18 April 2021
Musée du Quai Branly, Paris
“My skin speaks louder than me.Diana Syrse, text for “Connected Identities”
My body speaks the words I have already forgotten.”
This program, developed together with Mexican composer and singer Diana Syrse around her music and its context, explores the many dimensions of the necessarily troubled notion of identity: identity as a cultural mosaic that is always mixed, but also identity as a process of individuation, in contact with otherness and collective experiences, in the complexity of a cultural and natural landscape in constant motion.
Diana Syrse’s identity is mixed from the outset: born in 1984 in Mexico City, she carries the dual heritage of Hispanic culture and of the Mayan culture she inherited from her family, hailing from the province of Yucatán. This initial cross-fertilization, which is characteristic of the entire Latin American area, becomes a paradigm of multiculturalism when it is experienced on the scale of a globalized world, the one that Diana Syrse encountered in the life path that led her to live in the United States, then in Germany and France.
Diana Syrse’s music reflects this cross-fertilization in her compositional style, which expands that of European classical music by incorporating the timbres, rhythms and instruments of the two cultural founts that irrigate the Mexican soil. In the diptych of monodramas Connected Identities, presented here for the first time in its entirety, Diana Syrse literally embodies the many voices she carries, haunting spirits that will sing in turn, within a wider constellation of authors and composers who have sought to formulate the nature of Latin American métissage. Our guides are Silvestre Revueltas and Darius Milhaud, two musicians each turned towards the other’s continent, who have sought to give life to the dream of a world music where eclecticism does not contradict higher musical standards, but on the contrary is the key to them.
This program was premiered at the Théâtre Claude Lévi-Strauss, Musée du Quai Branly, Paris, on April 18, 2021, and presented as a live stream.
Production by La Chambre aux échos and Secession Orchestra. Secession Orchestra benefited from a residency at the Fondation Singer Polignac and the support of the DRAC Ile-de-France/Ministère de la culture for structuring, and of the Caisse des dépôts.
Concept and Realization
La Chambre aux échos
Composer and Singer
Dramaturgy, Staging, Lighting/Video
Axelle Fanyo, soprano
Marion Lebegue, mezzosoprano
Benjamin Alunni, tenor
Edwin Fardini, baritone
Silvestre Revueltas (1899 – 1940)
Darius Milhaud (1892 – 1974)
L’Homme et son désir, 1921
on a text by Paul Claudel
Diana Syrse (*1984)
Connected Identities, 2017
texts by Jorge Miguel Cocom Pech, Enriqueta Lunez, Briceida Cuevas Cob, Diana Syrse and Aleksi Barrière
The Invention of Sex, 2020 (WP)
livret original d’Aleksi Barrière
Silvestre Revueltas (arr. Vincent Buffin)
after a poem by Nicolás Guillén
Quai Branly Programme Book (FR)
30 April 2021
“This show is a magnificent surprise. (…) At a time when some try to make people believe that identity is rigid, at the risk of fracturing our societies, the staged concert Identités connectées offers the finest of rebuttals. Director Aleksi Barrière and conductor Clément Mao-Takacs have built it around the music of Mexican composer Diana Syrse (*1984), whose diptych Connected Identities provokes us into questioning our shifting identities (…) A rich, visceral, destabilizing work.”
Frédérique Reibell, Classykeo
27 April 2021
“The Invention of Sex is both a linear evolution (from nothingness to the palpable, from the mystical to the carnal) and a perpetual cycle marked by the passing of the seasons. (…) Syrse’s performance fascinates by its physicality and the flexibility of her vocal instrument, capable of bending into multiple different emission techniques (…) and executing with remarkable precision the countless vocal traps she has set herself in her score.
(…) Aleksi Barrière’s scenography gives each piece its own visual identity. (…) All this is also underlined by the skilful use of video, which contributes to this characterization, depicting with astonishing economy of means (changes of dominant color, oppositions between light and shadow…) each state, each season and each identity.
(…) At the end of the concert, we think back to the title: Connected Identities. And it is above all the term “connection” that suddenly resonates beyond its musical aspects. (…) Connected Identities then sounds like the formulation of a legitimate hope for the future of the musical and cultural world.”
Critique blog Vissi d’Arte
The filming of the original performance is still available (with French subtitles) on the YouTube channel of the Musée du Quai Branly.