Day 1: 23/03/2006
17:30 Drama Studio 1 Pre-Concert Talk – Robert Normandeau
20:00 Drama Studio 1 Portrait Concert – Robert Normandeau
Day 2: 24/03/2006
16:00 T4/01 Pre-Concert Talk – IMEB
20:00 Drama Studio 1 Portrait Concert – IMEB
Day 3: 25/03/2006
13:30 T4/01 MSP Open Call 2006
18:00 Recital Hall Saxophone and Electronics – l_a_u_t
20:00 Recital Hall Video Concert
Day 4: 26/03/2006
10:00 Recital Hall MSP: Performance, Improvisation and Composition
20:00 Recital Hall Portrait Concert – Phill Niblock
Day 5: 27/03/2006
16:00 T4/01 Pre-Concert Talk – Jean Piché
20:00 Recital Hall Portrait Concert – Jean Piché
Day 6: 28/03/2006
20:00 Canalside West Building Portrait Concert – Pierre Alexandre Tremblay
Off Season: 11/12/2006
17:30 St Paul’s Hall Pre-Concert Talk – Larry Austin
20:00 St Paul’s Hall Larry Austin Tableaux
Off Season: 14/12/2006
13:15 Acousmaticlassics – Lunchtime Concert
Portrait Concert – Robert Normandeau
Rose Dodd – Kinderspel
Kinderspel is experimental in its attempt to create an appropriate and collaborative musical and visual language. The underlying ethos was to give the imagination full rein – viewing artistic expression as child’s play (kinderspel) once more! The opening sound is a sample of a DAT machine as it forward winds/back winds; a sound common within the practices of electroacoustic music, but rarely used as a sample in its own right. Sampling is at a premium in Kinderspel and is used intentionally in a deliberate and rough way. Kinderspel was commissioned by the Sonic Arts Network of Great Britain in 1996 and was awarded a mention at Prix Ars Electronica in 1999.
Robert Normandeau – Rumeurs (Place de Ransbeck)
To Annette Vande Gorne
Rumeurs… (Rumors) — A rumour is a sound in the air. Elusive, we seek to capture it, fearing that it may concern us, that it may hold a part of shameful truth. Fleeting, it cannot be caught. As soon as it materializes, it vanishes, leaving only traces in our memories. Here, nothing is certain. Where does this sound come from? What is it made of? ……….The piece endlessly oscillates between pure sound and meaning, without ever resolving to one or the other. The piece is at the limit between texture and image, between material and anecdote. And rumours go by, always surrounding us. Here and there, sounds reach us like faint echoes of the world. If you believe hearing things aboutyou, why worry? After all they’re only rumours… and if you listen carefully, you may find the key.
(Place de Ransbeck) — A small square in Ohain (Belgium), home of the studio Métamorphoses d’Orphée where the piece was produced in June, 1987.
Rumeurs (Place de Ransbeck) was premiered on September 24th, 1987 at Concordia University, Montréal. The residency in Belgium was the outcome of the prize received at the 1st Phonurgia-Nova International Competition in Arles (France, 1986) the previous year and was made possible by a grant from the ministère des Affaires culturelles du Québec. Rumeurs (Place de Ransbeck) was awarded the 2nd Prize of the Electroacoustic Category of the 16th Bourges International Electroacoustic Music Competition (France, 1988).
Robert Normandeau – Chorus
Ouverture (Overture); Judaïsme (Judaism); Christianisme (Christianity); Islamisme (Islamism); Confrontation (War); Douleur (Pain); Paix (Peace)
To the victims of September 11, 2001
Chorus. Latin word for choir. To sing in Chorus, to voice one’s agreement. To Chorus.
The music is inspired by the subject of the theatre play Nathan der Weise (“Nathan the Wise”) (1779) by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (Kamnez, Germany, 1729 – Braunschweig, Germany, 1781), which demonstrates the tolerance ideal of the Age of the Enlightenment. The play, staged by Denis Marleau in Palais des Papes (Avignon, France) in 1997, is based on the Three Rings parabola, which describes a man who is about to die and has to make a difficult choice: who among his three sons will get the ring inherited from a long family tradition. In order not to have to make this choice, the father decides to have three rings made out of the first, a proof of his love for his sons. “If it is not given to mankind to theoretically know which religion is the true one, everyone has the practical possibility, by his selfless actions toward others, to prove the value of his faith and his aptitude to contribute to the happiness of humanity.”
The sound material used in the work represents the typical sonorities of the three monotheist religions: the shofar of Judaism, the church bells of Christianity and the call for prayer of Islamism. To these sounds, I have added the treated voices of two actors, Gregory Hlady and Évelyne Rompré, used in the music of the play Antigone by Sophocles (staged by Brigitte Haentjens at the Théâtre du Trident, Quebec City, in 2002).
Chorus was realized in 2002 at the composer’s studio and premiered on July 13, 2002 during the Festival de musiques sacrées (Fribourg, Switzerland). Chorus was commissioned by Réseaux with the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts. Chorus was awarded the First Prize at the 2002 Fribourg International Sacred Music Competition (Switzerland). Chorus was also selected by the 2nd Métamorphoses Biennial Acousmatic Composition Competition (Brussels, Belgium) in 2002 and was recorded in 2003 on the CD Métamorphoses 2002, M&R (MR 2002).
