Fenêtres intérieures (Download) Track listing detail

De la fenêtre

Roxanne Turcotte / Étienne Lalonde

  • Year of composition: 2010-12
  • Duration: 11:08
  • Instrumentation: 16-channel fixed medium
  • Commission: Étienne Lalonde

Stereo

ISRC CAD501410001

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

“May the Heavens in its place put windows
I am not lying in this bed without danger
I paint bodies in red
May the Heavens in its place put windows
To provide some light
Since in this moment from the emptiness in your eyes
One could think
That you are not breathing in the same place as I do

Étienne Lalonde [English translation: François Couture]

The outside looks different when you look at it from a window. It is not always as you imagine. And our inner windows so accurately describe the feelings related to them. A country, a culture, ideals, small beings like cats and birds, and then magnificent landscapes out of our imagination. Autumn sounds and summer breeze. I am exploring a “sonarium” full of musical gardens. I am listening to the never-before-heard words of our subconscious. A man and a woman are having a conversation on a Sunday. A window opens on a world from which strange openings pop up, openings like incredibly light doors, a destiny, an unexpected desire…

[English translation: François Couture, iv-14]


De la fenêtre [From the Window] was realized in 2010-12 at the composer’s studio (Productions RTM) in Montréal. A first installation version (sculpture by Marc Larochelle) was presented on March 10, 2011 as part of the concert Électro-chocs 4: Travaux électroniques féminins in the Studio multimédia of the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal, and the concert version was premiered on March 21, 2014 during the 3rd Festival of New Music Now Hear This produced by New Music Edmonton (Canada). This work was commissioned by Étienne Lalonde (author of Les yeux crevés du soleil, an excerpt of which is integrated to De la fenêtre). Recorded voices: Céline Bonnier and Pierre Lebeau; sound engineer: Louis Dufort; Studio Sigma, Montréal. A nod to the installation Sonarium (2006) realized in collaboration with André Hamel and Diane Labrosse. Thanks to Martin Bédard.


Premiere

  • March 21, 2014, Now Hear This Festival of New Music 2014: Semi / Conductor: a concert of electronic works, Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Edmonton (Alberta, Canada)

Bestiaire

Roxanne Turcotte

  • Year of composition: 2010-11, 14
  • Duration: 10:01
  • Instrumentation: 16-channel fixed medium

Stereo

ISRC CAD501410002

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

Ten environmental divertimentos, intertwined, depicting a descriptive fresco of real and imaginary animals that several people have seen. Their story and a surprising language for your ear’s pleasure. Vocal interpretations of birds are analyzed and compared to human voices, and auditory perceptions are highlighted through spatialization organized in order to create a natural wildlife space and a near-realistic open-space musical aviary.

Since the beginning of time, animals are found everywhere in paintings, music, literature, and culture in general. Some imaginary beings seem to have real existence in this ethereal world. Birds memorize notes, species produce and perceive ultrasounds and infrasounds. A multitude of sound signals and rallying cries are being produced by very real means of production: beating wings, rubbing legs, quick shifts from bass to treble, and echolocation. Oddly, you think you’re hearing a water drop, a singing voice, a radio tuner, a harmonics sweep, Inuit songs, Pygmy songs, Burmese songs, vocal onomatopoeia. Through the combination of a few recorded sound sources, sea creatures with very wide spectrums seem to be creating musical phrases with specific rhythms (auditory illusion). Pure vocal interpretations. They display a power of communication and a range of emotions that we are only beginning to understand. Animals also display a form of solidarity through their mobilization. We love them because they bring us back to basics: the survival instinct.

My bestiary is a tribute to living beings. A story based on real-life events and fabulous experiences: winged singers and imitators gifted with perfect pitch; a laughing dog that thinks he is a cat on a kayak; almost-human squirrels; thinking crows; a pet monarch saved in extremis and quietly having breakfast with my daughter Fannie; the song of hungry coyotes; a “smoocher” parrot conversing in Spanish, exactly at 880 Hz. There are also a few anecdotes about the escapade of a parakeet drawn to the windowsill by the smell of fried eggs on a cold winter night; our little pond being taken over by frogs; tracking my parakeet Toupie gone on an unexpected four-day, twelve-kilometre free-range trip.

Several field recording sessions were necessary to gather as much sound samples as possible and build a sound bank. This was followed by long hours of sorting and micro-editing, only to keep the most essential bits in the end.

