The singer Ellie James, a young French woman from Rennes in Brittany, presented her four part show, Lumières! It is her first solo show and was part of the Adelaide French Festival this weekend, and was a success.
Called “Lumières!” it is a show and cine-concert for which Ellie James plays the sound track that she has written and created for four short films live.
The short films have light as their theme. In the first, we see a wolf who walks about with the moon.
The second of the short films, and my favourite, is about a man who works in a globe factory who dreams of creating his own lamp so as to discover the world and observe the sky.
The third short film “Un trop petit prince” (The pipsqueak prince) is about a person with OCD for cleaning. He is so obsessed with cleaning that he takes it upon himself to clean the sun. At the end of the short film we understand that it is our world which has created these dirty marks on the sun and the stars. A metaphor which shows society’s troubling obsessions which are incompatible with reality…
In the fourth and final of the short films, we see how the interaction between a squirrel and a bat, of which the squirrel is scared, can symbolise the battle between night and day.
Ellie James explains to us during the show that “spectacles vivants” (living shows) are in fashion in France and cine-concerts are happening more and more. She is a talented musician using a variety of instruments: a hangdrum, a kooldrum, as well as the looper which allows her to make many different sounds at the same time during her show “Lumières!”
The show is appropriate for all ages. Around us, children were rapt with the short films and were intrigued by Ellie’s drumsticks which lit up in blue.
Her melodic voice lulls us while also guiding us as narrator of the films. She speaks with a very soft voice, which puts everyone at ease. At the same time, Ellie encourages people to participate in this living show.
If you have the chance to see “Lumières!” somewhere around the world, I recommend that you go and spend an hour in the world that Ellie James has created.
You can also read our interview with Ellie James here.
Matilda Marseillaise was a guest of the Adelaide French Festival.
Jesse Lucas is in Australia this week with his show Rêverie électronique which will be played at the Adelaide French Festival. This show will take you on a sonic voyage influenced by the ambient music of Brian Eno along with projected images. In this show, Jesse Lucas invites you to lose yourself in the electronic rêverie and to take a break from the outside world.
We spoke to him about the show.
You’re coming to Adelaide for the Adelaide French Festival with your show Rêverie électronique. Tell us about the show.
We could call the show an electronic siesta. I take the spectators diving into a sound and image bath. I propose a break, to focus on the breath, a moment to just appreciate the present moment.
You’re influenced by Brian Eno’s music . How have you been influenced by his music?
I discovered ambient music and Brian Eno’s work during the creation of a previous show which required a lot of work in front of the computer. This music style allowed me to concentrate on my tasks all while guiding me artistically. Following that, I started a weekly series of live improvised sets put up on the internet: The Vanishing Circle. This live series led me to explore different styles of electronic music and got a taste for the creation of ambient music during these sessions.
Your show “Rêverie électronique” is designed for toddlers and their parents. Have you always made shows for toddlers?
I have always considered that my creations could be appreciated by a wide number of people. I like to think of a project by imagining the reaction o the audience and I often imagine the reactions of children in the process. In 2009 together with Erwan Raguenes (music, sound) and Jacques-Yves Lafontaine (sound) we created shows for children and all audiences. L’odyssée de Rick le cube and its sequel Rick le cube et les mystères du temps in 2014.
How to come about that you have made this show for toddlers ?
The shows about the world of Rick the cube set out for children from 5 years old however for a number of years I’ve wanted to work on a creation which could be presented to a very young audience during an interview with Brian Eno he spoke about the fact that his first album of ambient music had been played in birthing rooms in the United kingdom this anecdote motivated me to work on a show of ambient music designed for very young children. and given that I almost exclusively work on audio-visual projects I added video projections on a pyramid.
Instead of shows for children which typically are full of energy and colour it seems that your show is a lot, it’s described as a world of dreamy sound and image.
I think that this show should carry and bring something more than the aspect of entertainment with Rêverie électronique, I invite children to find this taste for calm and passing the passing of time. Some will spend the time running about and others will relax tranquil e into the arms of their parents but I hope that each one will keep a grain of this experience of suspended time which could be useful in their future lives.
Have you already made audiences fall asleep in your shows normally an artist would be offended if there if their audience fell asleep, no? Is this a show in which it’s the opposite ?
Many children have already fallen asleep during my performances and that doesn’t pose any problem for me before inviting the audience to enter the room I allow myself to say a few words to remind them that it is not a problem I think that it’s important that the audience can live the dreaminess as they hear it. There’s not really any code that needs to be followed for this show!
What sorts of images are in the projections which are accompanying the music in the show ? It’s an island that we discover slowly through the movement of the camera. This island is a little Harbour of peace for the animals that live there and that we see during the voyage. the images won’t tell the story but they remind us of the pleasure of simply watching the waves on the beach or the animals that populate the nature around us. for the little story the images have been created like in a video game and the animals that we observe on the pyramid behave differently in each session.
Can people without children attend the show ?
Of course this show is accessible for toddlers and their parents. However, it is open to everyone.
Why should we come and see your show Rêverie Electronique?
To simply take the time to allow yourself to be lulled by at the music and the images while comfortably laid out on cushions.
Rêverie électronique is on twice a day at 11:15 and at 12:15 this Saturday 12 January and this Sunday 13 January.
Tickets cost $25 for adults or $15 for children. There is also a family ticket (two adults and two children) which costs $65. You can buy your tickets here.