electrocd

Track listing detail

Deux études de musique concrète, 2: Étude sur un accord de sept sons [Étude 2]

Pierre Boulez

  • Duration: 3:00
  • Instrumentation: mono fixed medium

Stereo


Concret PH

Iannis Xenakis

  • Year of composition: 1958
  • Duration: 2:50
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium

Stereo

“Although I have a CD reissue of this piece, I prefer to play the vinyl issue. The piece was created for the 400-loudspeaker array in the Phillips Pavilion at the Brussels World’s Fair in a programme which also featured Edgard Varèse’s Poème électronique. The PH initial Hyperbolic Paraboloids, the principal structural element of the pavilion. Beyond the allure of the simplicity of this piece i was fascinated by its physical relationship to the prevalent vehicle for recordings at that time; i.e., phonograph records. In some records rumble, dust ticks and the reproduced sound of tape hiss were an unwanted nuisance, but with Xenakis’ piece the medium and the message were inextricably intertwined — the little pops unique to my copy of the disc to my mind enhanced the experience of the whole.”

John Oswald [source: Réseaux des arts médiatiques] [iii-00]


Sud

Jean-Claude Risset

  • Year of composition: 1985
  • Duration: 5:51
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • Commission: Ministère de la Culture (France), Ina-GRM

Stereo

This text is unavailable in English.

La pièce utilise principalement des sons enregistrés dans le massif des Calanques à Marseille (France). Ces sons ont été traités par ordinateur au Studio 123 (informatique musicale) du GRM. Je remercie Bénédict Mailliard et Yann Geslin qui m’ont initié à cette puissante batterie de programmes. Je remercie également Daniel Teruggi pour son introduction au Studio 116 où la pièce a été mixée.

Les éléments de mixage comportent aussi diverses séquences synthétisées par ordinateur avec le programme MUSIC V à Marseille (Faculté des Sciences de Luminy et Laboratoire de mécanique et d’acoustique du CNRS).

Au début, et par instants, la pièce se présente comme une «phonographie», suivant le terme de François-Bernard Mâche — elle fait allusion ici et là à Luc Ferrari, Knud Victor, à Michel Redolfi, musicien de la mer, à Georges Boeuf et ses abysses, aux oiseaux chanteurs de François Bayle. Si je suis parti d’un petit nombre de séquences sonores — enregistrements de mer, d’insectes, d’oiseaux, de carillons de bois et de métal, de «gestes» brefs joués au piano ou synthétisés à l’ordinateur — je les ai multipliées en leur appliquant diverses opérations: moduler, filtrer, colorer, réverbérer, spatialiser, mixer, hybrider. Cézanne voulait «unir des courbes de femmes à des épaules de collines»: de même la synthèse croisée permet de travailler «dans l’os même de la nature» (Michaux), de produire des hybrides, des chimères — d’oiseaux et de métal, de mer et de bois… J’y ai eu recours surtout pour transposer des profils, des flux d’énergie. Ainsi la pulsation d’enregistrements de mer est par endroits appliquée à d’autres sons — alors qu’à d’autres moments les vagues ou déferlements sonores n’ont aucune parenté avec la mer.

Une échelle de hauteur (solsimifa dièse — sol dièse) exposée d’abord par des sons synthétiques, va colorer divers sons d’origine naturelle: elle devient dans la dernière partie une véritable grille harmonique qu’oiseaux ou vagues font résonner, à la façon d’une harpe éolienne. Les multiples sons engendrés peuvent être repérés sur un schéma ressemblant à un arbre généalogique; leur agencement met en jeu plusieurs niveaux de rythme, et, peut-on dire, une logique de flux.


Sud est une commande du Ministère de la Culture (France), à l’initiative du Groupe de recherches musicales de l’Ina (Ina-GRM) où la pièce a été réalisée.


Composition

Wind Chimes

Denis Smalley

  • Year of composition: 1987
  • Duration: 6:47
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • Commission: South Bank Centre
  • ISWC: T0100613873

Stereo

The main sound source for Wind Chimes is a set of ceramic chimes found in a pottery during a visit to New Zealand in 1984. It was not so much the ringing pitches which were attractive but rather the bright, gritty, rich, almost metallic qualities of a single struck pipe or a pair of scraped pipes. These qualities proved a very fruitful basis for many transformations which prised apart and reconstituted their interior spectral design. Taking a single sound source and getting as much out of it as possible has always been one of my key methods for developing sonic coherence in a piece. Not that the listener is supposed to or can always recognize the source, but in this case the source is audible in its natural state near the beginning of the piece, and that ceramic quality is never far away throughout. Eventually, complementary materials were gathered in as the piece’s sound-families began to expand, among them a bass drum, very high metallic Japanese wind chimes, resonant metal bars, interior piano sounds, and some digital synthesis. The piece is centered on strong attacking gestures, types of real and imaginary physical motion (spinning, rotating objects, resonances which sound as if scraped or bowed, for example), contrasted with layered, more spacious, sustained textures whose poignant dips hint at a certain melancholy.

