Association Ryoanji | contemporary artistic creation
association RYOANJI
contemporary artistic creation
The ensemble]h[iatus is an international contemporary music ensemble created by the cello player Martine Altenburger and the percussionist Lê Quan Ninh.
This is both a modular and highly variable ensemble, and its distinctive feature is that the majority, if not all of its members are at the same time experienced performers and improvisers

The projects the group presents reflect this entirely – instead of simply performing repertory pieces from the 20th and 21st century, the ensemble takes us on a musical journey, performing a combination of both written pieces and improvisation. This is an artistic style which is both coherent and at odds with tradition, where musicians constantly alternate between disciplines too often considered as antinomical.

The ensemble]h[iatus’s desire is to share their unique vision of contemporary music, gained through their extensive experience in the field of performance and improvisation. For the Ensemble, music does not simply emanate from those who write it, but also from those who perform it. Their daily contact with sound means they feel and understand the music’s transformations, something which can only be attained through patient proximity to both the compositions and the instruments.

In effect, an improviser’s approach to sound is very different to that of non-improvisational musicians. Improvising means primarily questioning all previous use and experience of the instrument. It thus becomes a tool for creation, a tool which allows the musician to create his or her own poetry in ever changing artistic productions, and to forge a natural relationship with other media such as dance, video, cinema, fine arts...

The improviser has to master the art of listening, he or she must be able to adapt to and comprehend the compositions, which in turn allow them as performers to gain an organic understanding of the music and its innate movement.

The movement within the music creates a range of situations that the improviser must work with, situations related to time and space, abstract and concrete musical matter, or to transitions…. Other examples are the acoustics, which generate a certain dynamic in the music, or also the movement in the volume of air, the need for silence, for mutual understanding and the need to share in others’ observations. These cross-disciplinary situations are the foundation for the Hiatus Ensemble’s compositions, making their work an arrangement of both written and improvised circumstances.

Lê Quan Ninh - September 2005 - Translation Sarah Ford

photo © Sylvain Thomas