Mâts (Download) Track listing detail

Gwerz

Elsa Justel

  • Year of composition: 2002
  • Duration: 11:40
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • Commission: French State (Music Office), Futura Festival

Stereo

ISRC CAD500720690

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits
  • 48 kHz, 24 bits
  • 96 kHz, 24 bits

The old stones of the Tower of Crest, in France, tell us many stories, from the hard work of the stonecutters to the suffering of their prisoners. Secret messages whispered to the moon, filtering through bars. Love, war, hope and desperation stories. From the stones’ heart emanate their history, language, spirit, tragic song, and gwerz.

[English translation: François Couture, viii-07]


Gwerz (in Breton: a ballad or lament) was realized in 2002 at the composer’s studio in Paris (France) and premiered on June 3, 2002 during the Synthèse Festival in Bourges (France). The piece was commissioned by the French State (Music Office) and the Futura festival in Crest (France). Thanks to Denis Dufour.


Premiere

  • June 3, 2002, Synthèse 2002: Concert, Grand théâtre — Maison de la culture de Bourges, Bourges (Cher, France)

Du libe tu?

Elsa Justel

  • Year of composition: 1996
  • Duration: 2:14
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • Commission: IMEB

Stereo

ISRC CAD500720700

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits
  • 48 kHz, 24 bits
  • 96 kHz, 24 bits

“The Gods have become machines. And machines think. They do, therefore they are; they build, therefore they act; they act, therefore they live. They have the movement, breath and style of life. Let us close our eyes to better see them. [noise] At the end of such a journey, the only thing that matters is courage, imagination, and intelligence; where Man shall stop, tired, uneasy with all his conquests; where he shall remember that a single word — the key to comprehension — means both to listen and to understand. That musician will make anything his own, be it God, table or toilet. With the same musical ear, he will spy on the nightingale’s modulations, the breath of machines; and from tropical birds, he will be able to create his own score.” — Pierre Schaeffer, excerpt from the conference «Retour aux sources», Festival de la Recherche organized by RTF, Paris (France), May 26, 1960.

To you, o great provocative man, o boy looking for trouble, I answer back with the same breath of machines — those capricious Gods — untroubled by my foolish witticisms, because you gave me the crazy courage that carried the imagination, this boldness allowing me to create illusions, without restraint nor compromise.

The title Du libe tu? is an anagram on the title of Pierre Schaeffer’s work Bidule en ut, of which parts of the theme are quoted herein.

[English translation: François Couture, viii-07]


Du libe tu? was realized in 1996 at the composer’s studio in Paris (France) and premiered on May 31, 1996 at the Hommage-Tombeau de Schaeffer concert as part of Synthèse, the Festival international de musique électroacoustique de Bourges (France, 1996). The piece was commissioned by the Institut international de musique électroacoustique de Bourges (IMEB, France) for the anniversary of the death of Pierre Schaeffer. The recorded voice of Pierre Schaeffer was taken from the archives of the Institut national de l’audiovisuel (Ina).


Premiere

  • May 31, 1996, Synthèse 1996: Hommage-Tombeau de Schaeffer, Théâtre Jacques-Cœur, Bourges (Cher, France)

Mâts

Elsa Justel

  • Year of composition: 1999
  • Duration: 10:57
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • Commission: French State (Music Office), Ina-GRM

Stereo

ISRC CAD500720710

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits
  • 48 kHz, 24 bits
  • 96 kHz, 24 bits
To my husband

As the pulleys of the masts rocked by the wind, the apparatus of an imaginary ballet leave their members vibrate in a frantic dance. The voice of the erkencho (an instrument from the Andes made out of a bull’s horn) became hoarse and harrowing. It is not its throat singing anymore, nor is it its flesh shaking, but its bone crying out. Submerged into the liquid world of the rain stick, the horn emerges again and again, dancing and mocking, emitting a never-ending acid song.

[English translation: François Couture, viii-07]


Mâts [Masts] was realized in 1999 from sounds of traditional instruments from various cultures — erkencho (South America), rain stick (Africa), small drums and bamboos (China) — in the studio of the Groupe de recherches musicales (GRM) in Paris (France) and premiered on February 1999 at the Salle Olivier Messiaen of the Maison de Radio France (Paris, France). The piece was commissioned by the French State (Music Office) and the Ina-GRM (Paris).


Premiere

  • February 9, 1999, Multiphonies 1998-1999: Concert, Salle Olivier Messiaen — Maison de la radio, Paris (France)

Midi de sable

Elsa Justel

  • Year of composition: 2000
  • Duration: 9:47
  • Instrumentation: recorders (alto, tenor, basset, contrabass) and stereo fixed medium
  • Commission: Phonos Fundació Privida

Stereo

ISRC CAD500720720

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits
  • 48 kHz, 24 bits
  • 96 kHz, 24 bits

Midi de sable is written for alto, tenor, basset and contrabass recorders. I tried to explore the roughest sonorities of the instrument and its most unusual playing techniques, with the help of virtuoso flautist Joan Izquierdo. Both the tape and the score material were created using the same type of material, in order to create a single, fused musical discourse. I have explored the strong sonic personality of the contrabass recorder and the subtle shades of the basset to create a deep space. Also, I have tried to create a contrasted space between the electronic part and the sharp sounds of the alto and tenor recorders.

