Multi-Media Concert Review

WAMC Auditorium, Albany, Feb. 16, 2007

[From Therese Broderick, her blog entry titled “Day 434–Tomber,” at]

“Tomber” is French for “to fall.” Tonight at the Linda (the WAMC Linda Norris Auditorium) in Albany, a multi-media concert by Nicole Peyrafitte and Pierre Joris dramatized the aphorism, “where anything falls, it lies; where anything lies, it falls.” During this uninterrupted 90-minute sensual feast of foodstuffs (a homemade chowder cooking on stage), song (some in French), poetry (some in German), live instrumental music, painting (Nicole’s works) and cinematic pastiche, everything tumbled out and somehow all fell together very well. Themes emerged early in the show and returned later in different forms. One motif was the line — the latitude line of approximately 42 degrees north which links Albany, New York to Nicole’s hometown in France; the lines of cables on the Brooklyn Bridge; the line of a serpent carved on a prehistoric erotic sculpture; the red line of words slinking across the screen; the lines of commerce between Asia Minor and the New World and back again to Old Europe. Baghdad, San Diego, London, French villages, Albany–all were rendered in varying, overlapping modes. As Pierre observed, “a single language is obsolete.” The several talented musicians on oud, bass, percussion, and guitar accompanied both Nicole’s original and tantalizing melodies–fiercely sung as usual–and Pierre’s original series of fragmentary poems. Noteworthy were Nicole’s ode to the Hudson River and Pierre’s verbal and pictorial collage of mornings, mourning, and lemurs. By the end of the evening’s many alternating adventures in sight and sound, the soup was ready: real vegetable-and-pork soup served to the audience in large paper cups along with red and white wines. Or should we say “soupe et vin.” One language is obsolete. And one review can’t capture all the angles of this unique, successful personal and professional collaboration between Pierre and Nicole.

This event was recorded by the local public radio station WAMC and was presented for the release of two CD’s listed on the artists’ and producer’s websites–