Robert Normandeau – Palimpseste
This work is the fourth and the last one of a cycle called Onomatopoeias, begun in 1991 with Éclats de voix followed by Spleen (1993) and Le renard et la rose (1995). The pieces of the cycle were dedicated to the childhood, the adolescence and the adulthood where the fourth one is an homage to old age. As with the first three pieces, this one is divided into five
sections each of them evoking a feeling, associated to a musical parameter: Fury and rhythm; Bitterness and timbre; Anger and dynamics; Tiredness and space; Wisdom and texture. The title refers to a palimpsest, which is a manuscript on which a first text (even many texts) was erased in order to write a new one over it (the parchments were rare and precious). Here, the first text was the timeline structure of the previous works. It is still there but in the background. It has been overwritten with another layer made out of a series of new category of sounds, more noisy, absent of the previous works of the cycle.
Palimpseste is made exclusively with vocal sounds and more
specifically with onomatopoeias that are extremely rich because they
represent those instances when the sounds of human language correspond
directly to the designated object or to the expression of a sentiment.
The recording of the voices took place in Germany – Christian Gressier, Eberhard Geyer
and Gabriela Lang – and in Montréal – Andrée Lachapelle, Christiane Pasquier.
The work was commissioned by the ZKM in Karlsruhe (Germany) where it was premiered during the trans_canada festival on February 13, 2005 under its first name: ZedKejeM. It was revised during the summer of 2005. The work was composed with the financial help of the CALQ and the CAC. Thanks to Sabine Breitsameter and Ludger Brümmer.
Robert Normandeau – StrinGDberg
StrinDberg. Adapted from the music composed for the play Miss Julie by August Strindberg (Stockholm, Sweden, January 22, 1849-Stockholm, Sweden, May 14, 1912), staged by Brigitte Haentjens at Espace GO (Montréal) in May 2001.
StrinG. The only sound sources of the piece come from two string instruments, a hurdy-gurdy and a cello. Two instruments representing two eras in the history of instrument factory: the first one belongs to a period where sonorities were rude, closer to the people, and the second one evokes the refinement of the aristocracy.
Actually, the piece is made of two superimposed layers. The first one comes from a single recording of a hurdy-gurdy improvisation about a minute long. Stretched out, filtered, layered, the sound of the hurdy- gurdy, distributed in a
multiphonic space, is revealed, layer by layer, throughout the duration of the piece. A second layer, made from the cello, gives the work its rhythm and brings, at the end, a more dramatic quality. It is a deep listening work that penetrates into the sound.
StrinGDberg was realized in 2001 at the composer’s studio and premiered on June 1, 2001, Salle Olivier Messiaen, Maison de Radio France, (Paris, France). The piece was revised in 2002 and premiered on September 14, 2002 at Espace GO, Montréal (Québec). The final version, completely redesigned in 2003 was premiered on November 27, 2003, at the Royal Academy of Music in Århus (Denmark). StrinGDberg was commissioned by the Groupe de Recherches Musicales (Ina-GRM), Paris (France). Thanks to Silvy Grenier (hurdy-gurdy) and James Darling (cello).
Portrait Concert – IMEB
Françoise Barrière – Java Rosa (Printemps des Saisons)
“As suit to the energy that Nature expends on the annual cycle of rebirth, there follows a time of sweet madness and mirth, of human beings in gay abandon. The careless gaiety of birds in springtime mixes with the song of life. After sunshine, there must be rain and after rain, sunshine…. but tenderness is ever present. That’s what Java Rosa is about” (1972).
Following an invitation from J. A. Riedl, in charge of the musical programming, asking GMEB to participate in the Olympic Games, Munich ‘72, Christian Clozier (with whom I had been directing the Group for the last 2 years) conceived a project which had for a theme “The Seasons”: a suite for electroacoustic music. He was looking for a universal subject which he could propose to composers of different nationalities and which would at the same time underline the validity of the convictions we held at the time: that of electroacoustic music being easily accessible to the public and the possibility of a real dialogue and non elitist communication, as the music was composed around a theme as universal as “the Seasons” and was a part of a show built around its axes of time and semantic.
This was a multi-media show made up of dance, theatre, films, slides and video. We also wanted to underline the fact that electroacoustic music reflected a marked cultural and national identity, a quality pratically non-existant in contemporary instrumental music. Thus it followed that we invited 10 composers from 7 different countries to compose a piece of music using one the Seasons or a Solstice for a theme. Autum : Dieter Kaufmann (Austria) ; Peter Kolman (Czecheslovaquia) ; Solstice : Jorge Ariagada (Chile) ; Winter : Beatriz Ferreyra, Luis Maria Serra (Argentine) ; Spring : Françoise Barrière (France), Lorenzo Ferrero (Italy) ; Solstice : Alain Savouret (France) ; Summer : Christian Clozier (France), Elisabeth Sikora (Poland).
We went to the extent of specifying the season each composer was to work on and recommended that they used musical and literary citations from their respective countries and cultures. Six works were used to realize the multi-media show first performed in Munich. I was given the task of composing a piece on Spring. In my Jardin Imaginaire, the notion of spring is tied not only to Nature’s cycle of rebirth, but also to outings in the country in the company of friends à la Renoir, to impressionist paintings and to the French custom at the turn of the century that of spending Sundays in the guinguettes on the banks of the Marne –wherefrom emanate the dance citations and the title of the piece.
