obscur” (2016). His selection contains fragments of life more realist than surrealist, fragments where the dialogue between Man and Nature takes place over a good verse, and words become the final cure for all ills.
Original titles, publishers and dates of publication of the poetry collections used for this creation with the ONJ:
Biblioteket –Cappelen Damm (2008)
Marmor– Flamme (2010)
Museum– Flamme (2014)
Clair-obscur– Oktober (2016)
MARIA LAURA BACCARINI
An actress, singer and dancer of Italian origin, Maria Laura Baccarini began her career in musical theatre. Her performances have included all the major roles belonging to the great American classics, and she has appeared not only in Italy but also in the USA and the United Kingdom (as Sally Bowles in “Cabaret”, Cassie in “A Chorus Line”, Anita in “West Side Story”, Roxie Hart in “Chicago”, etc.) In 2004 she took part in the “Nuit américaine” spectacular, a tribute to 20th century American music produced by Lambert Wilson (who also appeared in the show), with Régis Huby as Artistic Director. Her meeting with the latter was the beginning of a long collaboration that gave rise to two albums: “Furrow – A Cole Porter Tribute” (2010, Abalone Productions) and “All Around”, an original Régis Huby creation with texts by Yann Apperry (2011, Abalone Productions). Her collaboration with the author has continued with several projects to date: “Terra Vagans” (music by Claude Barthélemy), “La Foire aux Chansons” (music by Régis Huby) and “Calvinologie” (music by Massimo Nunzi), the last two having been recorded for Radio France. She has also been involved in the project “Poète, vos papiers”, composed by Yves Rousseau and based on Léo Ferré’s famous poetry anthology.
Maria Laura Baccarini continued her acting career in Italy with principal roles in “Concerto per un Poeta”, “I Have a Dream”, “Ascolta il Canto del Vento”, “La Nuit des Rois” (Verona Italy Shakespeare Festival) and “Maria Stuarda”. In 2011, again in association with Régis Huby, she gave the first performance of “Gaber, Io e le Cose”, a violin-voice duet based on works by Giorgio Gaber, one of the most intelligent, militant and poetic authors in the history of Italian song and theatre. The première of this concert-spectacular was given at the Astiteatro33 Festival in Italy, and it produced the eponymous album “Gaber, Io e le Cose” (2015, Abalone Productions). The new creation “Waiting For The Night To Smile” was the fruit of her love of Stephen Sondheim’s music, which she shares with singer Stephy Haik; it also gave her the opportunity to work for the first time with pianists Stephan Oliva and Bruno Angelini.