Films > documentaries > short films

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La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela - 52’ (2001)

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Produced and Directed : Jacqueline Caux
Image : Jung Hee Choi
Sound : La Monte Young
Post Production :
Centre national d’art et de culture
Georges Pompidou
Delegation to the audiovisual cultural activities :
Anne Michèle Ulrich
Production manager : Murielle Dos Santos
Calibration : Didier Coudraie
Sound mixing : Nicolas Joly

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Portrait of the founder of the current American minimalist music, and his wife Marian Zazeela visual artist who works with light in their environments "Dream Houses", and also during the concert La Monte Young "Well Tuned Piano."

The "Well Tuned Piano" - an uninterrupted period of 6 hours – tuned in "just intonation", from Magic Chord to Romantic Chrod, through sequences of homage to Brahms and Debussy, is the masterpiece of La Monte Young. The particular tuning of the instrument requires in a quiet setting, and without excessive changes in temperature, a period of fifteen to thirty days.

La Monte Young and his wife Marian Zazeela, mysterious characters, are two emblematic figures of minimalism. La Monte Young is the leader of this current American musical, shown in the following Terry Riley, Steve Reich, Philip Glass and many other composers.

By 1958, with his piece "Trio for Strings", he embarked on the adventure of music based on the notion of one's long held. Consists of a single sound frequencies granted with extreme accuracy, to carry on the listener specific psychoacoustic effects.

In 1960, La Monte Young after, with Terry Riley, the co-musical director for the choreographer Anna Halprin, left California and settled in New York where he participated briefly in the neo-Dadaist Fluxus works with-haikus like "Draw a straight line and follow. "

In 1962 he creates the « Theatre of Eternal Music » in which he played sopranino saxophone alongside, among others, Tony Conrad, John Cale the future founder of the famous Velvet Underground.

La Monte Young, musician determinant of our time, John Cage said: "It is the opposite of me : he wants to make music so just, so perfect ... A music to produce a good instead of a bad result on men. In my case, these are the ugliest things that interest me most, I discover that the ugly is not ugly but life itself. But if for me all is music, for La Monte Young a single sound is music. "

Music for instrumental ensemble, to gong played with a bow, for voice, for electronic frequencies ... His concept of unique sound will evolve in many wa

Marian Zazeela and La Monte Young met in 1962 at a party of the Living Theatre, while Marian was making abstract calligraphic works. They married in 1963. They become inseparable. This long familiarity will be extremely fruitful, since, while living on a daily basis for 27 hours instead of the usual 24 hours, they entangle their respective research on sound, and light. Together they developed the concept of a permanent sound and light : the "Dream House ", they open two days a week, and in which New York fans regularly immerse themselves for hours.

Jacqueline Caux

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