[xii-92]


Wind Chimes was realized in the Electroacoustic Music Studio of the University of East Anglia (UK) in 1987, with computer sound transformations carried out on the digital system of Studio 123 of the Groupe de recherches musicales (GRM) in Paris (France) in 1986. It premiered during the Electric Weekend at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London on September 11, 1987. This piece was first released in 1990 on the Computer Music Current #5 compact disc on the Wergo label (WER 2025-2). Wind Chimes was commissioned by the South Bank Centre, London (UK).


Premiere

  • September 11, 1987, Electric Weekend, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London (England, UK)

Preparation

Composition

Variations didactiques

Yann Geslin

  • Year of composition: 1981-82, 2008
  • Duration: 5:04
  • Commission: Ina-GRM

Stereo


Premiere

  • April 12, 2008, Premiere of new version (2008): Multiphonies 2007-08: Akousma, Salle Olivier Messiaen — Maison de Radio France, Paris (France)

Novars

Francis Dhomont

  • Year of composition: 1989
  • Duration: 6:50
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • Commission: Ina-GRM
  • ISWC: T0030634764

Stereo

To musique concrète and Pierre Schaeffer, its ‘ill-fated inventor’

“… one moment transported in beautified memories of the first ‘concrète’ illuminations of my childhood […]. Perhaps I was the only one to be so moved by the sound of these last ‘measures’…”

Marie-Claire Schaeffer-Patris, personal letter to the composer.

Novars salutes the birth of musique concrète, the Ars Nova of our century, by calling upon the resources of the computer. The intention is not to create a pastiche but, on the contrary, to testify that by the most advanced means a language has been passed on. It may also be possible to suggest, without establishing a simplistic symmetry, that there exists a link between these two theorists of a new art: Vitry and Schaeffer.

The ‘classical’ ear will perhaps recognize fragments from Schaeffer’s Étude aux objets (1959) and Guillaume de Machaut’s Messe de Nostre Dame (1364). These quotations, along with a third sound element — a sort of homage to Pierre Henry and his infamous door — are the sole materials giving birth to multiple variations.

A sign of change: ‘spectromorphologic’ (Denis Smalley) mutations give to sonorities of the Ars Nova and to ‘new music’ (as Schaeffer named it in 1950) the sound of our time. A sign of continuity: something from the original works (their colour, their structure…) remains present, indestructible.

François Bayle writes about Novars:

“In listening to the works of Francis Dhomont, one senses a unique voice.

One finds traits and signatures: long ‘breath-like’ trajectories, masterful alternations of deeply engraved forms and light refined lines, play with proportions and moving masses. Like in Chiaroscuro — one of his most successful — a baroque taste for timbral richness and shadowy contours, interrupted by identifiable fragments, often with vocal qualities, always alive.

There is a sense of accentuation and deep breathing, leading to a finely heard silence, framed and placed with the meticulousness of a photographer for whom every background detail counts as much as, and maybe more than, the foreground musical intentions.

Novars contains refinements that add fresh colour and new light to the work’s main purpose. The rhythmic cellular element is that of a slow dance based on a complex note, a pegged quotation (taken from the Étude aux objets by Pierre Schaeffer) and, detaching it from the ‘moiré’ vocal timbres (‘stirred up’ à la Machaut) projects on the work an evocation from the Pavane (for loved ones, certainly not dead!).

The breaths, thrusts, and ‘jetés-glissés’ (thrown-slid) of well choreographed gestures counterbalance the rhythmical accumulations forming a third sound character to this tale; a tale of time and contretemps, in riddle form.

Indeed, as the tale proceeds, it slowly unveils its sources of inspiration. Or rather: this unfolding comprises lengthy placements into perspective, of a distance towards quoted sources, with Tanguy-like otherworldly colours, of the beaches where this homage to the ‘revival’ evolves in “metal sky” (Giono) tonalities.

Dedicated “to musique concrète”, this piece gently illuminates its references and leaves us under its profound charm. As with … mourir un peu — is it its timelessness? — we are offered a strange yet beneficent moment of reflection.” (Paris, June 16th, 1991)

[ix-91]


Novars — 3rd of the 4 works in the Cycle du son — was realized at Studio 123 of the Ina-GRM (Paris, France) and at the composer’s studio and premiered on May 29, 1989, as part of the 11th GRM Acousmatic Concert Series at the Grand Auditorium of Rthe Maison Radio France (Paris). This piece was selected by the 1990 International Computer Music Conference (ICMC ’90) in Glasgow (Scotland), and by the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) for the 1991 World Music Days in Zürich (Switzerland). The jury of the 1991 Stockholm Electronic Arts Award also selected it for performance at its award concert in Stockholm (Sweden). Special thanks to Pierre Schaeffer who has kindly allowed the quotation of a few sound propositions, now historic; and to Bénédict Mailliard, Yann Geslin and Daniel Teruggi without whose patience it would have been impossible to domesticate Studio 123 and the Syter real-time sound synthesis system of the Ina-GRM (Paris, France). Novars was commissioned by the Ina-GRM.


