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Chaplin Factory

Commission to Martin Matalon

Compagnie Cadéëm, Neuilly-Plaisance (FR)

For a ciné-concert project of the Compagnie Cadéëm, the French-Argentine composer Martin Matalon is setting three of Charlie Chaplin's films to new music. The works will be performed by the K/D/M ensemble as part of the ManiFeste festival in Paris. In this way, the ciné-concert transforms a frozen genre into a living event and presents new music to a wide audience.

The films The Vagabond (1916), Behind the Screen (1916) and The Immigrant (1917) will be given a new lease of life with Matalon's new music. Drawing on his recognized experience, particularly with mixed (acoustic and electronic) sound productions, music to film works such as Métropolis (Fritz Lang), Un Chien Andalou, Terre sans Pain, L'Âge d'Or (Luis Buñuel) and La Princesse aux huitres (Ernst Lubitsch), Martin Matalon will once again explore the infinite spectrum of relationships between music and image.

“The ciné-concerto is a genre that is particularly close to my heart, and the word concerto is at the heart of what I am talking about. The score I write for this genre is a composition, like a work intended for a concert. The music written for these films today brings them up to date and enhances a great heritage that we can no longer get to see. Finally, the ciné-concert transforms a static genre (the film projection) into a living event. The entire spectrum of possible relationships between musical sequences and visual shots is used: from total parallelism to complete divergence. While maintaining a close relationship with the film and always paying attention to the relationship between the editing, the cornerstone of the work with images, and the formal articulation of the music, I intend to develop an "autonomous" musical discourse that is closely linked to the course of the films. I will pay particular attention to the possible points of contact between music and image," says Martin Matalon.

The composer wrote the score for the trio K/D/M (accordion and two percussionists) and four other instruments (soprano, trombone, clarinet(s) and cello) as well as for an electronic device developed in collaboration with Ircam. The Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation is making the commission to Martin Matalon and the performance of the Chaplin Factory project possible.

Further information:


May 30, 2024
Center Pompidou, Paris (Festival ManiFeste)

July 3, 2024
Opéra de Massy

November 6 and 8, 2024