Thierry De Mey, born in 1956, is a composer and film director.
The intuition of movement guides all his work, allowing him to approach and integrate different disciplines. The postulate prior to his musical and film writing is that the rhythm should be lived in the body(ies) and that it should reveal the musical meaning for the author, the performer and the audience. He has developed a system of musical writing of movement, at work in some of his pieces where the visual and choreographic aspects are of equal importance to the gesture that produces sound: Musique de tables (1987), Silence must be! (2002), Light Music created at the Biennale Musiques en scène de Lyon in 2004.
A large part of his musical production is intended for dance and cinema. For choreographers Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Wim Vandekeybus and his sister Michèle Anne De Mey, he was often much more than a composer, but also a precious collaborator in the invention of “formal strategies”? to use an expression that is dear to him. His main works and compositions are Rosas danst Rosas, Amor constante, April me, Kinok (choreography by A. T. De Keersmaeker); What the body does not remember and Les porteuses de mauvaises nouvelles, Le poids de la main (choreography by W. Vandekeybus), Dantons Töd (dir. Bob Wilson), Musique de tables, Frisking for percussion, a string quartet, Counter Phrases, etc.
He participated in the foundation of Maximalist! and the ensemble Ictus, which premiered several of his pieces (dir: G. E. Octors). His music has been performed by major ensembles such as the Arditti Quartet, the Hilliard Ensemble, the London Sinfonietta, Ensemble Modern, musikFabrik and the Orchestre Symphonique de Lille. Thierry De Mey’s installations where music, dance, video and interactive processes interact have been presented in events such as the biennales of Venice, Lyon and in many museums. His work has been awarded national and international prizes (Bessie Awards, Eve du Spectacle, UNESCO Composers Forum, FIPA…). The film/installation Deep in the woods (2002-2004) brings together more than 70 dancers/choreographers. For the film Counter Phrases (2003-2004), 9 composers responded to his dance/film invitation: S. Reich, F. Romitelli, M. Lindberg, T. Hosokawa, G. Aperghis, J. Harvey, L. Francesconi, R. De Raaf and S. Van Eycken. In 2003, the process of working with A. T. De Keersmaeker on April was the subject of a documentary Corps accord produced by Arte, which also broadcast and co-produced most of his films.
In 2006, he directed an installation based on Perrault’s tale, Bluebeard, and a film, One Flat Thing reproduced on William Forsythe’s choreography, broadcast on Arte. In 2007, for the Biennale de Charleroi danse, he created From Inside, an interactive installation in the form of a triptych. On the occasion of the Biennale 09 Charleroi danse, he created Equi Voci, a polyptych of dance films accompanied by an orchestra, including Prélude à la mer, a film based on one of Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s most beautiful choreographies that he shot in the Aral Sea in October 2009. His latest film, La Valse, choreographed by Thomas Hauert and ZOO, completes and closes this project. Finally, his new installation Rémanences, realized thanks to a thermal camera capture process, was premiered in March 2010 in Belgium and France at the VIA and EXIT festivals.
His last composition, Traceless, for 5 musicians, was created in 2014 by the soloists of the Ensemble intercontemporain at the Acht Brücken Festival in Cologne. His installation Solid Traces opened the 2015 Biennale of Charleroi Danses. This event will also highlight the release of a DVD boxed set featuring the artist’s filmography. The premiere of SIMPLEXITY la beauté du geste, created for 5 dancers and 5 musicians, was presented in May 2016 during the Kunstenfestivaldesarts.
Thierry De Mey was named in the Charleroi danse artistic direction quartet in 2005, alongside Michèle Anne De Mey, Pierre Droulers and Vincent Thirion. After a five-year mandate, he remained an associate artist at the Centre chorégraphique until May 2017.