Histoires d’histoire (Download) Track listing detail

Music of Another Present Era

Paul Dolden

  • Year of composition: 2013-16
  • Duration: 44:18
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • Commission: Réseaux des arts médiatiques, NAISA, Maison des arts sonores, with support from the CCA
  • ISWC: T9206371122

Music of Another Present Era plays freely with our ability to imagine another time and culture. At the same time, it recognizes that this historical imagining is necessarily conditioned by our own time and place.

We do not know exactly what ancient music sounded like, as we are left with only inaudible details such as the microtonal scales that were used. This work appropriates a number of these ancient tuning systems to create a sense of the past within our present era.

While the music of ancient times can at best only be approximated, stories and myths have been passed down for generations that can further illuminate the past while still speaking to us now. These stories stimulated my musical imagination, bridging past and present, a pilgrimage through musical time and place.

This is not a programmatic work, instead these stories appear in the music metaphorically.

This metaphoric use of myths is so that the musical content be recognized without it being diminished or reduced, as often occurs in programmatic music in which the musical content threatens to vanish behind an unequivocal verbal interpretation. In other words, as the group of late 20th century philosophers known as Guns N’ Roses said: “use your illusion.”

[vii-16]


Music of Another Present Era was realized between 2013 and ’16 at the composer’s studio in Val-Morin (Québec) and premiered in its entirety on October 18, 2016 during the Maximalus échantillonné / Plunder Maximalus concert presented by Réseaux at the Amphithéâtre of Gesù in Montréal (Québec). The 5-movement piece was commissioned by Réseaux des arts médiatiques (Montréal), NAISA (Toronto), and Maison des arts sonores (Montpellier), with support from the CCA.


Premiere

  • October 18, 2016, Premiere of the complete work: Akousma 13: Plunder Maximalus, Amphithéâtre — Le Gesù, Montréal (Québec)

Music of Another Present Era, 1: Marsyas’ Melodies

Paul Dolden

  • Year of composition: 2013
  • Duration: 7:53
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • Commission: Réseaux des arts médiatiques, with support from the CCA
  • ISWC: T9206370481

Stereo

ISRC CAD501710015

  • 96 kHz, 24 bits

Marsyas was a Phrygian (Turkish) Satyr who was the first to compose for the flute. In hubristic pride over his newfound sounds Marsyas challenged Apollo, the god of music, to a contest. The victor of the contest would do whatever he wished with the loser. The judges for this competition would be the Muses. The Muses are the nine daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne and are the Goddesses of music, song and dance.

First, Marsyas played on his flute and the melody was wonderful. Then it was Apollo’s turn. Apollo played notes on his lyre full of harmony that were spellbinding to everyone. The Muses could not select a winner.

Then, with dexterity and delight, Apollo masterfully played his lyre upside down and with his teeth, in the same manner as Jimi Hendrix would thousands of years later. Marsyas, trapped by his ‘serious’ creation, was unable to compete with this high-level musical fun. So Apollo was declared the winner of the contest and the punishment he chose was harsh: Apollo flayed Marsyas to death and then used the flute to nail his skin to a pine tree.

The story shows that both Hendrix and Apollo understood the importance of entertaining listeners when creating new music, and to not be hubristic and divorced from reality. It is also an early illustration of how cruel prize-winning musicians can be after a battle of the bands.

I wondered what Marsyas’ flute melodies were like, and what this battle of the bands must have sounded like. To help evoke the mood and time, the music is based on an ancient Arab, and then Greek tuning systems.

[vii-16]


Marsyas’ Melodies — 1st movement of Music of Another Present Era — was realized in 2013 at the composer’s studio in Val-Morin (Québec) and premiered on April 3, 2014 at the Électrochoc 6 concert in the Studio multimédia of the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal (Québec). The piece was commissioned by Réseaux des arts médiatiques, with support from the CCA.


Premiere

  • April 3, 2014, Électrochoc 2013-14: Électrochoc 6: Paul Dolden, Studio multimédia — Conservatoire de musique de Montréal, Montréal (Québec)

Music of Another Present Era, 2: Shango’s Funkiness

Paul Dolden

  • Year of composition: 2014
  • Duration: 8:42
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • Commission: Réseaux des arts médiatiques, with support from the CCA
  • ISWC: T9206370458

Stereo

ISRC CAD501710016

  • 96 kHz, 24 bits

The Orisha pantheon is a collection of spirits or deities that reflect various manifestations of God in the Yoruba (Nigerian) spiritual or religious system. This religion has found its way throughout Central and South America. Shango, the king of the Orisha pantheon, was actually a deified warrior king who once ruled over the city state of Oyo in West Africa.