Françoise Barrière – Dessus la Mer
The starting point for Dessus la Mer came from Rabelais’ text ‘Paroles gelées’. During the three last years of its composition, the project was significantly enlarged : musical fragments, such as Rabelais’ ‘Paroles Gelées’, seem to come from very far away, reappearing out of my childhood and the memory of my youth. These fragments rise and slide along time in the shape of blocks of ice, or during a phase of progressive thaw. All around them, audible or not, depending on the fact we are wide or close-up, natural sounds surround them: animals, earth and water elements, wind… draw an imaginary and at same time quite real landscape of a savage and genuine environment. It makes up a large counterpoint to the musical ‘waves’. So we can hear the music on three various levels : the first evolution of such music in thawing development, the second from an autobiographic point of view and consequently characteristic of a generation, my own one, including its particular tastes and matters of interest; finally it is an eager pleading for a state of nature and civilisation upon our planet which I am much devoted to, in symbiosis with a certain idea of life and human nature that I am afraid of seeing them all soon disappear. Thanks to René Zosso whose voice is present in this recording. Dessus la mer, in which we hear, at the end of the piece, (a fragment singing by René Zosso), is a french traditional music song.
Christian Clozier – Par Panglos Gymnopède
To Clarisse Clozier
In other words, four movements of a classical type: 1 & 4 are predominantly polyphonique; 2 is predominantly rhythmical; 3 is predominantly discursive.
Facts are not without causes, nor Socrates without Satie. Primo, this music lies close at hand, offering itself and does not try to organize time in unexpected ways. Secundo, it is music made to be listened to, of a thinly veiled humorousness, holding itself slightly aloof but with clearly-defined cadences. Facts are not without gnosis, nor Satie without Socrates. In facts this music is a music of effects and make-believe, in other words it is…music.
Christian Clozier – 22 Août
Summer has no future. A ‘discreet’ decaying sets in and ripens during and after the season. Under their own shadows, things try to come into being but self-destruct. It’s like everything else, that’s life, that’s music. This music in summer
form jovially endures this same fate. One day, elsewhere, August 22 1968, the following day, in Prague…
Saxophone and Electronics – l_a_u_t
Michael Clarke – Enmeshed
Enmeshed for tenor saxophone and computer was composed for the duo l_a_u_t (Franziska Schroeder and Pedro Rebelo) and first performed at Sonorities in Belfast in May 2005. It was composed at SARC, Belfast, for the Sonic Laboratory, a 3-dimensional performance space, using 24 independent computer channels and loudspeakers surrounding the audience on all sides (including beneath). Today’s performance uses a reduced version of the spatial aspects of this work.
All the sounds in Enmeshed are derived live from the saxophone performance. The challenge was to create a work rich in textural variety, yet all derived from one monophonic source. Computer transformations of the instrumental performance result in textural webs in which the soloist becomes enmeshed. At times the saxophone finds itself in counterpoint with several variations derived from different material it has played earlier. The music is shaped by the changing distance between the saxophone and its transformations on a number of levels: spatially, texturally, timbrally and temporally.
l_a_u_t – Free Improvisation
free improvisation for saxophone and live electronics
Chris Cunningham/Autechre – Second Bad Vibel
Martin Clarke – a short film about stillness
A short film about stillness describes a moment or a decision: to remain still or keep going. Premiered at 7incinema in Birmingham, it has since been screened in Warsaw at Jutro Filmu and Hollywood at HollyShorts International Film Festival.
Steve Conolly/Rose Dodd – Kinderspel
Kinderspel is experimental in its attempt to create an appropriate and collaborative musical and visual language. The underlying ethos was to give the imagination full rein – viewing artistic expression as child’s play (kinderspel) once more! The opening sound is a sample of a DAT machine as it forward winds/back winds; a sound common within the practices of electroacoustic music, but rarely used as a sample in its own right. Sampling is at a premium in Kinderspel and is used intentionally in a deliberate and rough way.
Kinderspel was commissioned by the Sonic Arts Network of Great Britain in 1996 and was awarded a mention at Prix Ars Electronica in 1999.
Chris Morris – My Wrongs #8245-8249 and 117
Keith Marley/Geoff Cox – banal_data
Many of our hours are lost in rotation of pretty cares, in a constant recurrence of the same employments; many of our provisions for ease or happiness are always exhausted by the present day, and a great part of our existence serves no other purpose than that of enabling us to enjoy the rest.Johnson: Rambler #108 (March 30, 1751)
Chris Cunningham/Aphex Twin – Rubber Jonny
Marcelle Deschênes/Alain Pelletier – Die Dyer
The sixtieth day of a contractual confinement. Two men and a woman are under continuous observation. The characters, like the images, are engulfed in a dazzling light. They lose their contour and reveal their vulnerability and turpitude. Best Experimental/Animation, Reeling The 20th Chicago Lesbian & Gay International Film Festival, USA, 2000
Nick Cope/Tim Howle – Son et Lumières
Using visual techniques analogous to methods of electro acoustic composition, Son et Lumières builds on the successful collaboration between composer Tim Howle and film maker Nick Cope. Filming the Fawley Oil Refinery at night on the banks of Southampton Water, England, the footage is manipulated both in camera, through single frame shooting and exposure manipulation as well as double exposing the film, before further manipulation and treatment of the footage is carried out in post production. In this collaboration the footage was then edited and multi layered to the already to a revision on an already composed piece of music, in contrast to and mirroring the collaborative methods employed in our previous work – Open Circuits.
Miles Chalcraft/Monty Adkins – Symbiont
Symbiont is a work that plays with the notion of balancing opposites. The most obvious is the balance between a more acousmatic way of thinking and the sound world of drum’n’bass. There are also other oppositions taking place within the work between speed, dynamics, sound processes and the way sonic material is treated in different contexts. The work is very much inspired by the novels of William Gibson and the art works of H.G. Giger.
nemoïka – Recombinant (pt 1)
Commissioned by EMS for the Noyberg Festival Recombinant takes the art of gene splicing and applies it to music via msp and reaktor patches. Pt1 is the ‘original’ material that is subsequently mutated to form the rest of the material for the EP.