[English translation: François Couture, viii-07]


Midi de sable [Sand Noon] was realized in 2000 in the studio of the Phonos Fundació Privada in Barcelona (Spain) and premiered on March 15, 2001 during the Concerts Phonos a Metrònom series at Metrònom in Barcelona (Spain). The piece was commissioned by the Phonos Fundació Privida.


Premiere

  • March 15, 2001, Joan Izquierdo, recorders • Concerts Phonos a Metrònom, Metrònom, Barcelona (Spain)

Alba Sud

Elsa Justel

  • Year of composition: 1997-98
  • Duration: 9:48
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • Commission: IMEB

Stereo

ISRC CAD500720730

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits
  • 48 kHz, 24 bits
  • 96 kHz, 24 bits

Alba Sud is an homage to both musique concrète and the idea of compatibility between concrète and synthetic sources and also between analog and digital technologies. Even if I didn’t experience the era of the Schaefferian revolution, his ideas always made a very strong impression on me.

[English translation: François Couture, viii-07]


Alba Sud was realized in 1997-98 at the studio of the Institut international de musique électroacoustique de Bourges (IMEB, France) and premiered on June 7, 1998 during the Synthèse Festival in Bourges (France). The piece was commissioned by the IMEB. Thanks to Françoise Barrière and the IMEB for their invaluable support.


Premiere

  • June 7, 1998, Synthèse 1998: Concert, Palais Jacques-Cœur, Bourges (Cher, France)

Au loin… bleu

Elsa Justel

  • Year of composition: 1997
  • Duration: 11:26
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • Commission: Jana Kluge with support from Fondation Royaumont

Stereo

ISRC CAD500720740

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits
  • 48 kHz, 24 bits
  • 96 kHz, 24 bits

Clouds of sighs are drifting up into blue space, like fugitive wings rushing toward some distant horizon. The voice becomes matter in an unknown tongue. However, the sonic discourse still conveys meaning… Life experience, scents, a sensitive unreal. Words, phonemes, vocal gestures are transformed into a musical flow enriched by the characteristic colours of each participating tongue. Speech is disguised as atmosphere and expresses its essence to blend in with the music.

[English translation: François Couture, viii-07]


Au loin… bleu [Far Away… Blue] was realized in 1997 at the composer’s studio in Paris (France) and premiered on November 9, 1997 during the Multilinear 1997 exhibition at Kubus in Hanover (Germany). The piece was commissioned by visual artist Jana Kluge with support from the Fondation Royaumont (France).


Premiere

  • November 9, 1997, Multilinear 1997, Kubus, Hanover (Germany)

Puntos, comas y refritos

Elsa Justel

  • Year of composition: 2002
  • Duration: 11:41
  • Instrumentation: 8-channel fixed medium
  • Commission: Akademie der Künste (Berlin, Germany)

Stereo

ISRC CAD500720750

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits
  • 48 kHz, 24 bits
  • 96 kHz, 24 bits

Puntos, comas y refritos evokes some of electroacoustic music’s sound clichés (such as birds, water, footsteps) as well as other anecdotal forms of my own. I wanted to use these ‘refritos’ (Spanish for clichés) in order to recreate, with humour, a certain form of nostalgia. Space is used as an expressive element that also contributes to the structure of the piece, which is articulated by links between short elements, in order to create an architecture following the style of Antoni Gaudí.

[English translation: François Couture, viii-07]


Puntos, comas y refritos [Points, commas, and clichés] was realized in 2002 at the studio of the Akademie der Künste in Berlin (Germany) and premiered in 2003 during a concert at the Akademie der Künste. The piece was commissioned by the Akademie der Künste.


Premiere

  • 2003, Concert, Akademie der Künste — Hanseatenweg, Berlin (Germany)

Bastet

Elsa Justel

  • Year of composition: 2004
  • Duration: 10:37
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • Commission: French State (Music Office), APREM

Stereo

ISRC CAD500720760

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits
  • 48 kHz, 24 bits
  • 96 kHz, 24 bits

Bastet, this naughty cat deity, has slipped into the piano box. Confused by the strange appearance of this place, she tries to find the exit while holding on to the strings.

The project is based on the notions of ambiguity, instability and chance. The material comes from sounds produced by piano strings, guitar and snare drum through unconventional modes of excitement (by rubbing, scratching and hitting, or using various items, such as wooden and metal sticks, nail file, paper, etc.). I was exploring the spectral instability unique to string sounds with the intention of producing nuances of character and effects of ambiguity. Some digital treatments allow to change the personality of sound, so it is possible to obtain sounds similar to percussion or wind instruments. Also, I have let chance, this ineffable assistant, play a role in order to lead us to unexpected discoveries.

[English translation: François Couture, viii-07]


Bastet was realized in 2004 at the studio of the Association pour la recherche et l’expérimentation musicale (APREM) in Nevers (France) and premiered on March 20, 2004 during the concert season of APREM. The piece was commissioned by the French State (Music Office) and the APREM (Nevers, France). Bastet was awarded the Prix Ton Bruynèl 2005 (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) — “The jury admired the sophisticated sounds and immense technical command in this work. A daring and elegant composition, very carefully structured and humourous as well.”


Premiere

  • March 20, 2004, Concert, Théâtre municipal de Nevers, Nevers (Nièvre, France)

Awards

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