electrocd

Réverbères

Roxanne Turcotte / Michel Dubeau, Julien Grégoire, Claire Marchand, Sonia Paço-Rocchia, Guy Pelletier

Turcotte’s extraordinary idea of music emerges everywhere vivid and pulsating, engaging and convincing the listener from the first to the last second of the record. Music Map, Italy

7/7 Blow Up, Italy

  • SODEC

CD (IMED 21173)

  • Label: empreintes DIGITALes
  • IMED 21173
  • 2021
  • UCC 771028217328
  • Total duration: 73:40
  • OGpak
  • 125 mm × 125 mm × 10 mm
  • 50 g

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Notices

About Réverbères

In French, a “réverbère” is a street lamp whose light is guided by reflecting it on one or several surfaces, akin to the reverberations of sound diffusion. Etymologically, “réverbère” and the verb to reverberate come from the Latin words reverbero and reverberare, representing how words, sounds and light rebound over time. Those reverberatory street lamps, lighting up the urban vision of our world, can be seen as a source of unity, discordance, or reassurance. Dichotomic narratives designed for ambisonic projection and a confrontational chiaroscuro are feeding eclectic immersive electroacoustic tales through the Anthropocene, the era of human downfall at the centre of this concept. The imminent aggravation of the rapport between Nature and Humanity is the cause of alarming global health crises, and the destruction of our environment remains severe. We will have to live in increasingly disconnected bubbles that will be protected and sanitized, in a bludgeoned, weakened ecosystem.

My current approach is to integrate improvised sequences into my works. These sequences are set in motion by accumulations of evocatively titled intuitive diagrams. The audio materials they produce depict a form of social and poetical engagement by way of audio captures, electronic treatments, spoken words, and synthesized sounds. Every one of these elements holds a privileged position in a flurry of timbres organized using hockets, repetitions, and overlays. Audio tracks are blended together to produce a musical whole punctuated by gestural and structural reliefs. Later, these polyphonic textures are illustrated on a score designed for personal listening or for live performances or spatialized presentation.

[English translation: François Couture, x-21]

Reflections

A chasm has appeared between conformist self-righteous people and the rest. A weird era is stuck in the shadow of social media, and it produces deep-seated solitude. Algorithms are increasingly taking control, and humans depend more and more on this new intelligence that is steering them toward misinformation-laden invented realities that transform critical thinking and provide artificial appearances. Humans become sickly dependent on that, awaiting approval while living in sanitized, increasingly fragile bubbles. This situation is worthy of a science-fiction series.

Meanwhile, there is the fault, the error, the lie. A president who is crazy, corrupt, racist and irresponsible has rubbed off on his population. He is persisting through the voice of a murderous white supremacy that leaves traces. Living environments are full of impostors and individualistic, unprincipled snitches; reactionary, holier-than-thou ideas keep emerging. This populism doesn’t know right from wrong, true from false anymore.

Every day we are witnessing events pertaining to systemic racism, rape culture, feminicide, social inequality, and collective paranoia! The environmental unbalance and contaminations from careless conspiracists are all signs of that.

Children are being taken from their families and exploited; political prisoners are fighting for the survival of their advocating voices; day after day women are violated and minorities are marginalized. Injustice is resisting against people’s resilience under a black sun. Choked by claustrophobia, let us not yield to collective paralysis, let us mobilize for our survival.

Revolt is a consequence, a defence mechanism against dehumanization and universal chaos. Individualism as a phenomenon is bound for the self-destruction of Mankind. Decreasing biodiversity is a testimony to human incredulousness and climate-skeptic governments. Industrial powers make it so that dissident individuals stand out to form outraged splinter groups.

~~

And so we hide behind masks to stay anonymous and avoid the impact of a cascading contamination caused by ceaseless radicalizations. Our bubbles touch and slowly disintegrate. A long road stretches ahead of us; in places it looks like a battlefield, with obstacles in the shape of orange construction cones slowing our difficult steps toward resilience.

To avoid losing all control over our lives, we better trust the expressions of the fine lines in the masked face and express ourselves loudly, without judgment nor fear of what other people may think. We want to live intensely. The eyes alone expressed themselves under this mask, like illuminated lanterns.

When masks come off, Nature gradually regains its position, a whale takes the opportunity afforded by this free space to push back its limits. Animals that had disappeared are suddenly reborn. Paradoxically, we can finally experience the quiet of cities asleep under the virus like a surprising dichotomy.

[English translation: François Couture, x-21]

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In the press

Recensione

Samuele Conficoni, Music Map, February 1, 2022

Réverbères, il nuovo lavoro della compositrice Roxanne Turcotte, appena uscito per Empreintes Digitales, è un’opera ambiziosa e composita, stratificata e complessa, dal raggio d’azione e dal respiro amplissimi, nella quale la musicista dà sfogo a tutto il suo talento e infonde in ogni centimetro cubo dei pezzi la sua passione, il suo trasporto e la sua inconfondibile firma. Proprio per questo straordinario equilibrio di tecnica e di partecipazione sentimentale, il progetto è di grande spessore.

In Réverbères la Turcotte decide di includere una serie di composizioni elettroniche sperimentali di classica contemporanea estremamente variegate e difficili, che centrano tutte l’obiettivo dell’artista di coinvolgere e sconvolgere l’ascoltatore accompagnandolo in un universo nel quale siamo chiamati a costruire pian piano e al buio le nostre poche certezze. È un viaggio difficile, per il quale occorre essere mentalmente e spiritualmente preparati. Gli otto pezzi di Réverbères sono coerenti con lo scopo di Turcotte di provare a occupare l’aria col suono spingendosi sempre oltre, senza timori e senza alcun freno. Ogni pezzo è a suo modo un labirinto di segni e di immagini estremamente ostico da attraversare, entro il quale si può restare feriti, che possono scioccare a lungo.

Le composizioni di Réverbères sono estremamente avanguardistiche e ben poco canoniche pur essendo inserite in un contesto di elettronica-classica contemporanea coraggiosa e internazionale ben nota agli addetti ai lavori. In questo contesto composizioni come Le bruit des soupirs, scritta in più fasi tra 2014 e 2020, si coniugano perfettamente con il panorama teorico di questo mondo musicale arduo e a suo modo tormentato. Lunga, indecifrabile e particolarmente riuscita è la splendida Les oiseaux de Nias, composta tra 2017 e 2020, per cinque strumenti a fiato, venticinque bird calls e fixed medium, suddivisa in tre movimenti, che vede al suo interno un numero enorme di performer. La lunghezza della composizione, tuttavia, non concede alcuna distrazione a chi ascolta, rapito e avvinto com’è dalle frequenze incerte, dalle fragili melodie e dalle ipotesi di lavoro che il pezzo attraversa.

Il talento compositivo di Roxanne Turcotte brilla nel corso di tutto il progetto. Che si tratti dell’apertura del disco, affidata a Masques et dichotomies, dieci minuti di sintetizzatore e fixed medium passionali e irriverenti, o della più breve e particolarmente avvinghiante Tango déconstruit, risalente al 2017, o ancora dell’affascinante Les oiseaux de Nias 2, anch’essa composta in più fasi tra 2017 e ‘20, la straordinaria idea di musica che ha Turcotte emerge ovunque vivida e pulsante, coinvolgendo e convincendo l’ascoltatore dal primo all’ultimo secondo del disco.

Turcotte’s extraordinary idea of music emerges everywhere vivid and pulsating, engaging and convincing the listener from the first to the last second of the record.

More texts

  • Alan Freeman, Audion, no. 67, February 1, 2022