Fondé en 1996, le label Alga Marghen est spécialisé dans la musique du XXe siècle, les productions sonores d’artistes d’avant-garde, les « créations expérimentales historiques et marginales ». Le catalogue relativement récent de ce label de disques basé en Italie présente une collection d’une très grande diversité de genres musicaux et d’expérimentations sonores couvrant une période de sept décennies.

Who's who?
When, in the 1960s, the painter and publicist Anton Bruhin began playing the Jew’s harp, a small ‘mouth instrument’ which is often claimed to be one of the oldest in the world, it was ‘by accident’. In a career spanning more than fifty years, Bruhin has built up an extensive network of other Jew’s harp players, with members in places such as Siberia, Hungary, Japan and Austria. In concerts, he plays his own self-made instruments while also making use of various resonators such as the water-filled tubes he has recently developed.

In 1974, the French artist Ghédalia Tazartès bought a microphone, tape recorder and band echo. Primarily using his voice as an instrument, he began to develop ‘Impromuz’, his own musical language. In his performances, Tazartès creates a musical background of drones and loops over which he sings in a style reminiscent of gypsy folk music. Sudden turns, discovered sounds and the introduction of stringed instruments and electronics make this autodidact a unique figure in the musique concrète generation that includes Pierre Schaeffer and Pierre Henry.

According to an old biography, Benjamin Patterson was ‘proficient on the double-bass, knowledgeable in music theory and history and acquainted with the crafts of composition and conducting.’ Following a career in symphony orchestras in Canada, he moved to Germany in 1960. In this pre-Fluxus period he wrote and performed several of his emblematic works including Paper Piece, Lemons and Variations for Double-Bass. He worked with Robert Filliou in Paris and in 1962 he and George Maciunas organised the historic Fluxus Festival in Wiesbaden, the first of a series of Fluxus events worldwide. His name remains inextricably linked with the movement to the present day, even though he worked for two decades as a consultant to theatre, dance and music companies. In 1988, he picked up the thread as a musician once again. This evening sees Patterson present a collection of his work, a new composition and a duet with Rhodri Davies, an innovative musician who has worked together with such people as John Butcher, David Toop and Yasunao Tone, exploring the contradictory and complimentary flux between composition and improvisation.

The evening will also feature the screening of rare video work from Joe Jones, Ben Patterson and Robert Filliou from the collection of the Centre Pompidou among others. These pieces will be presented with the collaboration of Marianne Filliou and Ben Patterson.

The next day, a lively discussion richly illustrated with visual and audio material will take place at Argos, looking at the origins, current position and future importance of Alga Marghen. Both nights are organized in co-production with Argos.