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Thursday 25 June 2020, 7.30pm

Orchestre Tout Puissant Marcel Duchamp

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"The All-Powerful Orchestra Marcel Duchamp is a project initially created for a carte blanche at Cave 12 in Geneva and it is held around the neck by Vincent Bertholet. This baroque and contemporary orchestra consists of instruments such as the guitar, the marimba, the trombone, the violin or the double bass. In concert, they look like voodoo musicians who make music to atone for destructive passions outside the sick. They wonderfully use complex and complex rhythms, like free jazz musicians or of prog rock, and it makes you want to make clay sculptures with their effigy." – Laurent Cheval, Paléo 2012

Vincent Bertholet, still resolute, finally realises his old dream of a ‘real’ orchestra. And thus was born the project to expand the known horizon. The orchestra became XXL by assembling accomplices from the first hour, who had never really disappeared from view, and an English string section met along the way.

From now on, they will be 14 on stage. An anniversary tour, prestigious stages and makeshift squats, unrestrained agitation as in the first days, and a larger chorus, more percussive than ever.

The multi-headed Hydra gives voice in concert and the frail stages that host it groan under its weight. Nevertheless, it is in the studio that the foundation of a new adventure is forged. Back to England, in the imposing and magnificent building that houses Real World Studios. After Rotorotor (2014), John Parish is again at the controls.

It’s called Sauvage Formes, a shrewd title, because everything here is as geometric as it is organic. The incisive rhythms, doubled in XXL, trademark of the pack, mingle with the unusually melancholy brass. The guitar riffs express themselves in minimalistic cascades, and since the number of strings has tripled, they allow themselves the luxury of entwining with each other, like a carnal embrace without epilogue. The voices, more numerous than usual, recite, chant, lead the dance and poeticise, sometimes in French, sometimes in English, and, in the same spirit, the chorus takes the opportunity to shape the pediment of hymns to elsewhere.

On crossing these 8 songs as beautiful as they are adventurous, it seems to be a story of a voyage, a torn logbook. On the horizon however, neither boat, nor rickety plane, neither map nor compass. Is it because the continent that is mentioned in these texts and melodies is not a known place, but rather a dream world, a land of asylum for rebels and the insubordinate, for the daring and the benevolent?

The fourth Orchestre Tout Puissant Marcel Duchamp album is like a road, a purpose, an ideal of shared and shareable lives. And the writing of this music is like the defences of an imaginary seafront, like an act witnessing an intertwined destiny, an extraordinary adventure. The story of a chamberless orchestra, a sensitive battalion of unlimited generosity, a wild form that never needed a master to tame its imagination and determination. 

““Sauvage Formes” is a delight for ears and brains. Do yourself a favour and allow yourself to be gently led into the zany and wonderful world of “Orchestre Tout Puissant Marcel Duchamp”, where high brow meets low brow and worlds collide in an irresistibly catchy symphonic pop album. I believe Mr. Duchamp himself would have been proud.” – Folk Radio