Sources of inspiration: Radio-Canada, Samedi et rien d’autre, June 7, 2008; Joël Le Bigot, Les animaux du Grand Nord, Éditions Auzou; Nav Canada (air traffic control of “human wings”); wild animal shelters; my adopted pets; Obelix’s Dogmatix; Gaston’s black-headed gull; Tintin’s Snowy; the bestiaries of Sonia Sarfati, Alfred Pellan, Serge Bouchard, Olivier Messiaen

[English translation: François Couture, iv-14]


Bestiaire [Bestiary] was realized in 2010-11 at the composer’s studio (Productions RTM) in Montréal. It awarded the 3rd place at the 2nd Prix collégien de musique contemporaine 2009-10 organized by the Cégep de Sherbrooke (Québec) in collaboration with the Centre de musique canadienne — Région du Québec. Thanks to the Canada Council for the Arts (CCA).


Premiere

  • October 24, 2015, L’Espace du son 2015: Roxanne Turcotte, Théâtre Marni, Brussels (Belgium)

Awards

Petit ange

Roxanne Turcotte / Roxanne Turcotte

  • Year of composition: 2012-14
  • Duration: 4:08
  • Instrumentation: 5 melodicas and fixed medium

Stereo

ISRC CAD501410003

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits
  • 48 kHz, 24 bits
In memory of Gabriel, this eternal child (1997-2011)

“Words are no help anymore… The imaginary country, it is agreed, is an island, but its shape changes as it pleases the dreamer strolling through it…”

Philippe Forest, L’enfant éternel, Éditions Gallimard, 1997 [English translation: François Couture]

A lull after a storm through a set of melodicas scattered on the stage. Every 16th day of the month, I remember… An angel was born in this paradise of birds and sadness. Voices tell a story, and then he takes off over a city or an island. He is there, watching over us, over his parents, his sister, and his friends. He joined my father and my grandparents. He is not alone anymore. His kitty is there too! When I hear his laughing voice, memories flood on in. At this very moment I am thinking of my sister.

”My child, hang on to my voice. You can hear it in the quilted depths of the night you are sinking into. We won’t leave you alone for long… Take everything that shines and sticks out from the dark blue backdrop of oblivion. Sleep! The hour of good children strikes now.”

Philippe Forest, L’enfant éternel, Éditions Gallimard, 1997 [English translation: François Couture]

[English translation: François Couture, iv-14]


Petit ange [Small Angel] was realized in 2012-14 at the composer’s studio (Productions RTM) in Montréal. Recorded voices: Laurent Poitrenaux, Sylvie Deguy, Sophie-Caroline Schatz at the studios of La Muse en circuit (Alfortville, France) for the previous work Fantaisie urbaine (2005).


Premiere

  • June 2, 2017, Acousmatic version: Klang! électroacoustique 2017: Concert, Salle Molière — Opéra Comédie, Montpellier (Hérault, France)

Alibi des voltigeurs

Roxanne Turcotte / Étienne Lalonde

  • Year of composition: 2012-14
  • Duration: 8:09
  • Instrumentation: narrator (processing) and 24-channel fixed medium

Stereo

ISRC CAD501410004

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

“Stuck in a time when hope is the ultimate passage of loss.”

Étienne Lalonde [English translation: François Couture]

This electronic poem is in four parts: Le cadran déchu (The Deposed Dial); L’obsession (The Obsession); La va-et-vient (To and Fro); L’horloge ambulante (The Walking Clock).

I have an uneasy relationship with time… Present, past, and future times.

”Temporality is the notion of perception or of a state of time. This notion varies from field to field.” “Temporality is time experienced by conscience…”

[Adapted from the French versions of Wikipédia and Encyclopædia Universalis.]

What time is it? What colours are being offered to my eyes to immerse myself in the atmosphere of a location, where the ambient air can soak in joy and despair? And what about the minutes that suddenly escape, never to come back? One must move smoothly forward. Impossible! To swim all the way to the other shore, despite the obstacles and tiredness. To stop is synonymous with certain death, unless you have an alibi to gasp for air and improve your breathing. The alibi is the ultimate excuse when you’re late. Acrobats are great inner travelers who find for themselves a place shaded from age and bad weather.

This work is marked by cyclical and tormented movements. On stage, a female narrator dialogues with fixed sounds that are projected all around her. A looper memorizes snippets of her performance and repeats these snippets, superimposing them into a nursery rhyme.

