Univers parallèles (Download) Track listing detail

Dédales

Todor Todoroff

  • Year of composition: 2008
  • Duration: 16:08
  • Instrumentation: 12-channel fixed medium

Stereo

ISRC CAD501910035

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits
  • 44,1 kHz, 24 bits
  • 44,1 kHz, 32 bits

Dédales [Mazes] is freely inspired by music composed for Les familiers du labyrinthe (2005) [Regulars of the Labyrinth], choreographed by Michèle Noiret for the Paris Opera.

Significant structural changes have been made to the original work and new elements have been integrated. Every now and again, the piece sets up the notion of a strange, undefinable presence by means of ‘coloured silences’; sonic chiaroscuro-like moments which open a door to the unknown. At times, very distinct and rhythmic sonic structures cause the hostile, mechanical and unpredictable universe of the labyrinth to materialize, in whose machinery the performers’ bodies are lost and found again. Emphasis is placed now on its inescapable permanence, now on its kinetic vivacity.

This machine, however, is not only external — it inhabits the souls and bodies of the performers and also reflects them, as only they can perceive and imagine it. It is therefore an echo of the apparent fragility of men and women, whose sonic presence is symbolically represented by breath and vocal sounds. These sounds appear throughout the composition in diverse forms, their multiple transformations retaining the imprint of their original source.

Dédales also explores the juxtaposition of distinct spaces and sounds that appear, disappear, and react to one another, as well as unusual combinations, disturbances and accidents. This kind of superposition is made possible, without compromising listening transparency, through extensive exploration of the possibilities offered by multichannel diffusion. The different strata of sonic material are subjected to distinct types of temporal distortion, fragmentation and metamorphosis — disrupting and altering our perception of time and space.

[English translation: Stephanie Moore, i-19]


Dédales was realized in 2008 at the ARTeM (Art, recherche, technologie et musique [Art, Research, Technology, and Music]) studio in Brussels (Belgium) and was premiered on November 29, 2008 during the Concert électroacoustique of Festival Loop 1 at the Espace Senghor in Brussels (Belgium). Dédales received support from the Service de la musique of the Direction générale de la culture, ministry of the Communauté française de Belgique.


Premiere

  • November 29, 2008, Todor Todoroff, diffusion • Festival Loop 1: Concert électroacoustique, Espace Senghor, Brussels (Belgium)

Matières

Todor Todoroff

  • Year of composition: 2003
  • Duration: 9:50
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • Commission: Centre culturel du Brabant wallon (CCBW)

Stereo

ISRC CAD501910036

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits
  • 44,1 kHz, 24 bits
  • 44,1 kHz, 32 bits

For Matières [Materials], composed for the publication Le corps de l’espace, les nouveaux matériaux dans l’architecture depuis 1850 [The Body in Space: New Materials in Architecture Since 1850] by the Centre culturel du Brabant wallon in 2003, I not only wanted to render audible materials used in architecture, but to put the focus primarily on the individuals who inhabit or move through these sites. I therefore decided to allow the gesture of the individual to speak for itself: brushing against a surface; caressing, rubbing, or striking it; taking an object and letting it fall or making it roll through a space…

It seemed essential to me to return to the sources of musique concrète and to keep the sonic characteristics of the materials and of the spaces in which they resonate untouched. The recordings were therefore made on analog magnetic tape and no effects or processing techniques were used other than slowing down or speeding up the play rate and reversing playback direction. All reverberations were naturally-occuring.

In the course of editing and mixing, however, I tried to avoid anecdotal references (no sounds of footsteps nor creaking or slaming doors) in order to concentrate on the sound morphologies and energies revealed by different gestures, as well as on reverberation lengths, changes of acoustical space and contrasts between close and distant sounds. Chimeric spaces were thus created, where gestures dialogue with materials.

[English translation: Stephanie Moore, i-19]


Matières was realized in 2003 at the ARTeM (Art, recherche, technologie et musique [Art, Research, Technology, and Music]) studio in Brussels (Belgium) and was premiered on December 13, 2003 at the Chapelle de Verre de Fauquez in Braine-le-Comte (Belgium). The piece was commissioned by the Centre culturel du Brabant wallon (CCBW) in Court-Saint-Étienne (Belgium).


Premiere

  • December 13, 2003, Concert, Chapelle de Verre de Fauquez, Braine-le-Comte (Belgium)

Solo feu

Todor Todoroff

  • Year of composition: 2001
  • Duration: 4:36
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • Commission: Sub Rosa

Stereo

ISRC CAD501910037

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits
  • 44,1 kHz, 24 bits
  • 44,1 kHz, 32 bits

Solo feu [Fire Solo] primarily combines a variety of transformations of sounds of fire. This piece is an excerpt which has been reworked from music composed for In Between (2000), by choreographer Michèle Noiret.

