Encyclopédie de la parole / Joris Lacoste Suite nº2


The Encyclopédie de la parole, an observatory of the human word, looks into what is real taking everyday language as its guide. Since 2007, this collective has been listing and classifying a sprawling collection of recordings which it makes public in different projects (website, performances, conferences, games and exhibitions). Suite n° 2, the second installment in the “Suites chorales” cycle makes a dramatic entrance: composed for a quintet of performers, it hinges on the orchestration of words which have an effect on our world. The voices we hear do many things: promise, threaten, make declarations of love or war, thank, exhort, reach crisis point, pray, kill and decide. Composed by Joris Lacoste and given harmony by the compositor Pierre-Yves Macé, this muddle of words, stemming from contemporary recordings and reproduced live on stage, makes for an action-based show in which all the various impacts and turns of events take place in the minds of the spectators. Spoken in around fifteen different foreign languages, these words echo each other through virtuoso counterpoints, whilst the different situations create a layer effect, coupled with accelerating rhythms and rising suspense. Barthes defined tragedy in the writing of Racine as “word-action”, the purpose of which was to bring attention to balance of power relations. The theatre for hearing found in Suite n° 2 confronts audience members with modern-day words and, via their different timbres and tempos, nuances and accents, makes us listen in a different way to the words, exclamations and commands that shape our world.