Avant-Garde Art \ Francis Picabia - La Nourrice Américaine (The American Nurse) [LTMCD 2509]
CD and download anthology by influential avant-garde artist Francis Picabia, featuring two interpretations of his provocative 1920 Dadaist piece for piano, together with a spoken word extract recorded in 1945.
Written in 1920, La Nourrice Américaine (The American Nurse) consists of "three notes repeated to infinity" and was performed for the first - and last - time at the Festival Dada, staged at the Salle Gaveau in Paris on 26 May 1920. A landmark event, the Festival Dada included contributions from Tristan Tzara, Andre Breton, Paul Eluard, Louis Aragon, Philippe Soupault and Georges Ribemont-Dessaignes, and launched the Dada phenomenon in Paris.
La Nourrice Américaine was performed on the day by Marguerite Buffet, duration unknown. It seems likely that Picabia's only venture into musical composition was inspired by talks with his friends Erik Satie, Marcel Duchamp and Edgard Varese. On this CD fast and slow interpretations are included, both performed by pianist Tom Feldschuh and each lasting for 20 minutes. The CD also includes a rare spoken word piece by Picabia (in the French language), recording a visit to the artist's Paris atelier in July 1945.
1. La Nourrice Américaine (fast version)
2. Picabia In Conversation
3. La Nourrice Américaine (slow version)
"Picabia outstrips even the confrontational minimalism of Satie's sublimely tedious Vexations" (The Wire, 04/2008)
"Some may re-think how they understand the term 'composition', but the slow version of The American Nurse included here is probably what Morton Feldman's sensual piano pieces would have sounded like had he been an amnesiac goldfish. The conversation with Picabia serves as an interval" (Boomkat, 01/2008)