Chris Cunningham/Bjork – All is full of love
Portrait Concert – Phill Niblock
Phill Niblock – Hurdy Hurry
Jim O’Rourke, hurdy gurdy, recorded samples
Phill Niblock – Harm, for cello
Arne Deforce, cello, recorded samples
Phill Niblock – Zrost
Michael Zrost, soprano sax, recorded samples with Iain Harrison, live
Phill Niblock – Sethwork
Seth Josel, acoustic guitars played with E-bow, recorded samples, and James Saunders, live
Images by Phill Niblock taken from The Movement of People Working series, Film/Video – Peru, Mexico, Hong Kong, Hungary, China, Japan
Portrait Concert – Jean Piché
Jean Piché – paNi intiyA
paNi intiyA is the distillation of materials assembled during an extended stay in South India in 1994-95. These images and sounds are first and foremost an homage; they also define the geography of an intense and contradictory experience. Formally, the work explores syntactic and metaphorical links between the visual and auditory tracks. As such, I categorise this work as videomusic, a form embracing audiovisual composition from a musician’s perspective.
Pt 1: Rail
“Now an interminable mail-train passed on the railway tracks that formed the horizon visible in the gaps between the houses on the other side of Vidyasagar Road. For a while, all the other local and habitual noises, of birds and cars, were subsumed under the long, swelling note of the mail-train whistle, which, with its lone trumpeting, made the air vibrate around one. After, when the train had gone, the air was cleansed, and the room was as quiet as its reflection in the dressing-table mirror, with Oil of Olay, Lacto-calamine, Vaseline, Ponds Dream Flower Talc and two lipsticks arranged carefully, with all devotion and seriousness, on the shelf before it.”Amit Chaudhuri – Waking
Pt 2: viLi aparatAm
“I glimpsed a man in a loincloth prone on the roadside, his right arm outstretched, a brown coconut at the end of his fingers. I watched how this glistening figure propelled himself. He placed a small cushion on the hot asphalt beside the coconut, prostrated himself with his middle on the cushion, reached for the coconut with his right hand and stretched his arm in an arc to put it at his fingertips’ end, as a rugby player holds the ball for a goal-kicker. He rose, moved the cushion beside the coconut and repeated the process. Trucks roared inches from his head, horns shrieking, rocking his body. Every fifty yards or so, he left the coconut, walked back and retrieved his mobile temple. This was a four-wheeled cart, painted orange, decorated with pictures of gods and fitted with a cassette player and a battered red conical loudspeaker, a lamp and a stove, a torch, umbrella and containers of sugar, milk and tea. He pulled the temple up to the coconut and restarted the punishing process.”Trevor Fishlock – After Gandhi
Pt 3: Dolmens
“Air India had given me a free plane ticket on the assumption that I would go up into the Nilgiri Hills and write about sambars and sloth bears, tigers and tahrs – and figured that if I publicised their eco-tours, then lots of rich Americans might follow me, enabling them to accomplish what they eachaspired to do, which, because they were young men, was either to pay for a marriage to a Brahmin or else fly to California and go hang-gliding in the Sierras.”Edward Hoagland – Wild Things
Pt 4: Arcotia
“They used to make pickles, squashes, jams, curry powders and canned pineapples. And banana jam (illegally) after the FPO (Food Products Organisation) banned it because according to their specifications it was neither jam nor jelly. Too thin for jelly, too thick for jam. An ambiguous consistency, they said. As per their book.”Arundhati Roy – God of Small Things
Pt 5: Munjikal
“Masterji’s spellbinding melody had neither a beginning nor an end, so at one point he arbitrarily left off playing the harmonium and burped loudly, as if to say that he had digested his breakfast and was now ready for applause and sweetmeats.”Ved Mehta – Coming Down
Pt 6: Hooghly – 9’
“As the shadows deepen under the tomal trees, and the dusk gathers on the river-banks; when the milkmaids, while crossing the turbulent water, tremble with fear; and loud peacocks, with tails outspread, dance in the forest, he watches the summer clouds.”Rabindranath Tagore – Lover’s gift
Jean Piché – eXpress
eXpress is a commission from the Institut International de Musique Electroacoustique de Bourges. It was premiered in France in June 2002. The footage was shot on the Bourges-Paris S.N.C.F. train. The highly kinetic allure of eXpress is obtained by forcing a very fast camera shutter speed with a large aperture. Trajectories and velocities … kinetic outrage… fields, village, city.
Jean Piché – Spin
Spin is a metaphorical representation of musical time, color and form. Synchronicity (or “synchrèse”) is not a primary concern. Formally, Spin is presented in three segments each dealing with its own level of abstraction. All images are obtained by “spinning” camera techniques and severe processing, the goal being of severely altering iconicity. There are no synthetic images. Musical ideas were the determining guide for the elaboration of visual sequences, but the music was composed after the visuals. The music is made with the composer’s own music and audio software. Spin was commissioned by ACREQ and was premiered in September 2000 in Montréal, Canada.
Jean Piché – Bharat
Music and images: Jean Piché
Violin: Ivan Zawada
Voice: Mohandas K. Gandhi
Rights: The GandhiServe Foundation, Berlin
Bharat was shot in Northern India in early spring 2002 and premiered in November of the same year. This is the first time I shot with the aim of assembling in panoramic triple screen mode. Scanned panning scenes were reconstructed from multiple exposures. The text is extracted from the last known recording of Mohandas K Gandhi a few days before his assassination in 1947. The text is reproduced below.
