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Demierre Jacques

(04. 11. 1954)

Demierre Jacques
Demierre Jacques
3, rue de la Poterie
CH-1202 Genève
Suisse

Tel: +41 (0)22 329 48 38


Biography
Jacques Demierre is a pianist, composer and improviser. Whether acoustic or electro-acoustic, respectful of traditional music writing or embracing free improvisation, his experimentations feed into music as well as sound poetry and sound intervention in situ. They are all driven by the same constant search for consciousness of sound. Author of numerous pieces for ensemble or voice, he also explores the power of everyday noises. Extending the sound possibilities of the piano instrument, Jacques Demierre also interrogates the ways in which it can approach the sphere of language. He develops a very cross and interdisciplinary critical conception of music which gives him the opportunity to work with artists from very different backgrounds. Regular performances in the field of language art in duo with Vincent Barras and collaboration with Chris Mann, Caroline Bergvall, L'Encyclopédie de la parole, Christian Kesten. Interdisciplinary projects, with choreographer Cindy van Acker, Noemi Lapzeson. He has performed with improvising and experimental musicians, including Barre Philips, Urs Leimgruber, Thomas Lehn, Martial Solal, Radu Malfatti, Joëlle Léandre, Axel Dörner, Fritz Hauser, Andrea Parkins, Sainkho Namtchylak, Lou Mallozzi, Urs Blöchlinger, Irene Schweizer, Hans Koch, Isabelle Duthoit, John Butcher, Brandon Labelle, Jason Kahn, Charlotte Hug, Butch Morris, Roger Turner, Okkyung Lee, Peter Evans, Carlos Zingaro, Gunter Müller, Jaap Blonk, Barry Guy, Lucas Niggli, Sylvie Courvoisier, Hann Bennink, Rhodri Davis, Martin Schütz, Paul Lovens, Doro Schürch, Phil Minton, Elliott Sharp,...-

Jacques Demierre received the Music Prize of the City of Geneva in 2007. His scores are available on SME/EMS. His work is documented on Tzadik, héros-limite, Psi, Victo, jazzwerkstatt, Leo, Plainisphare, Creative Sources, INSUB., Intakt, Bocian Records, bardem, Unit Record, stv/ams.


Work list
O dunes (1978)
for clarinet and seven soloists
Texts: R. Laing
Duration: 10' 00"
Manuscript
Iles (1979)
for between two and four instruments
Duration: 20' 00"
Manuscript
Sept obscures variations (1982)
for piano and band
Duration: 11' 00"
Manuscript
Recyclage (1982)
for band, sounds, gestures and lights
In collaboration with Ch. Périat.
Duration: 40' 00"
Manuscript
Sans issue (1982-1983)
for piano
Duration: 17' 00"
Manuscript
Tango (1983)
for piano
Duration: 4' 00"
Manuscript
Bruissements (1983)
for band
Duration: 8' 00"
Manuscript
Traits (1984)
for big-band
Duration: 18' 00"
Manuscript
Ce ne sont que des on-dit (1984)
for nine instruments
Duration: 10' 00"
Manuscript
Vos (1984)
for piano
Duration: 4' 00"
Manuscript
Valgo (1984/87)
for jazz big band (version for pf, cl and vcl)
Duration: 4' 00"
Manuscript
The Case of Mr. V. (1985)
for tuba solo
A plausible portrait of the tuba player in his solitude.
Duration: 7' 00"
SME/EMS
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CHF: 18.00
Duke (Sophisticated Lecture) (1985)
for piano, tuba and percussion
Duration: 45' 00"
Manuscript
Concierto barroco (1985)
for voice, speaker and 3 jazz soloists and ensemble (retired)
Texts: Alejo Carpentier
Duration: 50' 00"
Manuscript
Sweet baroque (1985)
for 11 instruments
Part of the Baroque concert.
Duration: 15' 00"
Manuscript
Je deviendrai Médée (1986)
for solo voice
Texts: Euripides, Heiner Müller, Pier Paolo Pasolini
What is stronger than to see this woman, Medea, who progressively propagates and accomplishes her own myth?
