From Exile to Exile

A performance subtly woven with poems of Nâzim Hkmet.
Presented by Mathieu Chardet and Ayser Vançin.
Original music by Ayser Vançin.

Foreword:

Nâzim Hikmet’s poetry in the humanistic concerns presently at stake.
Through his or her works, an artist is publicly involved as the holder of a general opinion and of a specific message. It is the reason why we got involved in the present project: we do respect the exemplary humanistic standpoint of Nâzim Hikmet. We believe that the human community needs masterminds of such scope and width: he is certainly one of the most prominent members of the kind. His works should be made more generally known!

As Western politicians hesitate to let Turkey joining the European Union, when France has honoured in 2009 the cultural importance of the country and as the world is shaken by blind terrorism, it would be wise and noble to put Hikmet in the right perspective. In other words, time has come to acknowledge his rank among the greatest poets of the 20th century.
He who spent so much time behind bars or in banishment, he who fought for perennial values of humanism with dedication and passion, he who was supported by the greatest writers of his time deserves a posthumous tribute in the form of a larger than mere library recognition.

No one has expressed in a better form and sense the struggle for human dignity and the pain endured to defend it. We believe that we must put his works through since he was a brave man all along his life and because he has been unjustly forsaken.

While studying his poems, we understood how rich his words are, namely hopeful in the future of mankind. His language is neither complicated nor elitist: on the contrary, it is simple, clear and easy to grasp by anyone.
His own voice resounds as that of Gandhi, Nelson Mandela or Martin Luther King.
Let’s remember that he said : ” To be a captive, that is NOT the question: we must not surrender. That’s all”.

THE PERFORMANCE

“From a place of exile to another” (D’exil en exil, in French) is a stage form of texts written by Nâzim Hikmet, the famous Turkish poet, with an accompaniment of original music composed by Ayser Vançin. The thread is inspired by the life of the poet who, despite years of banishment never lost faith in Man and never gave up struggling for it.
A real humanist fond of justice and peace (1946 World Peace Award), Nâzim Hikmet lived a life torn between his political engagement on one side and women or countries he loved on the other side.

insanların içindeyim/ Je suis parmi les hommes
Seviyorum insanları/J’aime les hommes
Hareketi seviyorum/J’aime l’action
Düşünceyi seviyorum/J’aime la pensée
Kavgamı seviyorum/Jaime mon combat

Although he spent many years in prison, his mind and spirit as well as his deeds remained always clear and hopeful. His exemplary and ever topical works outline an avenue out of which we have chosen the texts. It was a difficult task given the richness and the quantity of poems available.

Nâzim Hikmet transforms the ordinary into the higher sort. He makes the daily worries become universal. His emotional poetry translates the love of life and the beauty which he depicts as a gift to mankind. Hikmet’s poetry full of authentic care for sense and historical truth expresses the high expectations common to all the people he met.
With Nâzim Hikmet, the words are poetical as well as political.

Actor’s notes

We have found inspiration in the jail writings as well as those of the exile. Also influential were the texts of Nâzim Hikmet showing his devotion to human interest through heartrending questions and the separation from his beloved ones.

Through the stanzas of Hikmet and the penetrating sounds of Vançin’s music, we can feel the deepest sense of emotion and authenticity which inhabit these two highly committed artists.

Ayser Vançin composes in the wake of the poet: her melodies are clear and natural. Both of Turkish origin, they span a bridge between the East and the West, specifically between Paris and Istanbul, two busy capitals of the arts.

Devoted communist until his death, a friend of Pablo Neruda and Louis Aragon among others, Nâzim Hikmet was passionately fond of Paris where he had a love affair and where he shared the social and political tremors of 1958. There, he left his heart.

The selected poems for the play are the signs of a huge hope in the future of mankind and at the same time they show doubts on the general community’s motivation for action:

(ici poème en turc)
Et s’il y a tant de misère sur terre, c’est grâce à toi, mon frère,
Si nous sommes écorchés jusqu’au sang,
Pressés comme la grappe pour donner notre vin,
Irai-je jusqu’à dire que c’est de ta faute, non,
Mais tu y es pour beaucoup, mon frère. »

As far as I am concerned and as the reciting partner, I let myself be led, heart and soul, by the power of words and music, unrestraint.
Mathieu Chardet.

Composer’s notes

When I discovered Nâzim Hikmet’s works, I immediately felt a surge of enthusiasm for the multi-talented man: his ideals, his creativeness and authenticity awoke my deep longing for art. Each and every of his thoughtful poems give birth to a new fresh idea to which one madly gives way.

