Rites d’oiseaux pensants
- Dominique Bassal
- Year of composition: 2001, 08
- Duration: 14:40
- Instrumentation: 5.1-channel fixed medium
An allegory with a tropical atmosphere, loosely inspired — after the fact — by a work of distant anticipation by Olaf Stapledon (1886-1950), Star Maker (1937), in which a telepathic community of small winged beings represents, after the pathetic failure of mankind, the quintessence of creation.
The introduction to this piece is a disquieting radio foreshadowing of the main theme. In between is a long spatial drift, made of concentric waves. This portion represents the icy crossing of a temporal vortex over millions of years. The emergence into an ideal future is destabilizing: this is a feverish, vaguely oriental delirium, at odds with the serene image one has of perfect utopia. Radical disorientation, possibly mocking and insulting, confirmed by an ending which unites biological jumble and mathematical cruelty: severed from his foundations, stripped of edifying content, the listener is abandoned, all his dreams ignored, on a rocky shore…
Rites d’oiseaux pensants [Rites of Thinking Birds] was realized in stereo in September-October 2001 (the transfer to 7.1 was realized in January 2006) at the composer’s studio in Montréal. It was premiered on 7 November 2002, during an ÉuCuE concert at the Oscar Peterson Concert Hall of Concordia University, Montréal. The final versions (stereo and 5.1) were extensively revised in November 2008, with the help of Ian Chuprun and, later, Marcelle Deschênes. Rites d’oiseaux pensants was awarded the 4th prize at the Jeu de temps / Times Play (JTTP) competition of the Canadian Electroacoustic Community (CEC, Canada, 2002) and was previously released in 2002 on the CD Cache 2002 (PEP 006).
- November 7, 2002, ÉuCUE XXI: Concert, Salle de concert Oscar-Peterson — Université Concordia, Montréal (Québec)