Shango was known as a drummer and a dancer. The drum represented unity but was also used as a call to attention, with the ability to awaken the planet. Shango lead a full red-blooded life of sex, drugs and new music. His drumming and dancing caused extreme outbreaks of funkiness wherever perpetrated. Shango liked animals, particularly dogs, and his special number was six.

Six leads to a particularly flexible meter because of the endless sub-divisions of two and three. I have always noticed the influence of these West African rhythms in South American music. My own design of multifarious cross rhythms, polyrhythms, and variable tempos will hopefully bring an outbreak of Shango funkiness to our own time.

[vii-16]


Shango’s Funkiness — 2nd movement of Music of Another Present Era — was realized in 2014 at the composer’s studio in Val-Morin (Québec) and premiered on April 3, 2014 at the Électrochoc 6 concert in the Studio multimédia of the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal (Québec). The piece was commissioned by Réseaux des arts médiatiques, with support from the CCA.


Premiere

  • April 3, 2014, Électrochoc 2013-14: Électrochoc 6: Paul Dolden, Studio multimédia — Conservatoire de musique de Montréal, Montréal (Québec)

Music of Another Present Era, 3: Entr’acte

Paul Dolden

  • Year of composition: 2014
  • Duration: 4:32
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • Commission: NAISA, with support from the CCA
  • ISWC: T9206370436

Stereo

ISRC CAD501710017

  • 96 kHz, 24 bits


Entr’acte — 3rd movement of Music of Another Present Era — was realized in 2014 at the composer’s studio in Val-Morin (Québec) and premiered on August 12, 2016, during the Sound Travels festival in Geary Lane in Toronto (Canada). The piece was commissioned by NAISA, with support from the CCA.

Premiere

  • August 12, 2016, Sound Travels 2016: Two Retrospectives: Paul Dolden and John Oswald, Geary Lane, Toronto (Ontario, Canada)

Music of Another Present Era, 4: Air of The Rainbow Robe and Feathered Skirt

Paul Dolden

  • Year of composition: 2015
  • Duration: 12:34
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • Commission: NAISA, with support from the CCA
  • ISWC: T9206370414

Stereo

ISRC CAD501710018

  • 96 kHz, 24 bits

Today the Chinese call it the Moon Festival. In Tang dynasty, it was a time of national holidays for moon gazing, drinking and merrymaking. Not everyone agreed on what the craters and plains of the lunar surface depicted. For some the moon was the site of an ice palace for the moon goddess and her court. In the folklore of the Tang, a magician escorted Emperor Illustrious August to that palace across a silver bridge that he had conjured up by tossing his staff into the air. During his sojourn there the emperor witnessed a performance of the Air of the Rainbow Robe and Feathered Skirt by immortal maids. He memorized the music, and on his return to Earth taught it to performers at his palace. The music and dance of this work remains the most famous artifact of the Tang dynasty today.

I have attempted to create a modern version of this work, in which maidens often sing, and dance rhythms abound.

[vii-16]


Air of The Rainbow Robe and Feathered Skirt — 4th movement of Music of Another Present Era — was realized in 2015 at the composer’s studio in Val-Morin (Québec) and premiered on August 12, 2016, during the Sound Travels festival in Geary Lane in Toronto (Canada). The piece was commissioned by NAISA, with support from the CCA.


Premiere

  • August 12, 2016, Sound Travels 2016: Two Retrospectives: Paul Dolden and John Oswald, Geary Lane, Toronto (Ontario, Canada)

Music of Another Present Era, 5: The Cosmic Circle Dance

Paul Dolden

  • Year of composition: 2016
  • Duration: 10:38
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • Commission: Maison des arts sonores, with support from the CCA
  • ISWC: T9206370390

Stereo

ISRC CAD501710019

  • 96 kHz, 24 bits

The dance rhythms began in the previous section continue, with an escalation to a frenzied conclusion.

The Cosmic Circle Dance is depicted in countless Indian paintings and wall hangings. These images, taking place in the forest at night, depict the Krishna enjoying the company of the cowherd girls in a circle dance. The dancers are arranged alternately in the great circle, with Krishna’s multi-forms present between each girl. The event provides the perfect symbol for the dance of life, in which the soul is eternally entwined with its lover, the supreme soul.

