electrocd

Illusion

Annette Vande Gorne / Werner Lambersy, Ana Cláudia de Assis

Annette Vande Gorne’s compositions probes sound sources such as water to dissolve the walls between inner and outer worlds. The Sound Projector, RU

L’inattendu y joue un rôle majeur, car la musique est toujours caractérisée par des transitions abruptes, des rebondissements passionnants et un grand degré de dynamique. Nieuwe Noten, Pays-Bas

  • Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles (Administration générale de la culture, Service de la musique)

CD (IMED 20165)

  • Étiquette: empreintes DIGITALes
  • IMED 20165
  • 2020
  • UCC 771028216529
  • Durée totale: 57:21
  • OGpak
  • 125 mm × 125 mm × 10 mm
  • 50 g

Téléchargement (IMED 20165_NUM)

Notes de programme

À propos de l’illustration de couverture

Luc Beauchemin, Seule issue (2020) d’après Slavers Throwing overboard the Dead and Dying, Typhoon coming on [Négriers jetant par-dessus bord les morts et les mourants — un typhon approche] (1840) de Joseph Mallord William Turner et L’étoile noire (1957) de Paul-Émile Borduas.

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Review

Stuart Marshall, The Sound Projector, 25 juillet 2021

The Obsolescence of Memory

Like Smalley, Annette Vande Gorne’s compositions probes sound sources such as water to dissolve the walls between inner and outer worlds. As a former student of Pierre Schaffer, and devotee of François Bayle and Pierre Henry, she discovered in electroacoustic music the revolution that her extensive conservatory training had failed to provide, and has since gone on to promulgate it in universities and installations around the world. Illusion epitomises many of the above tendencies, but draws musical performance and spliced sound into tense proximity from the first piece. Driven by the manipulation of what Vande Gorne terms a ‘sound body’, with a seemingly organic flow of disparate sources triggered or mined by the attentive ‘musician’, Au-delà du réel is a polyphonic narrative in which internal and external events become homologous: a freeform current of bells, running water and percussion, swished around the inside of an inverted hippocampus till rinsed of the human artifices of time and logic. Bells are used, not to evoke spatiality, but for their traditional function as a summoning device, for the listener to attend to the quickly changing currents of memory.

Déluges et autres péripéties continues the poetic bent of Vande Gorne’s previous release, Haïkus, by showcasing the work of Belgian poet Werner Lambersy. However, where once drawn to the playfulness of the fixed structure Japanese poems, here Vande Gorne is compelled by the horror of Lambersy’s poem, and its claim that ‘death is the only way for our civilization to be reborn under different auspices’ acting as a troubling reminder that as bad as the present day seems to be, things can still get worse. Thus, Vande Gorne projects onto the droning background of this multi-stage, epic psychodrama a mood of visceral horror in which every manifestation of the human voice is collaged into a multi-vocal sound salad of screams, cheers, cries, shouts, narration and more, like Mike Patton’s Adult Themes spray-painted over Michel Chion’s Requiem.

Finally, Faisceaux appears in two versions, the first fully ‘acousmatic’, the second adding ponderous piano chord progressions that might set ears of Anthony Pateras / Oren Ambarchi fans twitching. The first uses gentle oscillations to pull the ears through viscous air in which a distant piano reverberates into forehead in variations that insistently probe the combination lock to the dreaming mind. The ‘version mixte’ assumes a more dramatic scale, shifting between dense atmospheric dynamics to a point of chaos in which the ‘fixed’ piano enters what sounds like full-blown improvisation, closing with a dissonant, post-Feldman syntax. The complexity of the pianist’s (Ana Cláudia de Assis) challenge of accompanying the electroacoustic section till becoming, as Vande Gorne sees it, a soloist, is belied by the apparent linearity of this trajectory, but Vande Gorne assures us that it is anything but.

Annette Vande Gorne’s compositions probes sound sources such as water to dissolve the walls between inner and outer worlds.

Kritiek

Ben Taffijn, Nieuwe Noten, 30 janvier 2021

Annette Vande Gorne is zonder meer één van de belangrijkste vertegenwoordigers van de elektro-akoestische muziek van dit moment. Zowel in haar rol als componist, duidelijk beïnvloed door François Bayle and Pierre Henry, als in die van professor in akoesmatisch componeren aan het conservatorium van Luik en als artistiek directeur van het gezaghebbende Musiques & Recherches. Onlangs verschenen er twee nieuwe albums met haar muziek, beiden bij het in deze muziek gespecialiseerde Canadese Empreintes DIGITALes: Haïkus en Illusion.

Vande Gorne studeerde in Mons en Brussel, onder andere bij Jean Absil, maar het was in Parijs dat ze bevangen raakte van de akoesmatiek. Ze studeerde aansluitend musicologie in Brussel en compositie bij Guy Reibel en Pierre Schaeffer aan de Conservatoire national supérieur in Parijs. Ze richtte Musiques & Recherches op, alsmede de Métamorphoses d’Orphée studio en helpt mee aan het verspreiden van deze muziekvorm door het organiseren van concerten en het festival L’Espace du son, waarover later meer.