“I do not think that I should apologize to you, for having to speak in a foreign tongue. I wonder if this loudspeaker carries my voice to the farthest end of this vast audience. Will some of those who are far away will raise their hands if they listen to what I’m saying? Do you listen? Alright. Well, if my voice doesn’t carry, it won’t be my fault, it will be the fault of these loudspeakers.
I was wondering what I was to speak to you. I wanted to collect my thoughts, but let me confess to you, that I had no time. Who followed Buddha? Jesus, again from Asia. Before Jesus was Moses, … And then what happened? Christianity became disfigured … and in order to make you understand, if my poor speech can make you understand, … everything that the cities of India have to show you, is not real India. Certainly, the carnage that is going on before your very eyes, sorry, shameful…beyond the confines of India… the message of Asia, is not to be learnt through European spectacles, through the Western spectacles, not by imitating the tinsel of the West, the gun-powder of the West, the atom bomb of the West. If you want to give a message again to the West, it must be a message of love, … a message of truth.
You can redeliver that message now, in this age of democracy, in the age of awakening of the poorest of the poor, you can redeliver this message… Then you will, you will complete the conquest of the whole of the West, not through vengeance because you have been exploited, and…when next you meet in India, you will all be, exploited nations of the Earth will meet if by that time there aren’t any exploited nations of the Earth. I am so sanguine that if all of you put your hearts together, not merely your heads, but hearts together and understand the secret of the messages of all these wise men of the East have left to us, and if we really become, deserve, are worthy of that great message, then you will easily understand that the conquest of the West will be completed and that conquest will be loved by the West itself. West is today pining for wisdom. West today is in despair of multiplication of atom bombs, because a multiplication of atom bombs means utter destruction, not merely of the West, but it will be a destruction of the world, as if the prophecy of the Bible is going to be fulfilled and there is to be a perfect deluge. Heaven forbid that there be that deluge, and through men’s wrongs against himself. It is up to you to deliver the whole world, not merely Asia but deliver the whole world from that wickedness, from that sin. That is the precious heritage…”Mohandas K Gandhi
Inter-Asia Relations Conference 1947
Ved Mehta – Coming Down
Portrait Concert – Pierre Alexandre Tremblay
Pierre Alexandre Tremblay – La Rage
free jazz drummer, processing, interactive system, and 8-track tape
A reading of Louis Hamelin’s novel La rage (1989)
A piece for all the clean-cut punks: If their hair is less a mark of their distress, their cynicism is as violent a cry of disillusion.
La rage (rage)
ravished land, expropriated for flying steel;
ravished people, castrated of their identity;
youth wasted in seduction and hiding;
intelligence betrayed by a culture of beauty;
cynical for survival.
La rage (rabies)
tiny germ, destructive incubation, death by the drop…
… explosion, a cyst bursts, the pus of hate flows.
Death for survival.
Les jeux sont faits (The Dice Are Cast)
le squat (The Squat)
oiseaux de fer (Birds of Steel)
statique contemplation (Static Contemplation)
boules dures (Hard Pinball)
bûcheron du jour (Lumberjack du jour)
tentatives de vol (Attempted Flight)
techno-sexe : amitié moderne (Techno-Sex: Modern-Day
la chasse (The Hunt)
amoureux par intérim (Interim Lover)
pompeux roi de nulle part (Pompous King of Nowhere)
le cheval mort (The Dead Horse)
ivre : vivre ! (Pissed Party)
OEdipe en banlieue (Oedipus of the Suburbs)
la morsure (The Bite)
échanges lourds (Heavy Words)
techno-sexe: junky dans le parc (Techno-Sex: Junky in the Parc)
échanges plus lourds (Heavier Words)
Joyeux Noël en famille – inceste (Merry Christmas with the Family – Incest)
bouées de béton (Concrete Buoys)
abdication : foi forcée (Abdication : Forced Faith)
haine en Larsen (Hatred Feedback)
moment-fusion tôle-béton (160 km/h) (Steel-Concrete Moment-Fusion : 100 MPH)
échanges trop lourds (Heaviest Words)
La rage (Raging Rabies)
renard fou (Crazy Fox)
techno-sexe : vol d’aéroport (Techno-Sex : Airport Flight)
entrevue avec le proprio (Meeting with the Landlord)
prendre le contrôle de la tour (Taking Control of the Tower)
épilogue : pas d’avenir (Epilogue : No Future)
Larry Austin – Tableaux
Larry Austin – art is self-alteration is Cage is…
art is self-alteration is Cage is… is what I call a uni-word omniostic, where all possible arrangements of the letters of one word–here, C A G E–appear adjacently, allowing one to spell the word, continually in sequence, following appropriate horizontal, vertical, and diagonal paths through the array of the word’s letters (see score reproduction on the booklet cover). The piece was composed between December, 1982, and January, 1983, and “dedicated to my friend and mentor, John Cage, in his seventieth year.” The title of the work was inspired by John’s definition of art: “Art is self-alteration.” In receipt of my birthday present, John sent me a thank-you note saying, “Thank you. I feel changed already.” The performers–in this case, Robert Black, the string bassist, 16 times–trace a path through the omniostic score, playing each note associated with a letter without expression–but not mechanically–quietly changing to the next note when “…self-alteration is Cage is art is…”. Each of the sixty-four block letters–sixteen iterations of C A G E–contains a combination of four pitches and/or silences derived by a computer algorithm. The score may be played by four string basses, by four ‘celli, by quartet combinations of ‘celli and basses, or by quartet multiples of such groups. In this recording, four string bass quartets are heard. Notated pitches are limited to the open strings and the first three natural harmonics on each string, the resultant gamut of pitches totaling sixteen. The four strings of each of the four instruments are tuned, scordatura, to the pitches c, a, g, and e, each instrument tuned to a different combination of the letters, beginning with the lowest string (IV) upward to the highest string (I), as follows : c, a, e, g; e, a, c, g; c, g, e, a; and e, g, c, a.
