Departure & Channel of Flight
David Lang, Robin Rimbaud
Mediator - Sophie Claudel, Orgy Kusama
Supporters - Fondation de France, AP-HP Assistance Publique Hôpitaux de Paris (Public Assistance, Paris Hospitals), British Council
Raymond Poincaré Hospital, Garches, 2002
The spatial environment created by Spalletti in the Departure Hall presents a high level of abstraction that can resonate with the music. As a reception area, it offers a large loudspeaker for sounds, which can then evolve in the space and fully occupy it. Because music can fill a void while remaining elusive, it can be in harmony with the experience of all bereaved people. The patrons, Professor Michel Durigon and Dr. François Paraire, expressed the desire for a healthy environment that would provide better support and more tangible assistance to bereaved people.
This work should be in the same spirit as Spalletti's first intervention, and should involve contemporary composers capable of producing a specific type of music for a morgue. Spalletti responded favourably to the music order, considering it a gift.
Each of the artists composed a fifteen to twenty minute piece, recorded directly on tape. At the same time, the Departure Hall was equipped with multicasting equipment, with four speakers. Moving out of the requiem form to offer secular compositions was crucial to the mindset behind this commission.
David Lang & Robin Rimbaud
The mediator introduced the patrons to contemporary musical works through letting them listen to selected extracts. David Lang and Robin Rimbaud immediately struck them as the right artists. It was in fact appropriate to select at least two composers, so as to be able to allow the bereaved to choose the sound environment they wished for: perhaps one or other of the two musicians, but also possibly silence, or music brought along personally by the bereaved. The musicians chosen submitted creative works that belong to two distinct musical spheres. Robin Rimbaud, a young English DJ better known by the name Scanner, quickly engaged in experimental electronic music through collages of concrete sounds. David Lang, who started off as a member of a rock-and-roll group, is now involved in the field of contemporary music. The mediator guided the commission by suggesting to the patrons a composition by Lang for cellos and voice, which seemed right to her in relation to the intended purpose of the musical piece. The two artists reacted favourably to the mediator's suggestions, both responsive to the project as a result of their personal experience of the loss of someone close.