Premiere

  • May 29, 1989, Cycle acousmatique 1989: Concert, Grand Auditorium — Maison de Radio France, Paris (France)

Awards

Composition

Les objets obscurs

Åke Parmerud / Åke Parmerud

  • Year of composition: 1991
  • Duration: 4:43
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • Commission: Ina-GRM
  • ISWC: T9118616005

Stereo

Les objets obscurs [Hidden Objects] was composed during an intensive period in the summer of 1991 in the Studio 116 of the Ina-GRM in Paris (France). Since I was invited to do a piece at this very honorable institution, it was natural to do something that related closely to the historical tradition represented by the GRM. The concept as well as material and compositional methods lie within the basic framework of classical musique concrète. Through its lyrics the piece is self-explanatory, but some background information may still come in handy. Les objets obscurs is a set of riddles partly describing the physical object producing the sounding material and partly describing some aspect of the musical content of each movement. The answer to these riddles may be found in each of the four movements. It works like this: a short text is read (in French) presenting the riddle, immediately followed by a movement, the musical equivalent of the riddle. Each movement is based on sounds and transformations of sounds produced by one single everyday object (like a chair, a glass…). One movement — one object. In the end of the last movement the ‘solution’ of all the riddles is presented. These answers, however, set up a new ‘inner’ riddle, to which no answer is given.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, listen to the hidden objects!

The first is the point from which an enigma arises.

The second: A walking landscape. A perpetual displacement. Something that grazes without touching. An aimless movement. An object of rest.

The third: Convex bodies thrown into a series of collisions. Hazardous movements on irregular surfaces. Something that is loved without loving. Something that comes together and scatters immediately.

The fourth: The union between the first and the last. The first being the origin of the enigma. The last, the dissolution of the first.

The solution: the first is a lock; the second is a chair; the third is twenty-two stone marbles; the fourth is both voice and language, and the enigma of hidden objects is… Music.”

[English translation of the original French text.]

[viii-18]


Les objets obscurs was realized in July of 1991 in the Studio 116 of the Groupe de recherches musicales (Ina-GRM) in Paris (France) and premiered on October 27, 1992 in the Grand Auditorium of the Maison de Radio France (Paris, France). The piece was commissioned by the Ina-GRM. Thanks to: Dominique Andrieux (recorded narration). Les objets obscurs was awarded 2nd Prize at the 2nd Prix international Noroit-Léonce Petitot (Arras, France, 1991) and a Prize at the Bourges International Electroacoustic Music Competition (France, 1993).


Premiere

  • October 27, 1992, Son-Mu 92: Concert, Grand Auditorium — Maison de Radio France, Paris (France)

Awards

Composition

Ourlé du lac à la première goutte de pluie (Pli de perversion 2)

Denis Dufour

  • Year of composition: 1984
  • Duration: 7:12
  • Instrumentation: 3 electroacoustic trio

Stereo


Premiere

  • October 22, 1984, Trio GRM PlusICMC 1984: Concert, Salle Olivier Messiaen — Maison de Radio France, Paris (France)

Ash

Horacio Vaggione

  • Year of composition: 1989-90
  • Duration: 7:04
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • Commission: Ina-GRM
  • ISWC: T0030731657

Stereo


Premiere

  • February 8, 1991, Cycle acousmatique 1991: Concert, Grand Auditorium — Maison de Radio France, Paris (France)

Mimaméta

François Bayle

  • Year of composition: 1989
  • Duration: 6:11
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium

Stereo

“Considered by many to be France’s most important composer of electroacoustic music, it was this wonderfully kind and generous person who first introduced me to contemporary French musical culture. He is a person with keen insight into people and music. I am honored to be one of his friends. For twenty-five years we spoke only French before he would admit that he spoke English as poorly as I speak French!

Jon Appleton [source: Réseaux des arts médiatiques]


Premiere

  • November 25, 1989, Concert, São Paulo (Brazil)

Il était une fois

Jean Schwarz

  • Year of composition: 1974
  • Duration: 7:41

Stereo

This text is unavailable in English.

Faire de la musique électroacoustique ou acousmatique, c’est avant tout être musicien, composer de la musique, sans pour cela être un technicien de l’électronique. Les limites de ce nouveau champ musical sont repoussées à l’infini car cet art dépasse les relations traditionnelles de hauteur et d’harmonie pour embrasser tout le monde du sonore sans distinction de genre, de forme ou de matière.

Jean Schwarz