A temporal rhythm of quarter notes at 60 is inevitable! Buying time is just a metaphor. The time line is a fault in the cartesian mind of the character, and her vision blurs up. I am looking at her through the crosshairs while driving on a deserted road. The tempo hurries up, this is just an illusion. The meter’s running and the needle reaches 131 km/h in a 70 km/h zone. The fuel gauge has bottomed out. Death may be waiting for me, but the beat keeps on beating in another vein of life, and seconds fly by like shooting stars. Now, advanced calculus is required to reach our destination unnoticed. All the watches of the world are set and synchronized to avoid devastating consequences. Messed-up schedules breed terror and failures. A herd of little children hurried by the bell are moving silently in line. I am exhausted and suffocating in this human jungle of insurmountable minutes. I won’t be taking the dog out tonight, because deep in the forest the coyotes, with their striking chorus of voices, are racing ahead of time all the way till sunrise. No rest for the tiny mechanism of the clock you keep staring at for a whole challengeful day. A tidal wave is coming… And once more I’m late! To find an alibi to make people forget about the disappearing acrobats.

[English translation: François Couture, iv-14]


Alibi des voltigeurs [The Acrobats’ Alibi] was realized in 2012-14 at the composer’s studio (Productions RTM) in Montréal. Thanks to the Canada Council for the Arts (CCA) and, for their precious help, Laur Fugère, voice; and Manuel Teigeiro, Jew’s harp sounds.

OVI (Objet volant identifié)

Roxanne Turcotte

  • Year of composition: 2009-14
  • Duration: 10:49
  • Instrumentation: modified electric guitar, amplified guitar and 5.1-channel fixed medium

Stereo

ISRC CAD501410005

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits
  • 48 kHz, 24 bits
In memory of Martin

Electroacoustic research work based on the tone of the vibrating strings of a modified electric guitar and sounds from an eolian harp designed and built with François Doyon.

The instrument is made of recycled materials. It vibrates when wind blows on it or when you alter the tension in the strings and the boat riggings tied to its metal structure: piano strings, nylon strings (fishing lines), polyester, sheathed dyneema or kevlar, multi-stringed or monofilament type, size 0.8 to 3 mm. Add in pulleys to change tension in the strings and you get frequency modulations: C6 altering to B-flat 5, B5, G, A, and glissando variations depending on wind force measured with an anemometer. A light emitting device turns the structure into an installation suited for daytime and nighttime performances where a guitarist plays a transcription of the effects produces by the harp, disseminated through loudspeakers surrounding the listeners.

A delirious accumulation of music twirls around in flurries, producing mysterious whistling sounds caught in mid-flight as references to common expressions like to strike a chord and several strings to one’s bow. Use of the EBow in real-time brings the sounds together through sustain, thus creating fade effects with the eolian harp recordings. Placing the EBow on the pick-ups of the electric guitar creates an electromagnetic field that becomes an extension of the “identified flying object”…

The final section of the piece features notes naturally produced by mast shrouds. Boats become actual musical instruments fitted with long lines that produce whistling sounds in harmony with the clicks of the riggings. This mast chorus produces a chord of specific notes according to the various sizes of the mast shrouds and lines. It plays a magnificent open-air concert while the roads flying from airport to airport follow a plan in the sky that allows passage from sea to space. We start perceiving the ambience of various locations: airports, seaports, marinas, and the civilian air traffic control centre.

[English translation: François Couture, iv-14]


The current version of OVI (Objet volant identifié) [IFO (Identified Flying Object)] was realized in 2011, and completed in 2014, at the composer’s studio (Productions RTM) in Montréal. The installation version was presented in the fall of 2011 at Parc Bourgeau in Pointe-Claire (Québec). Thanks to the Canada Council for the Arts (CCA), François Doyon, Francis Brunet-Turcotte, Claude Lassonde for valuable advice on how to use the EBow; Julien Leblond, piano restorer and donator of lines and rigging; Philippe Labbé, structures and vibrations engineer; François Sébastien, the air traffic controller who would lead me to the “wind machine” when I visited his work station; and Martin Léveillé for advice about recording and contact microphones.

Zone d’exclusion

Roxanne Turcotte

  • Year of composition: 2013, 14
  • Duration: 4:34
  • Instrumentation: shakuhachi and fixed medium

Stereo

ISRC CAD501410006

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

Fukushima, March 11, 2011: earthquake, tsunami, nuclear disaster… Still unstable to this day. An unpredicted wave over history. Lives wasted by earth that shook until it made the irreparable aspect of human stupidity leak out. A country devastated by the catastrophe. We and our seas are condemned by nuclear power. The desolation and nightmare are at our doors. Soon, we will be excluded from the radioactive zone, our planet. What percentage of the planet will eventually be included in the damned territories, the exclusion zone?

