The Concert is a 22 minutes composition which is meant to accompany the visit of the exhibition “The Concert” at the Swiss Pavilion at the 59th Venice Art Biennale. The concept and composition was made in close collaboration with the visual artist Latifa Echakhch. It features significant contributions from Berlin based musicians Rebecca Lenton (flute), Theo Nabicht (contrabass-clarinet), Nikolaus Schlierf (viola) and Jonathan Heilbron (contrabass).
Available as digital release with the exhibition catalogue on Sternberg Press,, it will be released in November 2022 as a on sided-12” Vinyl on Shelter Press records.
Asphalte is a drum solo in collaboration with visual artist Florian Bach. It is an evening-lenght solo performance where the only acoustic source is a drumset covered with asphalt. The drums becomes a monochromic sculptural object engaging an intense man-instrument dialogue. The light design of Florian Bach deals with semi-obscurity and subtile shades of black and white, which unveils the articulation of the drumming through an evolutive continuum.
Concept: Alexandre Babel & Florian Bach
Music & performance : Alexandre Babel
Drum kit, sculpture and Light design: Florian Bach
Realisation: Marcello Silvio Busato
Sound: Nadan Rojnić
Production : Festival Les Amplitudes – La Chaux de Fonds (CH)
Snare Counterpoint is a percussion quartet commissioned by the festival les Amplitudes in 2020, and dedicated to Eklekto Percussion. The thematic material of the piece refers to the snare drum solo works “music for small audicences”. Rythmic patterns are repeated and played in fast-changing sequences, while changes occur to them through superposed and shifted patterns
Early 2018 I collaborated for a compilation celebrating the 200th birthday of Karl Marx. I composed a new track for solo drums, « Karlstag ».
« In times of an untamed capitalism, seemingly endless greed and persisting exploitation of underprivileged humans, the 200th anniversary of KARL MARX is a welcome and necessary reason to remember the great philosopher’s and economist’s theories on capitalism and to re-think the state of the world of today, look out for alternative ways of economic organization and appropriate means to bridge the gap between rich and poor.
28 artists express their upset with the current state of society by contributing a track to this benefit compilation – with one exception, these tracks are exclusive or previously unreleased, adding up to 2 hours of experimental music from diverse genres like ambient / drone, electronics, electro-acoustic, noise, contemporary music etc. »
Choeur mixte is part of a serie of works commissioned by the percussion group Eklekto that rethinks the chamber music situation. 15 percussionnistes performing a piece of written music by heart, without conductor. The piece is written for 15 snare drums, using the expressive potential of this classical orchestra instrument. The ensemble is almost considered as a choir, and litteraly makes the snare drums “sing”.
Composition, Alexandre Babel
Performers, Eklekto Percussion
Production, Eklekto, Archipel Festival, Ensemble Vide
First Performance, March 25th, 2018
SImpig Remix is an instrumental ensemble work commissioned by Le NEC – Nouvel Ensemble Contemporain, for 8 instruments. The piece was Originally written to be part of a project called REMIX, which drew a line between contemporary composers and the experimental electronic and hiphop scene from the Swiss city of Neuchâtel. The piece is an instrumental reinterpretation of the works of the electronic duo Simpig, it was premiered in Neuchâtel in February 2018.
I had the privilege to work with the swiss animation film director Delia Hess on her newest short film, « Circuit ». I composed and recorded a multitrack percussion work to accompany the animated handpainted watercolors.
«On a small planet, caught up in their own little private universe, the inhabitants perform their poetically surreal actions, which repeat themselves in an endless loop. That they are all part of a complex little ecosystem which can only function if each of them plays his or her role, is something they are unaware of.»
Polygraphie du Cavalier is a trio piece commissioned by ensemble Werktag (Rafael Rütti, Sebastian Hoffmann, Tobias Gerber) from Zurich.
Excerpt from the program notes:
“A knight’s tour is a sequence of moves of a knight on a chessboard such that the knight visits every square exactly once. If the knight ends on a square that is one knight’s move from the beginning square (so that it could tour the board again immediately, following the same path), the tour is closed; otherwise, it is open. In Polygraphie du cavalier, I did not focus on the algorithmic problem, but rather on the knight himself: the way he is constantly looking for a new path, as well as the elegance and the thoughtfulness of his respect for geometry.”
OVER/UPPER is part of an ongoing solo project that redefines the sonic role of the drumset in a solistic situation. Presented for the first time at the Skanu Mesz festival in Latvia in 2010, this work has been performed ever since in different acoustic situations, from the large concert hall to the small reverberating church. OVER/UPPER has been released in 2013 on the swiss label Dumpf.