[English translation: Stephanie Moore, iv-18]


Solo feu was realized in 2001 at the ARTeM (Art, recherche, technologie et musique [Art, Research, Technology, and Music]) studio in Brussels (Belgium) and commissioned by Sub Rosa. In 2002, the piece was included on the CD Electric Flat Land (SR 181).

Obsession

Todor Todoroff / Charles Baudelaire

  • Year of composition: 1991
  • Duration: 11:10
  • Instrumentation: 4-channel fixed medium

Stereo

ISRC CAD501910038

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

Obsession is a work of research / variation on the theme of Eros and Thanatos. The sonic materials of the piece were derived mainly from two types of sources whose multiple transformations occur successively or blend together through montage and mixing in such a way as to create poetic contrasts and coincidences.

The first type of source is made of stereophonic recordings of flowing water and waves, used in two different manners. Processed as a whole through filtering and spatialization techniques, they create variable sonic masses that draw the listener into their ever faster-spinning whirlpool. These same sounds, when analyzed in terms of their energy distribution across multiple frequency bands, reveal the microscopic and chaotic nature of water which hides beneath the apparent overall serenity of movement. This analysis gives birth to a polyphonic structure, distributed over four acoustic signal paths (the four channels of the quadraphonic set-up). An additional feedback mechanism allows the development of the system to be influenced by its own history. By synthesizing the notes extracted from the analyzed frequencies and reinjecting these synthesized sounds into the input of the system, the notes self-sustain until a sufficiently loud disturbance, stemming from notes generated from the analysis of water sounds, causes them to change. It is symbolic of life, where a multitude of external stimuli — often contradictory — will sometimes decisively change the course of one’s existence.

The second type of source is comprised of excerpts of poems by Baudelaire and other texts which have been read aloud and sampled. These samples have then been fragmented, transformed, joined together and spatialized. There is an evolution throughout the piece, starting with micro-editing small fragments of voices at the beginning of the piece and progressing towards complete sentences, passing through sequences of words which, combined not altogether innocently, create mental images which are more or less troubling as they associate pleasure with pain and love with death.

Composed for a quadraphonic set-up, Obsession makes extensive use of multiple localization points (front / back, left / right, close / distant) and rotational movements.

[English translation: Stephanie Moore, i-19]


Obsession was realized in 1991 at the ARTeM (Art, recherche, technologie et musique [Art, Research, Technology, and Music]) studio in Brussels (Belgium) and was premiered on August 2, 1991 during the Bunker 91 festival in Antwerp (Belgium). Thank you to Sophie Beernaerts and Coralie Gary, whose voices I recorded. This piece tied for the Public prize at the 2e Prix international Noroit-Léonce Petitot (Arras, France, 1991) and was included on the CD Prix international Noroit-Léonce Petitot 1991 (NOR 2). In 1993, it was also included on the CD Presence One (DIV 02).


Premiere

  • August 2, 1991, Bunker 91, Antwerp (Belgium)

Awards


About this recording

This version was remixed in March 2019 at the ARTeM (Art, recherche, technologie et musique [Art, Research, Technology, and Music]) studio in Brussels (Belgium) from the 4-channel analog original; the digital audio transfer was realized in March 2018 at the Studio Synsound in Brussels.

Rupture d’équilibre

Todor Todoroff

  • Year of composition: 1993, 95, 97
  • Duration: 10:16
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium

Stereo

ISRC CAD501910039

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits
  • 44,1 kHz, 24 bits
  • 44,1 kHz, 32 bits

A virtual pendulum, simulated on a computer by a damped harmonic oscillator, crosses zones whose boundaries are defined interactively by the user. Each zone is programmed to trigger a sonic event which is variable in intensity, timbre and / or frequency, depending on the speed of the pendulum when it enters the zone.

The composer plays this virtual instrument with potentiometers. He modifies in real-time the mass, the stiffness constant, and the damping factor, and may also add various external disturbances. All of these forces interact and continuously modify the aspect, the speed and the amplitude of the movement, either generating pseudo-repetitive sequences or disrupting the equilibrium.