Duration: 30' 00"
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CHF: 42.00
Expinnocence (1986)
for voice, two pianos and violoncello
Texts: William Blake
Written for an improviser/reader, these pieces attempt to recreate a fantasy world in honour of some of William Blake's poems.
Duration: 45' 00"
SME/EMS
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CHF: 68.00
Bleu (1986)
for solo voices
Texts: Alltags- Werbe- Mediensprache
The performance of a singer who tries in vain to suppress her fit of giggles.Sponsored by the SME Lucerne.
Duration: 5' 00"
SME/EMS
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CHF: 13.00
L'aube des temps (1986)
for band
Duration: 6' 00"
Manuscript
Agripaume I (1986)
for four-handed piano
Duration: 2' 00"
Manuscript
Agripaume II (1986)
for piano
Duration: 2' 00"
Manuscript
Agripaume III (1986)
for seven pianos
Duration: 10' 00"
Manuscript
Journal (1986)
for piano and voice
Duration: 30' 00"
Manuscript
Musique festive (1987)
for four electronic organs and seven brass (two horns, two trumpets, two trombones and a tuba)
A topsy-turvy tuba concerto. Very much indebted to African music whose concept of rhythm and time is well suited here.
Duration: 25' 00"
Manuscript
Mercredi 7 / Jeudi 8 (1987)
for two pianos
Duration: 6' 00"
Manuscript
Mercredi 14 / Jeudi 15 (1987)
for two pianos
Duration: 3' 00"
Manuscript
Lussa (1987)
for band
Duration: 20' 00"
Manuscript
Agripaume (hommage aux Banda-Linda) (1987)
for voice and percussion
Collaborator: Vincent Barras.
Duration: 4' 00"
Manuscript
Consonnes (hommage à Arthur Rimbaud et Carlo Russi) (1987)
for voice and keyboards
Collaboration: Vincent Barras.
Duration: 5' 00"
Manuscript
Commissions (hommage à Bernard Heidsiek) (1987)
for voice and keyboards
Collaboration: Vincent Barras.
Duration: 8' 00"
Manuscript
y te doble las piernas (1988)
for voice and amplification
Texts: R. Juaroz
Duration: 12' 00"
Manuscript
Outward (Homage to Eric Dolphy) (1988)
for flute and clarinet
"Rhythm, is in fact, the only art or system in which the various energies can be ordered and sustained. The basis of a vital and psychological dynamic is rhythm." (G. Bachelard).
Duration: 15' 00"
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CHF: 39.00
Désir d'azur: musique de danse (1988)
for eight voices and two pianos
Texts: Roberto Juarroz
The electric pianos remind one of toy pianos that grew too fast. The words are sonorous, the lists long and dense.
Duration: 42' 00"
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CHF: 70.00
Altus (1988)
for organ
This piece is concerned with the moment. It is a contest in which the contestants are missing.
Duration: 8' 00"
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CHF: 34.00
Terminus (take two) (1988)
for flute and piano
This piece stages its own silence, even the fragile and dramatic silence that emerges only after the final tone has sounded.
Duration: 11' 00"
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CHF: 26.00
Simple course (1988)
for six-handed piano
Hug & Co. Musikverlage
Limmatquai 28-30
CH-8001 Zürich
Sombra (1989)
for flute, clarinet, vibraphone, piano, violin and violoncello
Duration: 12' 00"
Manuscript
Avec le temps (1989)
Three etudes for improvisation
for piano
Duration: 20' 00"
Manuscript
Dinner-Time Blues (1989)
for voice, bass clarinet and percussion
Duration: 12' 00"
Manuscript
Theme for K. and R. (1989)
for bass clarinet
Duration: 5' 00"
Manuscript
Une table pour trois, ou la troïka s'ennuie (1990)
for three percussionists
This piece is based around numerous hand playing techniques (from the most common gestures to the orthodox playing techniques of the darbuka). It develops theatrically according to the gestures of each performer.
Sponsored by the SME Lucerne.

