Dubuffet musician
  Protean artist, Jean Dubuffet was always interested in the world of music. In continuation of his pictorial approach, it scans the cultural assets in favor of an increasingly free improvisation.

The first performances of instruments, or concerts, to the "spectacle" Coucou Bazar, the concerns of Jean Dubuffet in music resume the development of his speech on the subversion of culture. In "Avant-projet d’une conférence populaire sur la peinture" (the preliminary draft of a public lecture on the painting), he wrote in 1945, the use of musical metaphor used to castigate unnecessary theoretical knowledge that generate "cascades of notes, to hear what we not feel any kind of emotion". He prefers the services of an Emile Vacher "with his simple and good-natured little accordion [we carry] into another world where everything is magic".

The practice of the accordion in the 1930's was for Dubuffet particularly emblematic of this rejection of instruments « noble », as the piano which he play himself. And with his passionate interest in jazz that began to sketch in his work parallels between music and painting. […]

However, these attempts to transpose into painting the wild mood of jazz seem primed. It seems that we remain on the surface, in an admittedly daring pictorial context but circumscribed into interior of himself. It was not until the early 1960's that the theoretical parallels came with the musical experiences. […]

Musical experiences - 1961

Initiated in collaboration with the painter Asger Jorn, they consist of recording sessions leveraging the flexible handling of the magnetic tape. The use of all kinds of music instruments, from classical to more "antiquated (old flutes, hurdy) or exotic (Asian, African, Gypsy)", doubles as a use against type, without omitting the introduction of the human voice used to the detriment of the basic rules of harmony and melody. […]

Dubuffet connects these experiences to his research on the picture plane. as such, the artist evokes the Matériologies, in which he attempted to "substitute to conventional figurations a diffuse undifferentiated internal design". Similarly, he said suck in the development of his music, "to foisonnements sound where rhythms and melodies that dominate the usual music [would] be replaced by a profusion of internal and indistinct sounds mixing and annoying ". Dubuffet states here the terms of a structural comparison between music and painting which seems much more convincing than his first attempts to establish correlations between the two domains.

Music for Coucou Bazar

Yet it is more than ten years later he truly reach with Coucou Bazar, large "animated picture" and the culmination of the cycle L’Hourloupe, osmosis which he gradually laid down principles. In this performance of a specific nature, composed of Praticables, painted cutouts mounted on feet or wheels, and costumes worn by dancers, all moving almost imperceptibly on music, Dubuffet would somehow condensed painting, sculpture , sound and motion. Connections he makes between these different terms is based on the concept, fundamental in his work, continuum of world notion that the distinction we make between objects and background is purely arbitrary and would result solely conditioning our eyes . Dubuffet also advocates for his show musical entertainment to "overrun character devoid of any axis or center [...], free of [...] any organization suggesting notions of beginning, logical development and end" and giving the impression of "a slice arbitrarily taken from a continuous fabric".

Dubuffet sets out the principles of a music that will finally find its rightful place in the original chaos which returns this gigantic "animated painting".

"Music [...] where the word is removed to the singer expressing emotional or passionate moods, and returned to cosmic rumors delivering their wild noise. The singer is silent now. It takes position to listen".

Sophie DUPLAIX, “Coucou Bazar et les expériences musicales” (extracts) in Connaissance des Arts, hors série n°168 Dubuffet, 2001

Records and discs

The Dubuffet Foundation store all tapes recorded at the home of the artist between December 1960 and April 1961 by Jean Dubuffet alone or with friends, Asger Jorn particulary. In 1961, some of these tapes have been edited on disk in two limited edition boxes. One of the boxes includes recordings made by Dubuffet alone, collected on six discs. The second boxe includes recordings made by Dubuffet and Jorn, put on four discs.

In 1973, in order to build a music for the "spectacle" Coucou Bazar, Dubuffet resume some time his musical experiences in a recording studio. But it was not until 1978 for performances of his show in Turin, the records of the artist will be finally used.

All records stored at the Dubuffet Foundation have been digitally transfer and some have been published again.

For more

La musique chauve de Jean Dubuffet   Esperienze musicali di Jean Dubuffet   Jean Dubuffet - Expériences musicales
La musique chauve   Expériences musicales II   Music Coucou Bazar

Jean Dubuffet, Paris 1961

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