49 Flies is a live animation performance by Pierre Hébert based on the recording (made by my friend Claude Beaugrand, a well known sound editor in Montreal) of flies trapped between two window panes. I edited the noise of the enervated flies buzzing and bumping on the panes and on the microphone to make a 32 minutes long sound scape. After building into an intense sound construction, it quietly dissolves within the sound of falling rain. It begins with quite realist and amusing depictions of flies and slowly develops into a more abstract and oppressive rendering. Other type of images, like abandoned factories, demolished houses and finally a quite dramatic looking doll, are added in the background as the performance develops in order to sustain the somber character of the ending.

The performance can be presented either as a solo performance where I am alone with the flies, or as a duet where I am accompanied by an instrumentist who improvises along with the flies. At this date, the piece was performed as a solo piece, at the BanjaLuka Animation Film Festival, in Bosnia, and at the Holland Animation Film Festival, in Utrecht, at The Eastern Block in Montreal by le PhOsphène, at the Biennale internationale des arts de la marionnette in Paris and at the Academy of Fine Art in Vienna. It was also presented as a duet in Roberts Creek, B.C., and at the Vancouver New Music Festival with viola player Stefan Smulovitz, at the Beirut Animated Festival with trumpet player Mazen Kerbash, in Rome with bouble-bass player Massimo Ceccarelli and in Ljubljana with harpist Eduardo Raon.

The running time is 35 minutes.

There is a basic tech rider for the solo performance. When there is a musician the technical requirements can vary depending on the musician. A specific tech rider for the music would be supplied. But in all cases, the basic «49 Flies» sound track would have to be mixed with the sounds coming from the instrumentalist. A mixing console is needed, which is not the case for a solo version of the performance.

See the VIDÉO of the performance presented in Ljubljana with harp player Eduardo Raon on May 24 2011.

See the VIDEO of the performance presented in Rome with double bass player Massimo Ceccarelli on May 21 2011.

See the VIDEO of the performance presented in Beirut with trumpet player Mazen Kerbash, on May 7 2011.

See the VIDEO of a rehearsal done on 14/01/2011 in my studio at St-Bernard-de-Lacolle.

See the VIDEO of the solo performance presented at the Holland Animation Felm Festival in Utrecht.

See a VIDEO of the Roberts Creek performance and a VIDEO of the Vancouver performance with Stefan Smulovitz.

Still images from 49 Flies, photographies of Pierre Hébert in performance and drawings inspired by the performances, mouches and Moody Beach (in higher resolution) are available in the galleries.