Duration: 20' 00"
SME/EMS
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CHF: 26.00
(Parts: sFr. 30.-; € 20.00)
L'archer, l'arc, la flèche et le blanc, ou l'Eloge de l'irritation (1990)
for flute, clarinet, violin, viola, vioncello, two marimbas and imrovised piano
Dialectic between the pianist and ensemble involving the discovery of the unanticipated improvised moment within the notated musical gestures.
Duration: 12' 00"
SME/EMS
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CHF: 57.00
(Parts: sFr. 50.-; € 33.00)
Das Lachen der Schafe (Acte I: La morsure mélodique) (1990-1991)
Opera
for orchestra, jazz trio, soloists and choir
Texts: Francesco Micieli
Duration: 45' 00"
Manuscript
Portrait de ça en cale sèche (1991)
for speaker, three female voices, tuba, accordion, two pianos and choir
Texts: Jacques Roman
The content of the piece has a diffused feeling, a difficult to describe situation summed up excellently with a short sentence by B. Requichot: "je ne sais pas c'qui m'quoi."
SME/EMS
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CHF: 230.00
Quelques remarques (1991)
for flute, clarinet, horn, trombone and four-handed piano
Duration: 13' 00"
SME/EMS
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CHF: 57.00
(Parts: sFr. 90.-; € 90.-)
Huis-clos (1992)
for three percussionists
Duration: 35' 00"
Manuscript
Jazz is not dead, it just smells funny (1992)
for big band
Composition in cooperation with Hans Koch
Manuscript
Air comprimé et autres airs (1992)
for piano, painting and balloons (two performers)
Texts: Philippe Deléglise
With Philippe Deléglise.
Duration: 40' 00"
Manuscript
Air comprimé et autres airs (1992/06)
for piano, balloons and electronic apparatus
Re-adaptation of the original version.
Duration: 45' 00"
Manuscript
Hérodote (1992)
for solo voice
Duration: 35' 00"
Manuscript
Divine surprise (1992)
for a minimum of 4 instruments
Duration: 10' 00"-20' 00"
Manuscript
Chambre à part (1993)
for sequencer (or nine pianos)
Duration: 4' 00"
Manuscript
Nous ici (1993)
for voice, flute, clarinet, violin, violoncello and piano
Texts: Jacques Roman
Three main 'characters'. A text by Jacques Roman based on African rhythm organisation and inspired by the solo fragments of jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker.
Duration: 13' 00"
SME/EMS
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CHF: 70.00
Ton corps à sons (1993)
for electronic tape
With Nancy Ypsilantis.
Duration: 60' 00"
Manuscript
Je m'émouvois (1993)
for voice and seven accordions
Duration: 30' 00"
Manuscript
W. J. (take one) (1994)
for choir
Texts: Henri Calet
A tribute to Henri Calet in the form of numbers and letters. Eight voices.
Duration: 9' 00"
SME/EMS
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CHF: 49.00
Desalpe (1994)
for marimba solo
A meeting of truly ancient sounds, whose strength lies in its evocation through the delicacy of its figures. The piece reveals only slightly, the secrets hidden in the wood of the marimba.
Duration: 20' 00"
SME/EMS
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CHF: 26.00
Jaune Piano (1994)
for two percussionists, one flutist 'electronic', one pianist, a comedian and twenty children
Duration: 65' 00"
Manuscript
Le chant infini de Lise L'île (1994)
for voice and manual harmonium
Texts: J. Probst
Duration: 30' 00"
Manuscript
La colonne brisée - Frida Kahlo (1996)
for voice solo
Texts: Subcommandante Marcos, Frida Kahlo
A female voice appears alone on stage. It speaks of the journey from the personal to the universal, a journey brimming with sense and dramatic tension, a journey which connects the singularity of the body with the multitude of the myth in dependance of the humanity of a mysticised being - simply our world.
Duration: 58' 00"
SME/EMS
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CHF: 65.00
Max and Moritz (1996)
for speaker, flute, clarinet, violin, viola and violoncello
Texts: Wilhelm Busch
Musical version of the adventures of those two likeable rascals...
