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Track listing detail

Portrait d’un visiteur

Christian Calon

  • Year of composition: 1985
  • Duration: 17:07
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Yul média
  • ISWC: T0707150206

Stereo

ISRC CAD509010001

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

A metaphor.

Take this person I used to know quite well. I haven’t seen her for a very long time; say I unexpectedly meet her. During our brief meeting I stubbornly try to connect her familiar elements with the stream of new signs being displayed.

Unsatisfying effort; polished surfaces, unforeseen iridescences, darkened areas meet one’s eye. Beyond certain points the paths lead nowhere. Thickets, bushes. The despair of recognizing something. And on the other hand, that stranger standing there, resembling me so much.

All I know of my nature and that of the universe is incomplete: it is exactly as if I knew nothing.

[i-90]


Portrait d’un visiteur was realized from August, 1984 to August, 1985 at the studio of the Groupe de musique expérimentale de Marseille (GMEM), at the McGill University Electronic Music Studio and at the composer’s studio. The mix was done at Studio Multisons in Montréal. The work premiered on September 26, 1985 at Pollack Hall, Montréal. Portrait d’un visiteur was awarded the 1st prize of the Luigi Russolo International Competition (Varese, Italy, 1985).


Premiere

  • September 26, 1985, Concert, Salle Pollack — Pavillon Strathcona — Université McGill, Montréal (Québec)

Awards

Composition

Mixing

La disparition

Christian Calon

  • Year of composition: 1988
  • Duration: 20:46
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Yul média
  • Commission: GMEM, with support from the CCA
  • ISWC: T0705101070

Stereo

ISRC CAD509010002

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

To Ghislaine

“I perceive in its whole a vast convulsion that brings the global movements of beings into play. It goes from the disappearance (la disparition) in death to this voluptuous fury which may be the sense of the disappearance.”

Georges Bataille

“What is going to rise comes from ancient times.”

Jean-Luc Godard

Rooted in this work lies the desire to hear those multiple and deep voices, that now belong to what we call History, rise together in one song.

Through the sometimes violent embrace of sound materials, as distant and far away as our great music can be from the traditional music of other civilizations, one will recognize this vain desire to break the wall of silence, of the erasure, of the disappearance.

Sadly ethnocentric would be such an act, if one had not learned along the way to cancel this distance, understanding that these now silent voices were then moved by the same force as today’s artist, that is of being the intercessor; then against the power of the spirits, now for the freedom of the individual.

The orchestral and heterophonic quality which can define stylistically this work has been reached by following this compositional method: from the sound materials of environmental and musical origin (Beethoven, Große Fuge, op 133, traditional music of Africa, Melanesia, the Far-East) short Elements have been extracted. These sound elements were broken down into Fragments, then spatialized and assembled to form Families. These related-sounds families were transformed and accumulated into Clouds. These clouds of multiple materials were finally mixed to form the Starry Wheel through which, hierarchical connections are then made possible in all directions.

[i-90]


La disparition was realized from July, 1987 to April, 1988 at the studio of the Groupe de musique expérimentale de Marseille (GMEM), France, and at the composer’s studio. The work premiered on June 17, 1988 at the Jardin des Vestiges, Marseille, France. A commission of the Groupe de musique expérimentale de Marseille (GMEM), the work received support from the Canada Council [for the Arts] (CCA). La disparition was awarded the 2nd Prize at the NEWCOMP International Computer Music Competition (Boston, USA, 1988) and was selected to represent Canada at the 1989 World Days of Music of the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM).


Premiere

  • June 17, 1988, Concert, Jardin des Vestiges, Marseille (Bouches-du-Rhône, France)

Awards

Composition

Minuit

Christian Calon / Christian Calon

  • Year of composition: 1989
  • Duration: 40:02
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Yul média
  • ISWC: T0705879215

Stereo

ISRC CAD509010003

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

To Francis Dhomont

1: Prologue

“When the finger points at the moon, the idiot looks at the finger.”

— proverb

If there has to be a story to Minuit, it can only be the ideal one of a leap, a passage.

