Osynlig Musik / Invisible Music / Musique invisible (CD) Track listing detail

Les objets obscurs

Åke Parmerud / Åke Parmerud

  • Year of composition: 1991
  • Duration: 14:40
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • Commission: Ina-GRM
  • ISWC: T9118616005

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 la radio in 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 la radio, Paris (France)

Awards

Intermediate I

Åke Parmerud

  • Year of composition: 1994
  • Duration: 1:35
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium

Inside Looking Out

Åke Parmerud

  • Year of composition: 1992
  • Duration: 10:20
  • Instrumentation: chamber ensemble, system and fixed medium
  • Commission: DIEM, for the Athesles
  • ISWC: T9121308916

“… he develops the electronic timbral aesthetics with a rich fantasy and a good apetite. The whole room plays along in this mixed music with its swaying and sliding connections between instruments and synthetic sounds. It sounds beautiful in its very own raw and juicy way…”
Politiken (Copenhague, Denmark) 1993


Premiere

  • July 29, 1992, Concert, Konserthuset, Aarhus (Denmark)

Intermediate II

Åke Parmerud

  • Year of composition: 1994
  • Duration: 0:45
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • ISWC: T0002341243

Alias

Åke Parmerud

  • Year of composition: 1990
  • Duration: 13:50
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • Commission: Kungliga Musikaliska Akademien
  • ISWC: T9121357946

The point of departure of Alias is the duality of outer and inner existence, here interpreted though the life,music and destiny of the Renaissance composer Carlo Gesualdo da Venosa (1560-1613). Alias is not, however, an attempt to illustrate the shifting identities of Gesualdo, but is rather, in a wider sense, inspired by thoughts on the relationship between the artist and the work of art.

Alias comprises two movements, the first of which is based upon the love song A Shepherd in a Shade by John Dowland (1562-1626), a contemporary of Gesualdo. The phrase “Restore, restore my heart again / Which love by thy sweet looks hath slain” has been destructured, processed and reprocessed into a series of linearly produced variations. The traditional lute part has been strongly stylized into a chord formed by the note A and its first 16 harmonics. However, the function of the plucked string sounds is essentially the same as in the traditional lute part.

The second movement is an attempt to sketch a slightly surrealistic picture of what possibly could have been happening in the mind of the aging composer and uxoricide. This is accomplished thought the use of quotations from some of Gesualdo’s late motets, as well as by blending in the Dowland love song, now in its original form.

“… the music of Parmerud is as clear as glass, no matter if one speaks about pure electronic music or a combination of ‘normal’ instruments and electronics… His work Alias is probably the most beautiful piece of electroacoustic music ever composed…” — Tidskriften Musik (Stockholm, Sweden, 1994)

[vii-18]


Alias was realized in 1990 at the composer’s studio in Gothenburg (Sweden) and premiered on May 13, 1990 at the Musikaliska Akademien in Stockholm (Sweden). The piece was commissioned by Kungliga Musikaliska Akademien (Royal Academy of Music). Thanks to Astrid Pernille Hartmann (recorded voice). Alias was awarded First Prize at the 19th Bourges International Electroacoustic Music Competition (France, 1991).


Premiere

  • May 13, 1990, Concert, Kungliga Musikaliska Akademien, Stockholm (Sweden)

Awards

Alias, 1: I

Åke Parmerud

  • Duration: 6:47
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média

Stereo

ISRC CAD501810023

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

Alias, 2: II

Åke Parmerud

  • Duration: 6:59
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média

Stereo

ISRC CAD501810024

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

Intermediate III

Åke Parmerud

  • Year of composition: 1994
  • Duration: 0:45
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium

Intermediate IV

Åke Parmerud

  • Year of composition: 1994
  • Duration: 0:35
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • ISWC: T0002341232

Jeux imaginaires

Åke Parmerud

  • Year of composition: 1993
  • Duration: 10:45
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • Commission: GMEB
  • ISWC: T9118654209

Stereo

ISRC CAD501810016

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

Jeux imaginaires [Imaginary Games] is a fantasy on time and strategies as found in a famous game of chess (Anatoli Karpov vs Garry Kasparov, 22nd round, 1992 World Chess Championship). Actually, the piece does not try to mimic the game itself apart from the middle section where the rhythm of the drum beats were derived from the pondering times of the first 19 strategic moves opening the round. The game came to be more of a meditative offset for composing the music. Every night after ending my composing session in the studio I played the game (or maybe only a few moves) on my portable chessboard. Apart from it being a nice way to turn my attention away from pure musical problems for a while, I found that playing the game made me more and more aware of the likeness between chess playing and composing. Apart from the obvious similarity of the strategic opening and ending sections (with fantasy being most important in the middle of the game), I like to think of musical components (sound objects, phrases, structures…) as pieces (of chess) with different charges and strengths that may be placed in a variety of relationships, and where the object of composing is that of finding solid constructions of relations throughout the whole musical time. Thus, playing the game as a small ritual every night released new musical ideas and composing energy without necessarily creating detectable parallels between the music and the game itself.

[vii-18]


Jeux imaginaires was realized in 1993 at the Charybde studio of the Groupe de musique expérimentale de Bourges (GMEB, France). The piece was commissioned by the (GMEB). Jeux imaginaires was awarded the Prize of the Stockholm Electronics Arts Award (Sweden, 1993).


Awards

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