Duration: 20' 00"
SME/EMS
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CHF: 57.00
La machine à sons (1996)
for four-handed piano
Duration: 5' 00"
Manuscript
La tentation de l'Orient (1996)
for recitiative, violin, flute and harmonium
Texts: Maurice Chappaz
Duration: 57' 00"
Manuscript
ARCO (1996)
for six-handed piano
Duration: 1' 00"
Manuscript
Conférence (1996)
for two male voices, one female voice, one indian harmonium and live electronics
Texts: Théodore Flournoy
"From India to the planet Mars" by Th. Flournoy.
Duration: 50' 00"
Manuscript
Danse numéro... (no 1) (1996)
for alto saxophone, marimba and piano
Duration: 3' 00"
Manuscript
The languages came first. The country after. (1997)
three spoken voices
Texts: John Ronald Raul Tolkien
Poetic route for three voices - and in the language of fairies which derives from the language of nature. Homage to John Ronald Raul Tolkien’s love of language.
SME/EMS
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CHF: 83.00
De la tête au pied (1997)
for double-bass
Duration: 9' 00"
SME/EMS
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CHF: 39.00
Pierre Eau Lune Air (1997)
for singing, flute, clarinet, piano, violin, violoncello and percussion
Texts: José Flore Tappy
Duration: 43' 00"
Manuscript
Retrato de A.P. (1997)
for four guitars
Duration: 5' 00"
Manuscript
Les oreilles n'ont pas de paupières (1997)
for two female voices, flute (bass and contrabass), percussion, paino with metronome, loud speakers
Texts: Yaëlle Torelle
Duration: 17' 00"
Manuscript
W.J. (take three) (1997)
for marimba and loud speakers
Duration: 10' 00"
Manuscript
Palo de lluvia (1997)
Sound installation
for 320 loud speakers
Duration: var.
Manuscript
Guillevic Avec (1997)
for piano solo
Duration: 51' 00"
Manuscript
Au pied de la lettre (1998)
for violin, violoncello and piano
Duration: 7' 00"
Manuscript
Le fil rouge de ton amour (1998)
for spoken voice, live electronic and loud speakers
Texts: Sylviane Dupuis
Manuscript
Géométrie du Hasard (1998)
for 8 pianos
Duration: 53' 00"
Manuscript
Danse des morts (1999)
for string quartet
Duration: 4' 00"
Manuscript
Rollende Bälle (1999)
for ensemble and loud speakers
Duration: 35' 00"
Manuscript
Hymne de Chêne-Bougeries (2000)
for fanfare, choir and children's choir
Duration: 5' 00"
Manuscript
Avec (2000)
for piano solo (prepared)
Duration: 52' 00"
Manuscript
Exil ou les chemins de la différence (2000)
Music for dance
for fixed sounds
Duration: 30' 00"
Manuscript
découpe (2000)
for 2 amplified voices
Duration: 11' 00"
Manuscript
homard (2000)
for 2 amplified voices
Duration: 2' 00"
Manuscript
homère (2000)
for 2 amplified voices
Duration: 4' 00"
Manuscript
lésions (2000)
for 2 amplified voices
Duration: 6' 00"
Manuscript
ma merd'de (2000)
for 2 amplified voices
Duration: 7' 00"
Manuscript
traghetto II (2000)
for 2 amplified voices
Duration: 4' 00"
Manuscript
umno ouwn (2000)
for 2 amplified voices
Duration: 5' 00"
Manuscript
voyelles (2000)
for 2 amplified voices
Duration: 8' 00"
Manuscript
Blau (2000)
for two pianos
Duration: 9' 00"
Manuscript
Bleu (2000)
for 2 pianos
Duration: 6' 00"
Manuscript
Gelb (2000)
for 2 pianos
Duration: 6' 00"
Manuscript
Jaune (2000)
for 2 pianos
Duration: 8' 00"
Manuscript
Rot (2000)
for 2 pianos
Duration: 12' 00"
Manuscript
Rouge (2000)
for 2 pianos
Duration: 7' 00"
Manuscript
Die Ordnung der Farbe (2000)
for 2 pianos
Duration: 8' 00"
Manuscript
Knicks (2001)
for sound accompaniment/computer
Duration: 36' 00"
Manuscript
Black Tell: Troisième acte (third act) (2001)
Opera
for voice, accordion, clarinet, violin, violoncello, trumpet, vibraphone and fixed sounds
Texts: Nicolas E. Ryhiner
"Black Tell": Collaboration with Fortunat Frölich, Sergio Menozzi, Daniel Weissberg, Charles Uzor.