Larry Austin – Williams [re]Mix[ed]
Williams [re]Mix[ed], for octophonic computer music system (ADAT), based on John Cage’s Williams Mix (1951-53), for eight magnetic tapes: The Theme Restored (Williams Mix); Six Short Variations: A-city sounds, B-country sounds, C-electronic sounds, D-manually produced sounds, E-wind produced sounds, F-small sounds; The Nth Realization
The process of creating the original realization of Williams Mix, as Cage explained, involved the precise cutting/splicing of recorded sounds to create eight separate reel-to-reel, monaural, 15-ips magnetic tape masters for the 4-minute 15-second, octophonic tape piece. The 192-page score is, as Cage referred to it, a kind of “dressmaker’s pattern–it literally shows where the tape shall be cut, and you lay the tape on the score itself.” Cage explained further in a published transcript of a 1985 recorded conversation with author Richard Kostelanetz that “…someone else could follow that recipe, so to speak, with other sources than I had to make another mix.” Later in the conversation, Kostelanetz observed, “But, as you pointed out, even though you made for posterity a score of Williams Mix for others to realize, no one’s ever done it,” to which Cage replied, “But it’s because the manuscript is so big and so little known.” (Kostelanetz, Cage Explained, Schirmer, 1996, pp. 72-75)
Intrigued by Cage’s open invitation to “…follow that recipe…” I embarked on a project in summer, 1997, to create just such a new realization of and variations on the 192-page score of John Cage’s second tape piece, Williams Mix (1951-53), the first known octophonic, surround-sound tape composition. Presignifying the development of algorithmic composition, granular synthesis, and sound diffusion, Williams Mix was the first piece completed in the Project for Music for Magnetic Tape (1951-53), established in New York by Cage and funded by architect Paul Williams. Involved as collaborators were, first, pianist David Tudor, then composers Earle Brown, Morton Feldman, Christian Wolfe, and electronic music pioneers Louis and Bebe Barron, among others. The score for the piece was completed in October, 1952, as well as much of realization itself for the eight magnetic tapes, finally completed by Cage and Earle Brown on January 16, 1953.
In early 1998 the John Cage Trust provided me with a color-xerographic copy of the 192-page score, as well as associated sketches and commentary by Cage on the compositional process involved in the original (and only) realization for eight magnetic tapes. The Trust subsequently provided me with digital tape copies of the eight earliest extant generation, reel-to-reel masters of the piece from the Trust’s Archive of Cage’s works. With the score and tapes I began the restoration and analysis of the precise relation of the recorded sound events with their I Ching-determined parameters in the score. Out of this first, two-year phase came the restoration of the original eight tracks of tape, transferred to the digital, octophonic medium for playback on either computer or eight-track digital tape recorder. This newly restored Williams Mix is heard here, in fact, as the first movement, The Theme Restored of my Williams [re]Mix[ed]. Since first starting my project I have, meanwhile, been collecting new sounds for the new, recorded library of nearly 600 sounds (the actual number of different recorded sounds used in the Cage score is 350, their iterations totaling 2,128), according to Cage‘s six sound categories of city, country, electronic, manually produced, wind produced and small sounds.
The final phase of my project was the design and implementation of an interactive computer music program I named the Williams [re]Mix[er]. It’s functionality is modeled on Cage’s I Ching compositional processes, extrapolated and applied from my years-long analyses of Cage’s score, sketches, and tapes for Williams Mix, as well as his writings and recorded interviews about the piece and his compositional method. In fact, the Six Short Variations and The Nth Realization heard here are the very latest, computer-generated output of the Williams [re]Mix[er]. What took Cage and his collaborators months and months of recordings, coin-tosses, notation, and thousands of small pieces of tape spliced together to complete the first realization of the Williams Mix score is accomplished–after collecting the recordings and interacting with the program–in only a few minutes of computation time. Indeed, the default settings I have used in designing the Williams [re]Mix[er] are Cage’s own parameters for the piece’s structure and morphology of sound/silence events. On the last page of the score for Williams Mix, Cage inscribed, “(4 min. 15 sec. +) End 1st Part. N.Y.C. Oct. ’52 Splicing finished Jan. 16, 1953.” Dare I imagine that John’s spirit is slyly laughing now, asking the oracle, “Is this the 2nd Part ?”
Commissioned by the International Institute for Electroacoustic Music, Bourges, France, with sponsorship and support from the John Cage Trust and Peters Edition
Larry Austin – Djuro’s Tree
Djuro’s Tree continues my sound and theater-piece portraits. All these portraits, since the first in 1966, have been composed for and/or about individual composers and performers. Djuro’s Tree is, in contrast, a family portrait of three generations of Serbian mathematicians: Alexandra Kurepa, her father Svetozar and her great uncle Djuro (1907-1993). Alexandra speaks of Djuro’s influence on her and her father’s careers as mathematicians. Her son Andre tells of his fun at the Adriatic coast every summer. Djuro’s family story is set in a dynamically moving octophonic “family” tree of sound, the wind moving through it, the sonic leaves and creaking limbs dramatically animating its soundscape.