There is a sombre atmosphere, populated with little, organic-like virtual beings which resist the swinging motion and disrupt its regularity. This matter offers itself up for periodic transformation and distortion, colours are revealed and recombine, chimeras emerge from the nothingness and invite us to follow their hypnotic oscillation…

Disappearance, appearance, proliferation. Moans can be heard… are they calls? Responses? Is collapse inevitable? Is there something which could slow it down or stop it? Accident or destiny, uncertainty reigns as absolute master. There is no point in resisting…

[English translation: Stephanie Moore, i-19]


Rupture d’équilibre [Rupture of Balance] was realized in 1993 at the ARTeM (Art, recherche, technologie et musique [Art, Research, Technology, and Music]) studio in Brussels (Belgium). It was remixed in 1995 and entirely revised in 1997. This latter definitive version was premiered on May 21, 1997 at the Discoveries XXXVI concert series in Aberdeen (Scotland). Rupture d’équilibre was a finalist in the Concurso Internacional de Música Eletroacústica de São Paulo (CIMESP ’95, Brazil) and the definitive version was a finalist in the international electroacoustic music competition Musica Nova 2000 in Prague (Czech Republic).


Premiere

  • May 21, 1997, Premiere of the final version: Discoveries XXXVI, Aberdeen (Scotland, UK)

Requiem for a City

Todor Todoroff

  • Year of composition: 2015, 16, 17
  • Duration: 15:02
  • Instrumentation: 8-channel fixed medium

Stereo

ISRC CAD501910040

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits
  • 44,1 kHz, 24 bits
  • 44,1 kHz, 32 bits
To all the victims of blind violence, their friends and their loved ones. And in memory of Mélanie, a young violinist and musicologist with an interest in music therapy, an enthusiastic and passionate individual whose luminous joie de vivre was brought to a brutal end in Brussels on March 22, 2016.

After the attack at the Musée juif de Belgique (Jewish Museum of Belgium) on May 24, 2014, I was profoundly shocked by monstrous increase in barbarity which followed with attacks by Islamic extremists in Paris from January 7-9, 2015 against Charlie Hebdo, the police and the Hyper Casher supermarket, as well as the unspeakable horror of November 13, 2015 — the worst massacre in France since the Second World War.

I was particularly shaken because I was in Paris for an artistic residency during both waves of attacks. Driving home from Paris the night of November 14, I felt the need to respond. I wanted to pay tribute to the hundreds of innocent victims, traumatised witnesses and devastated families. This piece makes use of a wide variety of sounds: field recordings, playing techniques specific to the viola, granulated excerpts of Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater and of the second movement of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony, modular analog synthesis and sounds extracted from radio and television news coverage following the November 13 attacks.

With these latter sources, I chose to focus primarily on what the victims and their loved ones had to say because, while this work may be a cry of revolt, it is most of all a tribute to the victims who were given far too little attention in the media hype following the attacks.

I was particularly moved by the ordeal of the Bataclan victims. While some were able to escape quickly, the majority were trapped for over two hours with the terrorists. In order to survive, they had to find places to hide or play dead under the bodies of the dead and the wounded — all that while seeing or hearing the attackers return multiple times, shooting anyone who showed signs of life. There was a small group that succeeded in hiding in an equipment room with strong men holding the door handle in such a way as to make it seem as though it were locked. On three separate occasions, the terrorists tried to open the door and each time, those hiding thought that their time had come. The structure of this piece is meant to recall those endless hours of waiting when the victims, in a state of shock, vacillated between feelings of relief, hope, fear and resignation in the face of death. The piece ends with accounts of those who lost loved ones.

Although the Paris attacks were the trigger for creating this piece and the audio excerpts all relate to it, I decided not to name the city in my title, in memory of the great number of other cities which have been hit by the same ideological fanaticism and those that have been targeted since, including Brussels. The latter was targeted a second time on March 22, 2016 by three Islamic terrorists who blew themselves up, killing and injuring dozens of victims, one of whom was a friend killed in the subway.

[English translation: Stephanie Moore, i-19]


Requiem for a City was realized in 2015 at the ARTeM (Art, recherche, technologie et musique [Art, Research, Technology, and Music]) studio in Brussels (Belgium) and was not premiered as planned during the Festival Loop in November 2015 on account of it being cancelled by local authorities in the face of terrorist threats. A revised version of the piece was instead premiered on September 29, 2016 at the Musique acousmatique concert of Festival Loop 8 at the Espace Senghor in Brussels. Requiem for a City was composed with support from the Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles (Direction générale de la culture, Service de la musique).


Premiere

  • September 29, 2016, Todor Todoroff, diffusion • Festival Loop 8: Musique acousmatique, Espace Senghor, Brussels (Belgium)

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