12 Julio 2015
Domingo Julio 14, 2024



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Zahir V

Quatuor du Bout du Monde / contemporary

The Quatuor du Bout du Monde, composed of four members of different nationalities, proposes to advocate the work of Simone Movio, by playing his piece Zahir V, an important and demanding piece.

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Quatuor du Bout du Monde is the fortunate encounter of four young saxophonists in France.
From four different nationalities (USA, France, Israel, and Australia), even four different continents, this unique and diverse group of individuals comes together with fervor for the advancement of the saxophone and passion for contemporary music.
These young artists came to France to engross themselves in the Londeix legacy of performance and pedagogy with teachers such as Jean-Michel Goury and Marie-Bernadette Charrier.
This cultural diversity among the quartet is a real strength that enriches each of its members and their music as well.

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Zahir V – Simone Movio

In Jorge Luis Borges’s literary cosmos there exists an unassuming object, but one that holds a demonic power: the zahir. For those who encounter it, everything else gradually fades into the background. The zahir can suppress the entire universe: “Time, which weakens other memories, strengthens those surrounding the zahir. There was a time I could imagine first the front, then the reverse side; today I see both sides at once. […] Everything that is not the zahir only arrives muffled, as if from far away.” This literary metaphor epitomizes the (more poetical than philosophical) idea that the whole is contained in each of its parts. Borges and others have expressed it poetically. In Simone Movio’s work it attains its musical visage. The idea that a composer named a piece after Borges’s imaginary object is only a superficial source of fascination. More consequential are the possibilities of musical realization that result from it. While literature can create such things and illustrate their consequences, i.e., alternative forms of time and perspective, music can actually realize them and present them to the senses. Zahir V (2011/12) for saxophone quartet unfolds from a series of cell-like motives which contrast strongly in their sound and figuration type. Only at the end of the piece does it become clear that what had taken place was a discontinuous and nonlinear process of reduction and concentration. Its result assembles everything that came before, albeit highly condensed. The music thus realizes that which the zahir affected: a “spheroidal view,” of the front and back side; inside and outside; past, present, and future all at once. The notion of a “nunc” or “hic stans” (as it is formulated by the scholastics), a suspension of our modes of viewing in time and space, goes arm-in-arm with a disempowerment of the subject. When everything is available at once, then the ego and its worldview cease to play a role. From the perspective of art this is by no means a loss, and Simone Movio’s utter repudiation of any self-reflection or display of affects in his music has something tremendously liberating about it. “Objectivity” in the sense of a shaping force that transcends the ego, thus holds sway in all his works; it is revealed not least in how he dispenses with obvious narrative devices such as “themes” once were. For Simone Movio, music is instead an exacting form of time. His compositions thereby create experiential spaces which when contemplated outside of art would be unattainable. What Borges claims about literature can also be said of Simone Movio’s music: it is nothing but a guided dream.


12/07/2015 16:00 - 16:30

Cité de la musique et de la danse - Salle 24

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Musicians / speakers

  • Darricau Quentin / Soprano and tenor saxophones (France)
  • Kahl Don-Paul / Baritone saxophone (United States)
  • Mick Noa / Soprano saxophone (Israel)
  • Zhang Kay / Alto saxophone (Australia)


  • Zahir V (Simone Movio)





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