Concert in homage to Jean-Michel Basquiat.
The conductor and composer Matthias Pintscher, along with Bryce Dessner and the soloists of the Ensemble Intercontemporain, will present a new programme inspired by the work and life of Jean-Michel Basquiat. An “oddly beautiful” musical journey, to quote Basquiat himself, featuring the premiere of a piece by Pintscher for three trumpets, along with works by John Cage, George Crumb, Yann Robin and Bryce Dessner.
It is not widely known that Basquiat was also a musician. In 1979 he formed a group, Gray (in reference to the famous textbook Gray’s Anatomy), which he described as a “noise band”. “I played with a file on a guitar and a synthesiser. At the time I was inspired by John Cage – music that isn’t really music. We were trying to be incomplete, abrasive, oddly beautiful.”
“Oddly beautiful” is what characterises this programme conceived specially by Matthias Pintscher and the soloists of the Ensemble Intercontemporain to complement the Fondation Louis Vuitton’s major retrospective of the enfant terrible of the New York underground scene.
As Basquiat did with his work, George Crumb draws inspiration from a multitude of sources (spirituality, childhood, the contemporary world, etc.), working with unusual techniques, layering sounds and quotations. The same is true of the uncategorisable Bryce Dessner, who deliberately seeks “a certain naivety in his approach, always trying to create new experiences by merging different worlds in the score”. And the music of Yann Robin gives off a similar energy, powerful expression and “noise and abrasiveness” to Basquiat’s paintings.
Resonating with these composers, the programme opens with the world premiere of a work by Matthias Pintscher, commissioned by the Fondation Louis Vuitton. This short piece is inspired by the personality and works of Jean-Michel Basquiat.