2: Minuit (Minuit (Midnight); Enfer (Hell))

I see this Minuit as a high place of the night, of this luminous night in the head, beyond which all things topple over and where laws and interdictions (restrictions) release their grip. There the gates open up and the waves of the unconscious break in with a tumultuous fury. The diamond in the heart of the night.

“Sexuality and death are none other than the peak moments of a celebration that nature undergoes with the inexhaustible multitude of beings. One and the other have the sense of the unlimited waste in which nature proceeds contrary to the desire of lasting that is each being’s own.”

Georges Bataille

Beyond merely saying something with a text, it was a place I searched for. A spot right in the eye of the cyclone, in between the beauty of love, the exuberance of life and the horror of death. The place from which this word that is being said, is spoken. For being inscribed in an empty space, a place held as non-existent and on which silence forever is made, this speech unable to state what is sensed, tries with all its strength to maintain facing the void, on the edge of this limit: just before its failing and fall, the limit of its own interdiction (restriction). Here is what literature, for all time has been showing us.

3: Immémorial (Traversée (Crossing); Immémorial (Immemorial); Épilogue (Epilogue))

“The unlimited space of a sun that would testify not for the day, but for the night, freed of stars, multiple night.”

Maurice Blanchot

At times in a dazzling moment, I am certain, I thought I saw… And it is this speech exceeded by its own object, now toppled over in a place of all possibles — shattered words rising up in an unbridled circular way — that from now on I will have to try and understand.

The text — here of a fragmented and continuously recurrent writing — blended into the sound material out of which it sometimes escapes to spring, verbal crystallizations carriers of sense, is the nucleus of this last part of the piece. Physical nucleus, since it is from the flesh of words, from the sound of the voice itself that this material is derived — in fact each textual block always comes surrounded by its own sound derivations, and conceptual nucleus: one proceeds by leaps, ruptures, skids and repetitions wildly alike this place of speech one senses sometimes as being “the other,” the other shore of a crossing continuously adjourned: the Impossible, maybe.

Writing: Text-Sound Relationship

The three part division of Minuit correspond to the three texts around which the piece is made. Each one of them is written in its own particular style determining a staging mode for the voice as well as a type of sonic writing.

Part Textual writing Function of the voice Sonic writing
1 narrative: linear storyteller punctual, wefts, background to the voice
2 narrative: linear narrator orchestral, heterophony, voice-sound integration
fragmented: bits of sentences commentaries, situations
3 narrative: linear narrator derivation, variation and repetition
cyclic in particles: shattering actor: delirious (material oriented)

[i-90]


Minuit was realized from January, 1986 to October, 1989 at the composer’s studio. Some sonic elements come from work realized at the studio of the Groupe de musique expérimentale de Marseille (GMEM), France, and for the Immémorial section, from the SYTER studio of the Groupe de recherches musicales (Ina-GRM), Paris, France. The concert premiere of Minuit was on January 31, 1990 at the Maison de la culture Frontenac in Montréal; the radiophonic premiere was on November 4, 1989 on Musique actuelle of the Réseau FM de Radio-Canada. The texts by Christian Calon (© Calon, 1989) are inspired by the writings and ideas of, amongst others, James Joyce, Charles Baudelaire, Louis-Ferdinand Céline and Antonin Artaud. The voices are those of Benoît Dagenais (the storyteller: [3.1], the actor: [3.5]); Suzanne Lantagne (the narrator: [3.2], [3.5], [3.6]); Philippe Le Goff, Ghislaine Dubuc, Danièle Renaud, Christopher Lea and Christian Calon. Minuit was made possible with support from the Canada Council [for the Arts] (CCA) and was awarded the 1st prize of the Electroacoustic Program Music Category in the 17th Bourges International Electroacoustic Music Competition (France, 1989).


Premiere

  • November 4, 1989, Musique actuelle, Réseau FM de Radio-Canada, Canada
  • January 31, 1990, Récits électriques, Maison de la culture Frontenac, Montréal (Québec)

Awards

Preparation

Composition

Scores