Duration: 17' 00"
Manuscript
SOS (2001)
Phonetic actions
for three speaking voices, contrabass flute, live electronics and movements
Duration: 60' 00"
Manuscript
Les entretiens de la Belle et de la Bête version 11.01 (2001)
for 4-handed piano
Duration: 5' 00"
Manuscript
Sons de la plaine (2002)
Sound installation
for loud speakers and data system
Duration: 15h 00"
Manuscript
D'ici là (2002)
Music for dance
for fixed sounds
Duration: 30' 00"
Manuscript
gad gad vazo gadati voicing through Saussure (2002)
for two speaking voices
Collaboration: Vincent Barras.
Duration: 30' 00"
Manuscript
Disparition (2002)
for voice and piano
Duration: 22' 00"
Manuscript
17 (2003)
for 4 instruments
Duration: 60' 00"
SME/EMS
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CHF: 47.00
Point d'écoute (2003)
Sound installation
Manuscript
Sans titre (2003)
Sound installation
Manuscript
Traces (2003)
for string orchestra
Duration: 15' 00"
SME/EMS
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CHF: 57.00
(Material: sFr. 90.-; € 90.-)
Allo, j'écoute... (2004)
for a group of twenty of children and fixed sounds
Duration: 40' 00"
Manuscript
AQUARIUM (2004)
for 7 instruments
Graphic score.
Duration: 12' 00"
SME/EMS
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CHF: 55.00
(Set of 3 scores)
Heterotopia (2005)
Radio play / environmental sound
for 9 performers
Duration: 62' 00"
Manuscript
Angebotisch (2005)
for ssx, tsx, piano and contrabass
Duration: 69' 00"
Manuscript
Particularité 12 (2005)
for fixed sounds and electronic apparatus
Duration: 30' 00"
Manuscript
Travelling miles (2005)
for 11 instruments
Graphic score.
Duration: 53' 00"
Manuscript
Instants Chavirés 1-4 (2006)
for ssx, tsx, piano and contrabass
Manuscript
Danger dans la surface (2006)
for eight spoken voices
Duration: 9' 00"
Manuscript
Puit (2006)
for two speaking voices
Collaboration: Vincent Barras.
Duration: 40' 00"
Manuscript
Allerheiligen (2006)
Electroacoustic improvisation
for bass clarinet, sax, piano, synthesizer, electronics
Duration: 52' 00"
Manuscript
Pasos (2007)
for reed organ
Duration: 25' 00"
Manuscript
sumpatheia (2007)
for violin and guitar
Duration: 15' 00"
Manuscript
Machine Paradise (2008)
for four violoncellos, four percussion instruments and fixed sounds
Duration: 45' 00"
Manuscript
Albeit (2008)
for jazz trio (sx, pf, db)
Duration: 71' 00"
Manuscript
Listening Donaueschingen (2009)
foe 3 voices, clarinet, 2 sax, viola, piano, percussion, synth and electronics
Duration: 50' 00"
Manuscript
Lucerne Improvisation II (2010)
for sax, accordion, 2 pianos and viola
Duration: 25' 00"
Manuscript
Flash-Songs d'après F. Nietzsche (2011)
for voice and ensemble
Texts: Alexander Puschkin, Sandor Petöfi, Joseph von Eichendorff, Adalbert von Chamisso, Friedrich Nietzsche, Lou Andreas-Salome
Before becoming a philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche was an improvisor and composer. As an adolescent, he was said to have been improvising for hours on the piano and even in his later years, when his disease had already severely damaged his brain, he was still capable of playing the music of his time perfectly.
A selection of lieder, originally set for voice and piano, has been transposed in a version for voice (Dorothea Schürch) and ensemble (the musicians of the 6ix and the Fanfareduloup Orchestra).