Alexandra Kurepa’s narrative and her son Andre’s story–in both Serbian and English–were recorded by the composer at their home in North Carolina. The sounds of the tree’s limbs creaking and its foliage rustling in a strong wind was taken from the BBC Sound Effects Library. The creaking limbs were enhanced by the recording of a squeaking wooden chair from the Jonty Harrison family kitchen in Edgbaston, England. All the sonic materials for the piece derive from these three sources. Materials for the piece were processed in the Electroacoustic Music Studios of the University of Birmingham in England during my June/July, 1997, MagistËre de Bourges composer residency there. The work was completed in August/September, 1997, in my studio, gaLarry, in Denton, Texas. Software and hardware systems used in Birmingham included Sound Designer, SoundHack, Audiosculpt, csound, and GRM Tools, on a Macintosh computer. Systems used in Denton included Paul Lansky’s rt and cmix and the audio software editors and 8-channel digital i/o programs developed for the Silicon Graphics O2 computer with the SGI 8-channel digital i/o PCI.
Djuro’s Tree was commissioned and is published by Borik Press.
Larry Austin: Tableaux – Convolutions on a Theme
Tableaux: Convolutions on a Theme, for alto saxophone and octophonic computer music was commissioned for performance by saxophonist and Distinguished Research Professor Stephen Duke with funding from the Graduate School of Northern Illinois University. The piece is an extended, single-movement work, unfolding in three continuous sections: convolutions, improvisations, and remixes. The soloist’s sounds are amplified, processed, and diffused in the listening space, combined with the synchronized playback of an octophonic ADAT tape (optionally with a computer) of the computer music heard in a three-dimensional, octophonic montage: the listener is surrounded and immersed in the live and recorded sounds. All of the sonic materials for Tableaux originated from Duke’s saxophone recordings made at a spring, 2003, session produced by the composer at DRM Productions, Dallas, Texas, with David Rosenblad as recording engineer. Through a process of pairing Duke’s recordings, using one sound recording as the “primary input” file and a second recording as the “impulse response” file, the “convolution” process multiplies the waveform spectra of the two files together, producing a third, hybrid soundfile. The effect is a type of cross-synthesis, in which the common frequencies are reinforced. To the composer, provocatively beautiful, ethereal sounds result: tableaux sonore…sonic images…passing before our ears. The “convolutions on a theme” are all based on a familiar theme and its harmonization composed originally as part of a 19th century composer’s piano work, later brilliantly orchestrated by a twentieth century composer. Now, a 21st century composer elaborates. The conception and realization of Tableaux is orchestral, in great part because the hybrid, convolved sounds and the way they emerge in the texture of the piece are like flutes, trumpets, oboes, and strings interacting and gently resounding. The saxophonist blends his/her lines and sounds with the computer music, whose essences derive from the sixteen composed and transcribed sequences heard in combination and succession through the course of the piece. Tableaux was completed during spring-through-fall, 2003, in the composer’s studio, gaLarry, in Denton, TX, USA.
Acousmaticlassics – Lunchtime Concert
Michel Chion – Requiem – Sanctus
Movement 7 of Requiem
As with classical Requiems, the text of the Requiem is that of the Funeral Mass, to which are added an Épître (Epistle) (3), an Évangile (Gospel) (6) and the Our Father, the Pater Noster-Agnus Dei (8). It is presented in its original language (Latin or Greek), on rare occasions in French.
The Requiem was composed whilst thinking about the troubled minority of the living, rather than the silent majority of the dead. To the listener, it takes the form of an uneven dramatic course, the turnings and defections telling of a fundamental uncertainty in the face of life, death and faith.
At the level of form, the piece is based on a system of echoes and correspondence that is organized in a symmetrical fashion around an axis found in the middle of the work: movement 10 incorporates elements already heard in movement 1, movement 9 has elements from movement 2, etc, with variants and dissymmetries in the detail. The axis for this construction is to be found in the 6th movement (Évangile), where a symbolic rupture of the tape occurs, a breaking of the piece itself, that opens a gap of eternity in the flow of time, allowing a glimpse of ‘something else.’
With the Requiem, my intention was not to deliver a message or a manifesto, whether pro- or anti-religious. Rather, the piece is a personal testimony, in which I invite the listener to project himself, if he should like to dwell in this music of his experience and sensibility.
Bernard Parmegiani – de natura sonorum – étude élastique
Movement 5 of De natura sonorum
In this étude Parmegiani juxtaposes sounds derived from elastic instrumental skins (including the zarb) and vibrating strings, with similar types of gesture created electronically.
Jonty Harrison – Klang
The title (‘Klang’ is the German for ‘sound’) reflects the onomatopoeic nature of the family of sounds providing the raw material for the piece — sharp, metallic attacks with interesting resonances rich in harmonics. The real starting point for Klang was the discovery (in Denis Smalley’s kitchen!) of two earthenware casseroles, the sounds of which were recorded in the Electroacoustic Music Studio of the University of East Anglia (Norwich, UK) during the summer of 1981. Material of two kinds was recorded — attack/resonance sounds made by tapping the lids on or in the bowls, and continuous rolling sounds made by running the lids around the insides of the bowls. Different pitches resulted from the various combinations of lids and bowls, and different qualities of resonance emerged according to the attack position. The microphones were placed very close to the bowls to maximize the movement within the stereophonic image. Other related material, accumulated over the previous three or four years, was also used. This included both real-world sounds, such as cow-bells, metal rods and aluminum bars, and electronically generated sounds, both analog and digital. The final impetus to compose the piece came in June 1981 when I was invited by János Décsenyi to work in the Electronic Music Studio of Magyar Rádió in Budapest. As studio time would be limited I was advised to take a certain amount of taped material with me; the two weeks prior to the visit were therefore spent in preliminary work in the Electroacoustic Music Studio of The University of Birmingham. Much of the opening two sections of the piece were composed before going to Hungary.