Hikmet has freed the Turkish language with his varied forms of poetry, classical verse intermeshing free verse, and in his wake I set my compositions in a kind of parallel way. They turn towards freedom of mind rather than fall into the chains of academism. Basically founded on oriental as much as occidental modes and tunes, my music takes inspiration in his poems. It is a cultural transfer between continents.

“From a place of exile to another” is the result of a close and exciting cooperation of the actor and myself which is nourished of our thoughts on the meaning of Art. It unites music with poetry. Nâzim Hikmet’s poems are sometimes kept up by the clean lines of the narratives, sometimes by the expressive melodies and sometimes by the sensitive acting or by the sustained piano and oboe soft tones, giving an impression of melancholy nostalgia.

The voice of the actor flows as a river, slowly or impetuously like a torrent.
A.V.

Production and direction

Director: Mathieu Chardet
Music composer: Ayser Vançin
Set and stage directions: Mathieu Chardet
Lights: Davide Cornil

Cast

The poet: Mathieu Chardet
The oboist and pianist: Ayser Vançin

Mathieu Chardet

Mathieu Chardet

Actor

In 1968, Mathieu Chardet launches his acting career in Paris, under the direction of Tania Balachova in Tchékov’s « La matinée d’un homme de lettres » , (Théâtre Mouffetard), he then travels to Geneva, Switzerland, where he will pursue acting untill this present day in all of the citie’s main theaters such as La Comédie de Genève, Le Poche, Le Théâtre de Carouge, Le Grand Théâtre. Mathieu Chardet has worked together with various prestigious directors such as Matthias Langhoff, Jorge Lavelli, Claude Santelli, François Rochaix, Philippe Mentha, to name a few.

Shakespeare’s « Julius Cesar »
Goldoni’s « La Locandiera », « La Molie sagia », …
Molière’s « Le Médecin malgré lui », « Le Malade imaginaire », « L’Avare »,…
Edward Albee’s « Who is afraid of Virginia Woolf ? »
R. W. Fassbinder’s « Le Café »
B. M. Koltès’s « Le Retour au désert »
S. Beckett’s « En attendant Godot »
David Mamet’s « Oleanna »
Dario Fo’s « Mistero Buffo »
Hugo Betti’s « The Goats Island »
David Williamson’s « Sanctuary »
Marcel Pagnol’s « Topaze »
Octave Mirbeau’s « Business is business »
Etc.

Singer/musician

Reynaldo Hahn’s « Ciboulette » – J. Offenbach’s « La vie parisienne » – Cole Porter’s « Kiss me Kate » – Benjamin Britten’s « Le petit ramoneur » – Aristide Bruant’s « Cabaret Montmartre», etc.

As a writer, composer and singer, Mathieu Chardet produced an album entitled « Vers à chanter, Vers enchantés » (2005), in co-production with Ayser Vançin – who composed most of the musics – and inspired from great french poetry.

2005 – Prizewinner of the «  Chantea Contest » in Marseille (France)

Ayser Vançin

Oboist, composer, pianist accompanist

Ayser VANÇIN, a soloist oboist, has been influenced by various cultures since her childhood in Istanbul. Her parents were devoted to music and the fine arts and led her to love sounds and colours.

She conceived a passion for visual and stage art. While at school, she played the oboe, the piano, the violin and she studied harmony and composition at the Istanbul Academy of Mucic, where she graduated with distinction. The French government offered her a scholarship. She graduated from the “Ecole Normale Supérieure de Musique d’Alfred Cortot” in Paris (performance diploma and bachelor’s degree in concert, both with distinction). She then won the first prize in virtuosity at the Geneva Academy of Music. She settled down in Geneva to teach chamber music and the oboe at the “CPMDT ” of Geneva.

Ayser VANÇIN received her musical formation from the greatest virtuosi: C. Akatlar in Istanbul, L. Debray for the oboe and C. de Brunhoff for the piano, J. Lancelot for the chamber musique in Paris, R. Reversy in Geneva for the oboe. She also followed in mastercours with P. Pierlot and H.Holliger.

She performed with the State Orchestra of Istanbul and Geneva Collegium Academicum. She has also participated to numerous performances in Paris; (Sorbonne and UNESCO concerts) and has performed for the French, Swiss and Turkish radios and televisions. She has appeared in different groups and like a soloist, in several European countries.

Composer too, Ayser VANÇIN creates a shows throwing a bridge enters and literature in order to link these arts and to convey emotion through sounds, words  and colours. Her last creation is “D’EXIL EN EXIL” with Mathieu Chardet, actor and singer.

She is the prizewinner of the International Contest in Stresa (Italy), “Lyceum International” and of the “Pierre Gianadda” chamber music prize in Martigny (Switzerland).