Harmonics emerge from the main tone (shakuhachi), and then fly around, randomly pushed by the nightmare, eventually leaving only a few recurring notes mixed in with the resounding disaster. Muted music comes to haunt us with memories of raw earth. The only thing we can catch is the sound of angels. A beat-driven tune created by loops of shakuhachi micro-samples and bass frequency sounds become a call to death, anguish, and disorder, before they get slowly deconstructed. That is humanity’s destiny!

[English translation: François Couture, iv-14]


Zone d’exclusion [Exclusion Zone] was realized in 2013 at the composer’s studio (Productions RTM) in Montréal for the project Meanwhile, in Fukushima… — www.fukushima-open-sounds.net — led by Dominique Belaÿ. It can be heard online since October 8, 2013.


Premiere

  • October 8, 2013, Meanwhile, in Fukushima…, www.fukushima-open-sounds.net

Tout en rouge

Roxanne Turcotte

  • Year of composition: 2012-14
  • Duration: 4:33
  • Instrumentation: fixed medium

Stereo

ISRC CAD501410007

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

A tribute to the exceptional young generation of 2012.

“Two hundred and fifty thousand people, that’s not a springtime matter, that’s a people’s matter, a world matter.”

Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois

My music started to gain a political colour in 2012, in reaction to human aberrations, after I produced a soundtrack for the Amnesty International event 10 ans de Guantanamo, 10 heures de prise de parole. Tout en rouge is music concerned with social, political, and environmental realities. Protest acousmatics!

March 22, 2012. An exceptional day, unseasonably warm, incredibly sunny. April 22: bells are ringing across the island. A breath of fresh air is stoking passions. Contrast! Fierce battles rage in the streets of Montréal and all over Québec, turning our soil into a nation. Spring comes in early this year… It is the “Maple Spring” that would gain momentum month after month. Young community leaders are taking up the torch in the name of equality. Finally, a relief force! They are here, now, women and men who are ready to change the world for future years. It reminds me of the Saint-Jean-Baptiste (Québec’s national holiday) on the mountain in 1975, René Lévesque… Our childrens’ generation, the one that replaces our generation from 30 or 40 years ago. We were losing hope to find anew a life filled with engagement, debates and struggles for social justice, the end of corruption, the end of shale gas development…

Tout en rouge is made of field recordings made during the 2012 demonstrations, plus a few archives around the “Maple Spring” social crisis and ongoing struggles that remain current to this day… I remember everything in red. And you?

[English translation: François Couture, iv-14]


Tout en rouge [Everything in Red] was realized in 2012-14 at the composer’s studio (Productions RTM) in Montréal, and was broadcasted on web radio and through various social media after the events of Spring 2012. A special thank you to René Gour for the radio broadcast (CIBL FM), to François Doyon for snippets of guitar, and to Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois for authorizing the use of his audio quote.


Premiere

  • October 24, 2015, L’Espace du son 2015: Roxanne Turcotte, Théâtre Marni, Brussels (Belgium)

Le piano d’Horowitz

Roxanne Turcotte

  • Year of composition: 2014
  • Duration: 6:09
  • Instrumentation: piano and stereo fixed medium

Stereo

ISRC CAD501410008

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits
  • 48 kHz, 24 bits
In memory of my great friend François Bélair

I am fascinated by the mechanics of the piano. The sound fingers clicking on the ivories, the hammers hammering the strings; piano playing improvised, felt, and treated. September 10, 2012 in a Montréal store, playing on Horowitz’s piano sends me to an incommensurable place. To make these strings vibrate in a magical counterpoint of theme and variations fills me with joy… The riggings of the piano unfurl like wind in sails. This piano seems to be alive. It breathes. So I grab my portable recorder to immortalize this moment in my memory. So many buried passions are rekindled and fuse with the ambient sounds and resonating sources of the sustain pedal. Little by little, they fade away, leaving but a sigh behind.

[English translation: François Couture, iv-14]


Le piano d’Horowitz [Horowitz’s Piano] was realized in 2014 at the composer’s studio (Productions RTM) in Montréal for a sound installation (small loudspeakers and light emitting diodes placed around a piano). Thanks to Roger Lacroix (ArtsVox).


Premiere

  • June 2, 2017, Acousmatic version: Klang! électroacoustique 2017: Concert, Salle Molière — Opéra Comédie, Montpellier (Hérault, France)

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