This mass is a real miracle. Pierre Henry uses all music and noise available to create a pulsing heart of harmony, the heart of the Lord, Jesus' heart pulsing on his cross one beat at the time towards complete death and one step at a time down towards the grave. This harassing and in many ways harrowing experience leads us to extraterrestrial three-dimensional sounds that cross the space of our brain between our two ears with the precision and plowing effect of a golden hoe that breaks the dry crust of the earth to let the deep fumes of decaying compost come out and fly up to the sun. What is strange in the "Jericho Jerk" is that the basic noise he uses transmutes a recording of some popular rock piece of the time by unraveling it and crisscrossing it with these worms from out-space we have already spoken of.
This is tonic for sure, but somewhere becomes "teen tonic" in the repetitivity of teenagers suffering from early Parkinson's disease. But it breaks and we move on, Parkinson-like, to the next Tourette syndrome, slightly metallic indeed, beating syncopatingly to some drilling sounds and cosmic pulses and we must say it is not that too "fortiche" though it is quite "fortiche" enough. What could Bejart have done on that music, with that music, to that music that wraps us up with in the far distance some jazzy trumpet. What a mass indeed! What does it consecrate? What holy body does it raise to our worshipping? No answer of course without the ballet.
What must be a Green Queen, a female voice singing some shrill vocalic sound on top of the surf of the music that does not accept length as an argument and cuts short any attempt at lasting more than an evanescent moment. And that shrill voice comes back over and over parading on the boulevard of our still conscious minds. Strangely enough it seems the young man who is marching through the Green Queen's kingdom is confronted to successive waves of insects that all try to destabilize him and reduce him to a non-entity. Some mosquito-copters even cross several times the sky looking for the dripping life source of some blood to drink. And that Green Queen ends her appearance with an electronic rock that is a soft version of some larsening pulsing bubbles exploding at the surface of our hearing. Farewell Green Queen, let's continue our voyage.
We are on a two-beat train that lurks and lunges at the frontier of nowhere trying to get into that non-existing wasteland. But the deeper we get into it the thicker it seems to become the more it seems to be sticking to our living breathing organs. That train means death in nowhere beyond anywhere. So we have to get off and dive into the water of this inter-cosmic space that is absolute fluidity and irretrievable mobility. And yet we have the impression nothing moves, nothing changes. And that becomes a menace against our humdrum daily peace. And that's what Pierre Henry seems to mean. When noise turns music, when sounds turn rhythm, when sonorous particles turn harmony we lose the feeling of the ground, we start floating in-between two lands that retain the characteristic of being unreachable, and there it is, this bubbling, blabbering, lip-twisting sound behind it all which sounds like the swallowing mouth of some cosmic ugly monster come on earth to taste its main products, and first of all human flesh, or shouldn't I say meat.
And we discover on that wasteland deep in our skulls the peaceful gods that have been living in the distance. And they are floating nonchalantly in their wasteland with no ambition, no need, no desire. A presence on your skin you feel more than you see, you hear more than you anything else. And you may change your glasses' filters or your hearing aid's strainer, they will be the same, more or less high on the scale and associating in a conflictive pair, the roaming ones and the sighing others, the close at hand and the more distant. Those gods are the dancers on the stage that come out of the darkness and return back into it in a to and fro movement of light steps in the light.
Then the variations on a door and a sigh are funny in their associating such a material noise, the creaking door, and such a physical if not physiological sound, the shrill sigh of a non existing virtual extra-terrestrial alien beyond the door whose creaking is like a communication line with nowhere anywhere in the vast universe.
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, University Paris Dauphine, University Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne & University Versailles Saint Quentin en Yvelines