Although continuous, Klang falls into six short, fairly clearly defined sections: Introduction; Development 1: duet; Development 2: interruption of duet and increase in complexity towards the first climax; Development 3: relatively static section; Development 4: proliferation of material from Development 3 into glissando structures, build-up to the second (main) climax; and slow release to the final Coda.
The listener can trace the development of the material from raw statements of casserole sounds in the Introduction, through more complex, highly transformed events in the four sections, back to the opening sound-world in the Coda. The most obvious transformation technique is mixing, using multiple but only slightly transposed versions of simple sounds. Besides mixing and transposition with tape recorders and a harmonizer, the main modifications were achieved by filtering and, most important of all, montage. This last technique is the principal means of controlling the timing and rhythmic articulation of the material and its organisation into phrases (which may be a single line or a mix of many layers, edited together into the desired sequence).
Trevor Wishart – Vox 5
Robert Normandeau – Jeu – Les règles du jeu
Movement 1 of Jeu
Jeu is an acousmatic work based on different uses of the French word ‘jeu,’ a word which does not translate well into English (there are two English words for ‘jeu’: ‘game’ and ‘play’). The different meanings of the word as well as its different use in expressions were ‘sounded’ (put to sound), in both the literal and the metaphorical senses. It is a kind of “cinema for the ear” where an abstract sound story is told using, from time to time, somewhat realistic and recognizable sounds:
Rules of the game. Circus games, Olympic games. Games of skill. Wholesale massacre. Parlor game. Out of play. To gamble with one’s life. To like to play. To ruin oneself at gambling. Make your play. The die is cast, “rien ne va plus”. The play of a bolt, of a spring. To loosen a window or a drawer. The game of skittles, of bowls. To have every opportunity. To hide one’s game. The big play. Organ stops. To play carefully. To play dangerously. Double play. A brilliant, nuanced manner of playing. Stage directions. “Stop fooling around or it will end in tears.” Plays of Prince. A game of the imagination. Play on words. A child’s play.
Yves Daoust – Mi bémol
Around a small tonal object (E flat, Mi bémol in French) developed into a drone used as a thread in this piece, I have brought together some of my ‘fetish’ sounds. A stereotypical form emerged, a hyper-condensation of my style, of my articulation and construction processes: confrontation of widely different sound elements, a preference for the anecdotal, the crossfading of textures, oscillation between the musical discourse and the documentary approach. Mixtures of levels, polyphony of sounds and of meanings. A pastiche where I attempt to imitate myself…
Mi bemol was realized in 1990 at the composer’s studio. It premiered on 2 November 1990 at Théâtre Les Loges, during the New Music America/Montreal musiques actuelles Festival. Commissoned by empreintes DIGITALes, recorded on the Electro clips CD (lMED 9004, lMED 9604)
Francis Dhomont – Qui est là?
This is like a children’s guessing game, with its tracks that branch out in strange ways, its tangled paths, its purposely distorted ambiguities, and its conscious efforts to confuse: a labyrinth. The objective is to work through all of this and figure out who is hiding. But this game is for adults.
Behind these fragments — drawn from the musical discourse of ten works and then reconstructed into a three-minute evocation of a decade — the voice makes itself heard only to disappear again, evident only long enough to remind us that the person who is hiding will remain hidden forever.
Qui est là? (Who’s There?) was a milestone work even back in 1990, a “hyperspace fly-over” of the work of the ten years between 1979 and 1989: Mais laisserons-nous mourir Arianna? (1979), Sous le regard d’un soleil noir (1981), Points de fuite (1982), … mourir un peu (1984), Drôles d’oiseaux (1985), Signé Dionysos (1986), Chiaroscuro (1987), Chroniques de la lumière (1989), Novars (1989), and Espace / Escape (1989).
Francis Dhomont, November 1990 [English translation: Tom Carter, vii-02]
Paul Lansky – Night Traffic
Barry Truax – Basilica
Gilles Gobeil – Le vertige inconnu
… here, on the roof of the world, I feel a shadow of uneasiness… It’s not at all the height, nor the kind of suction exerted by the abrupt depths and its emptiness which troubles me. It’s an altogether different emptiness which affects an altogether different sense… the essence of solitude…Paul Valéry, Le solitaire
Le vertige inconnu (The Mysterious Vertigo) was produced in 1993 at the studios of the Groupe de musique expérimentale de Bourges (GMEB, France). It premiered in June 1993 at the 23rd Bourges International Electroacoustic Music Festival (France). Le vertige inconnu received the 1994 Stockholm Electronic Arts Award (Sweden) and was selected for the 1994 World Music Days (Stockholm, Sweden) and the 1994 International Computer Music Conference (ICMC ’94) in Danmark. The piece was commissioned by the GMEB, with support from the Canada Council (for the Arts).[v-94] Since, Le vertige inconnu was awarded the prize of international competition Stockholm Electronic Arts Award (Sweden, 1994) and the 2nd prize at the Prix Ars Electronica (Linz, Austria, 1995).
Denis Smalley – Névé – 3rd movement