Encyclopédie de la parole Joris Lacoste – Suite nº2


Just as an Escher illusion makes images appear in three dimensions once our gaze has become fully absorbed in it, the spoken words reproduced in Suite n°2 create multidimensional spaces. Vocal superposition and textual transcriptions bestow a disturbing sound and vocal density upon our acts of language.

Following in the footsteps of Suite n°1, which set out to present the lineaments of the human spoken word, Suite n°2 enters the arena. In this piece composed for a quintet of performers, words are orchestrated in terms of the effect they have on the world, ranging from voices which promise, threaten, declare war or true love, thank, exhort, are at crisis-point, prey, and kill, to those which decide. Composed by Joris Lacoste and put into harmony by the composer Pierre-Yves Macé, this tangle of words, each of which is derived from contemporary recordings reproduced vocally onstage, forms a truly action-packed show in which the various bumps and crashes, and twists and turns take place in the minds of the audience. These spoken words, expressed in around fifteen foreign languages, answer each other in virtuoso counterpoints. Meanwhile, the different situations superpose each other, the rhythm accelerates and the suspense mounts up. Barthes defined Racine’s brand of tragedy as word-action, the function of which was to mediatise balance of power relations. The theatre for listening to in Suite n°2 confronts spectators with words from today’s world and, by means of the different tones and rhythms, nuances and accents, also makes us hear in a different way the words, exclamations and injunctions that shape today’s world.