Except for "Gebet an das Leben", written in 1882 and based on a text by Lou Andreas-Salomé, all his other lieder were early works written between 1862 and 1865, when Nietzsche was between 18 and 21 years old.
The switch to music was based on various axes of influence. First and foremost was Nietzsche's youthful energy, which is present in his lieder. Each acoustic moment is important and virtually autonomous: the sound of the sung text, the sound of the piano accompaniment or the commentary. The philosopher favours the instant perception in opposition to a bigger form, which would certainly be less adequate at bringing us into direct contact with the flow of time. In The Will to Power he writes: "We are not subtle enough to perceive the probably absolute flow of becoming; the permanent exists only thanks to our coarse organs which summarize things and reduce them to common levels, when in fact nothing exists in that form. The tree is at each instant a new thing; we assert form because we do not grasp the subtlety of an absolute moment."
To write a composition like Flash-Songs for simultaneously interpreting and improvising musicians, means to reconnect and amplify the movement of complementarity between performance and composition, so uniquely present in young Nietzsche's lieder. The score of Flash-Songs is thus organised around a time line, which initially is not entirely fixed, but allows the performers to play according to their skills of improvisation within given sound fields thus evoking a tonal momentum just like the young improvisor and composer Nietzsche with regard to his future Lieder.
The poems were selected to penetrate the harmonic and rhythmic framework of the Nietschean composition in order to activate a contemporary interpretation focusing on a acoustic reverberation of the phonemes throughout the instrumental ensemble. Like an attempt to express in a diffusive and equivocal manner the phonetic structure of speech.
Another influence is the melodies themselves: since the moment they were written down, they progressivley stretched in time until reaching us. There was no transport from the past into the present. There was extension, propagation without reverberation and the sound continued to uncoil its extension until today. Flash-Songs is here to collect these melodic extensions, amongst which the phrases were stretched, the words were distended and the phonemes were deployed all around Nietzsche's sound. And finally there is the historic duo voice and piano, a musical form that here is simultaneously present and absent. As Flash-Song's central point of intersection, it becomes the link between the romantic gesture and anchorage in the present and the place to question this link, penetrated by textual extensions, by streaming piano quotations taken from the lieder recording by Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Aribert Reimann, by using vocal filters or once again by the constant reconsideration of the voice and piano.
Duration: 45' 00"
Manuscript
6ix at Taktlos (2011)
for saxophone, piano, voice, percussion, violoncello and synthesizer
Duration: 60' 00"
Manuscript
6ix at Météo (2011)
for voice, soprano sax, tenor sax, piano, percussion, synthesizer and violoncello
Duration: 50' 00"
Manuscript
6ix at Uncool (2011)
for voice, soprano sax, tenor sax, piano, percussion, synthesizer and violoncello
Duration: 50' 00"
Manuscript
Montreuil (2012)
for soprano sax, tenor sax, piano and double bass
Further Nearness - Northrope - Welchfingar - Mantrappe.
Duration: 67' 00"
Manuscript
Diskographie
almost even further (Leo Records Nr. LR 644, 2012)
Interpreten:
Demierre, Jacques
Leimgruber, Urs
Montreuil (jazzwerkstatt Nr. 125, 2012)
Interpreten:
Demierre, Jacques
Leimgruber, Urs
homard et autres pièces (stv/asm Nr. 8, 2000)
Interpreten:
Demierre, Jacques
Mit weiteren Werken von: Jacques Demierre, Vincent Barras
Info: www.fonoteca.ch
Jacques Demierre (Grammont Porträt Nr. 38-2, 1991)
Interpreten:
Demierre, Jacques
Werke:
Demierre, Jacques: Je deviendrai Médée (1986)
Demierre, Jacques: Bleu (1986)
Demierre, Jacques: Désir d'azur: musique de danse (1988)
Info: www.fonoteca.ch
Bibliography
Bitterli, Peter: Musikalisches Porträt einer überreichen Existenz. "La colonne brisée - Frida Kahlo" von Jacques Demierre, in: Luzern heute 12 (1997), S. 17