[vii-16]


The Cosmic Circle Dance — 5th movement of Music of Another Present Era — was realized in 2016 at the composer’s studio in Val-Morin (Québec) and premiered on June 3, 2016 during the Klang! électroacoustique 2016 festival in Salle Molière of the Opéra comédie in Montpellier (France). The piece was commissioned by Maison des arts sonores, with support from the CCA.


Premiere

  • June 3, 2016, Klang! électroacoustique 2016: Concert 3: From the Cities of Saints, Salle Molière — Opéra Comédie, Montpellier (Hérault, France)

BeBop Baghdad

Paul Dolden

  • Year of composition: 2013
  • Duration: 18:03
  • Instrumentation: electric guitar and stereo fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • Commission: Maurizio Grandinetti, with support from the CCA
  • ISWC: T9206371100

Stereo

ISRC CAD501710020

  • 96 kHz, 24 bits

Many guitarists cut their musical teeth via jamming. With players taking turns soloing and sensitively backing up the other soloists, it remains the ideal forum to display your chops and pick up new tricks through careful listening. BeBop Baghdad is a fantasy based on the jam session. A live guitarist solos through most of the work, while a room full of musical playmates is simulated by a pre-recorded tape part.

Like in a live jam session, musical styles can quickly change on a player’s whim, and the musicians must remain alert to follow the flow. In the first half of BeBop Baghdad, the soloist is surrounded by free-jazz style reeds, winds and brass. In the second half the soloist is supported and challenged by a rhythm section that hops from a Latin music club to a Nashville Country music stage, and from a New York City jazz club to a suburban basement seething with speed metal. Surprisingly, every locale is visited by an ensemble of Arabian musicians, lending an exotic flavor and further testing the soloist’s abilities. Fortunately, our guitar hero has just returned from a tour of Iraq, where he was swinging, rocking and trilling with the locals. The recurring themes based on Arabic scales lend continuity to BeBop Baghdad through the wildly shifting scenes.

[vii-16]


BeBop Baghdad was realized in 2013 at the composer’s studio in Val-Morin (Québec) and premiered by Maurizio Grandinetti on March 2, 2014 at Teatro delle Passioni in Modena (Italy). The piece was commissioned by Maurizio Grandinetti, with support from the CCA.


Premiere

  • March 2, 2014, Maurizio Grandinetti, electric guitar • Maurizio Grandinetti — Dettagli, Teatro delle Passioni, Modena (Italy)

About this recording

This version of BeBop Baghdad was performed and recorded by Maurizio Grandinetti in Basel (Switzerland) in April 2015, and mixed by the composer at the composer’s studio in Val-Morin (Québec) in November 2015.

Show Tunes in Samarian Starlight

Paul Dolden

  • Year of composition: 2012
  • Duration: 16:32
  • Instrumentation: B-flat trumpet and stereo fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • Commission: Łukasz Gothszalk, with support from the CCA
  • ISWC: T9206371097; T9

Stereo

ISRC CAD501710021

  • 96 kHz, 24 bits

The work plays freely with our historical imagination, specifically, our ability to imagine another time and culture. At the same time, this imagining is always conditioned by our own time.

We know the microtonal scales used by many ancient cultures. However we have no idea of how they were used or what the music sounded like. Show Tunes in Samarian Starlight appropriates a number of ancient scales to create a musical fantasy of ‘show tunes’ and ‘nightclub music’ for ancient times.

The work is based on the same melodies recreated in different tuning systems. These fluctuate between two musical moods — plaintive and calm, like a ballad, and energized, like a rock, swing, or Latin groove. Similarly, the structure of the work fluctuates between the microtonality of an imagined past and our modern tuning system.

[vii-16]


Show Tunes in Samarian Starlight was realized in 2012 at the composer’s studio in Val-Morin (Québec). The piece was commissioned by Łukasz Gothszalk, with support from the CCA.


About this recording

This version of Show Tunes in Samarian Starlight was performed by Łukasz Gothszalk, recorded by the composer in the composer’s studio in Val-Morin (Québec) in July 2015, and mixed the composer in the composer’s studio in September 2015.

By continuing browsing our site, you agree to the use of cookies, which allow audience analytics.