UNUSUAL WEATHER PHENOMENA PROJECT
Entretien en FRANGLISH avec Thom Luz, metteur en scène de la pièce
par Jennifer Ratet
Jennifer Ratet / Savez-vous d’où provient votre goût prononcé pour l’étrange et pourriez-vous nous expliquer dans quelle mesure il vous influence en tant que créateur de spectacle ?
Thom Luz / I love mysteries. I love not understanding. I love solving puzzles. I like to discover. I like to connect the dots. I love secret worlds, I love the idea of there being a second, a third, a fourth reality behind the first one. I love it when things get complicated. I love surprises, too. But I also like precise machines, I’m swiss.
J.R. / Votre originalité fait que l’on vous classe volontiers dans les inclassables. Comment définiriez-vous votre démarche théâtrale ?
T.L. / I did not learn to direct theatre plays in a school. I feel like a clueless detective, in a good way. When I start creating a new piece, it’s like solving a crime, in a way. I know that there is a story hidden somewhere, but I have to discover it, make the right connections between things that are not necessarily connected in the first place. For example I want to make a piece about the weather. I have this book with eyewitness reports of unexplainable weather miracles. I know I love music, I know I love fog machines. I know there is a man in a room full of paper, writing down what people tell him about the weather. He’s not leaving his house, even if he’s promised to receive an award for his life’s achievements. There’s a story there somewhere. But there’s also a knight from medieval times who got struck by lighning and fell asleep for several hundred years, how does he fit into the story? I love simple stories, but I want to tell them in a complicated way. I feel that life is like that. Life is a simple narrative, basically. Birth, Growth, Decay, Disappearance.
But when you’re involved in it, it’s of course much mure complicated than that.
J.R. / Vous vous produisez en Suisse, en Allemagne et donc également en France. Comment percevez-vous ces différents publics ?
T.L. / It’s always dangerous to généraliser. But in my experience, I feel a little more freedom in France, maybe because it’s not my home and none of my friends and critics
are present when I’m touring in France. But maybe, french audiences have a more poetic eye ? With my work, I want to open a portal into another way of seing reality, and maybe, the french audiences are a little less hesitant to walk through, that door. But maybe, when I found enough friends and critics in France, that impression “va se relativiser”.
J.R. / Pour Unusual Weather Phenomena Project, vous avez pris comme point de départ le Handbook of Unusual Natural Phenomena du physicien Willliam R. Corliss qui traite des phénomènes météorologiques inexpliqués. Pourquoi ce choix ?
T.L. / He has a very scientific approach to things that are not scientific at all, just like me. He deals with wonders and miracles, but his language and his graphics are very dry, not esoteric. I feel that’s the same thing I’m trying to do. He’s a collector, too, he has all this reports of eyewitnesses who describe a weather pheonomena that was strange and unexplainable, and he’s sorting them, he’s not trying to find an explanation. His credo is: if you want to understand the world, you must not look at the normal, but the strange, and make up your own explanation, if you need one at all. And I really like that way of looking at the world. Maybe it’s just elaborate fantasy, but sometimes, thats the perfect place to start.
J.R. / Comment avez-vous procédé pour concevoir votre pièce ?
T.L. / We always start with music. I like to start by thinking: what’s the musical parameter that’s at the heart of the story i want to tell. Is it a story about hide and seek ? Is it a story about archeology ? Is it a story about construction or deconstruction ? Then I’m trying find musicians and instrumentations that are related to that musical parameter.
J.R. / Pourriez-vous nous parler du dispositif que vous avez mis en place dans le but de transposer sur scène les caprices climatiques ?
T.L. / The weather is unpredictable. So, adding to what I said above, I was trying to construct a musical system that would create an unpredictable music. That’s where
the idea with the bande magnetique came from. We have long loops of “bande magnetique” that runs all across the stage and back into the recording machine. So when
we record a piece of music and press play, it gets played back continuosly but “régulièrement”.So the more loops we have we have and the more music we record the more chaotic and unpredictable the music becomes. The “bandes magnétiques“ are
like the “alizés”, (trade winds) and the helium baloons that keep the bandes floating in the air become the clouds, and the musicians who set up the machine and record the music are like weather gods who make the weather, or like scientists who try to control their own invention that gets more and more uncontrollabe. Just like we all do at the moment, with the world wide web, war machines, social media, fax machines and so on…
J.R. / Que souhaiteriez-vous inspirer au spectateur ?
T.L. / Wonder and entertainment and a little bit of joyful melancholy.
J.R. / Que pouvez-vous nous révéler de vos prochains projets ?
T.L. / At the moment I am thinking a lot about projectionnists, the people who operated movie projectors with 35mm film reels. It’s an obsolete technology, it’s disappearing. I love things that disappear, and I want to give them a last chance to shine before they do. People who used to know how these machines work all get retired, things become digital, ethereal, untouchable, abstract. But people are not untouchable and abstract, so there’s a conflict there. Maybe that’s a next thing. I am very slow, I need a lot of time, my ideas need time to ferment (fermenter) inside me, it’s like making wine or more like being an alchemist who is trying to cook gold. They need a lot of time too, I imagine.