Middels Haïkus, Vande Gorne schreef de delen tussen 2016 en 2020, maken we een reis door de tijd. Het stuk begint met nieuwjaarsdag en eindigt daar ook wee mee. De compositie begint heftig, met de klanken van vuurwerk, maar dan op grondige wijze elektronisch bewerkt. Het is wat deze muziek kenmerkt, het gebruik van allerhande veldopnames, bijvoorbeeld dit vuurwerk, of de vogelgeluiden in het erop volgende Printemps, gecombineerd met een grote diversiteit aan geluiden, gemaakt met elektronische instrumenten. Het onverwachte speelt daarbij een grote rol, want de muziek kenmerkt zich altijd door abrupte overgangen, spannende wendingen en een grote mate van dynamiek. Beluister bijvoorbeeld Jeux mécaniques, met zijn heftige en disruptieve klanken.

Illusion bevat vier stukken. Voor het eerste, Au-delà du réel, dient het geluid van klokken als basis. Het geluid van een veelkleurig carillon wordt hier door Vande Gorne op boeiende wijze elektronisch gemanipuleerd en versterkt, maar zonder de originele geluiden al te zeer geweld aan te doen, een mooi, contemplatief stuk. Voor Déluges et autres péripéties gebruikt Vande Gorne gedichten van en ingesproken door Werner Lambersy, afgezet tegen een al even poëtische geluidssculptuur. Door de stemvervorming en de vaak vervreemdende muziek is ook dit een bijzonder stuk. Vermeldenswaard is ook nog het ingetogen Faisceaux dat we in twee versies aantreffen, de eerste bestaat louter uit elektronica, terwijl we in de tweede versie naast de elektronica ook de piano horen, hier Ana Cláudia de Assis.

L’inattendu y joue un rôle majeur, car la musique est toujours caractérisée par des transitions abruptes, des rebondissements passionnants et un grand degré de dynamique.

Review

Antonis N Frangos, To Periodiko, 16 janvier 2021

Το έκτο άλμπουμ της Βελγίδας συνθέτριας -μαθήτριας του Pierre HenryAnnette Vande Gorne, με τίτλο “Illusion” πλοηγείται στα μονοπάτια του ακουσματικού ήχου, ενός ήχου φυσικού η μανιπουλαρισμένου του οποίου το αίτιο παραγωγής παραμένει αφανές. Τούτων δοθέντων η μουσική χωρίζεται σε τέσσερις μεγάλες συνθέσεις ενώ σε δυο από αυτές συμμετέχουν ξεχωριστά ο Βέλγος ποιητής Werner Lambersy και η Βραζιλιάνα πιανίστρια Ana Cláudia de Assis. Στο ίδιο μήκος κύματος και το προηγούμενο άλμπουμ της Vande Gorne, “Haïkus” με 17 Γιαπωνέζικα χαϊκού για τις εποχές του έτους -ηλεκτρονικά ηχητικά τοπία διανθισμένα από φωνές παιδιών, βόμβο εντόμων, ήχους νερών, κελαηδίσματα πουλιών.

Illusion navigue sur les chemins du son acoustique, un son naturel ou manipulé dont la cause de production reste invisible.

Bassin ouvert

Stephan Wolf, Amusio, 25 novembre 2020

In gewohnt makellos attraktiver Aufmachung präsentiert das frankokanadische Speziallabel empreintes DIGITALes mit zwei neuen CDs das Schaffen der maßgeblich von Pierre Schaeffer und Pierre Henry inspirierten Elektroakustikerin/Akusmatikerin Annette Vande Gorne. Dabei hat sie — sowohl auf Haïkus als auch auf Illusion — wie schon des Öfteren in mittelbarer Kooperation mit dem belgischen Lyriker Werner Lambersy höchst plastisch anmutende Interpretationen und Erwiderungen zu dessen Poesie (Wortgewalt) formuliert.

1946 zu Charleroi geboren, gehört Annette Vande Gorne zu den wichtigsten Protagonisten der (belgischen) Klang-Avantgarde. Ihre Werkkatalog erweist sich als entsprechend umfangreich und multi-operational. Es sei an dieser Stelle nur an die Oper Yawar Fiesta (2006/07) erinnert.

Die Haïkus vermitteln in 17 Sätzen ein Erscheinungswelten umspannendes Panakustikon im Kreis der vier Jahreszeiten: 15 jeux, eingefasst von Ausklang — Feux d’artifice (d’après Debussy) — und Neujahr. Tatsächlich erwirken die Ereignisdichte sowie die expressive Vielfalt den Eindruck als habe die Komponistin 365 Tage in einer knappen Stunde hinreichend zusammengefasst. Ohne willentlich mit jener Lakonie zu reüssieren, die das Haiku vorschreibt. Auch wenn sich Annette Vande Gorne numerisch an den 17 Lauteinheiten der japanischen Gedichtform orientiert, vermag ihre Klangsprache ein „Mehr“ aufzufächern, das selbst noch im Nachhall Bedeutungsebenen einzieht und geradezu ungebunden frei etabliert.

Die vier Tracks von Illusion (die dortigen Faisceaux gibt es in zwei Versionen: pur sowie von Ana Cláudia de Assis um Klavier erweitert) hinterlassen hingegen einen eher hermetisch gewichtigen Eindruck. Weniger zugänglich (und verspielt) wie Haïkus, und nicht zuletzt durch den omnipräsent durchdringendem Klang von Röhrenglocken etc. sakrale Anmutungen streuend, vollzieht sich hier ein gedachtes Libretto aus Devotion und Aufruhr: Kontemplation aus hoch aufgelöster Anmut sowie entkategorisierter Strenge: Au-delà du réel, jedoch wie in einem „Bassin Ouvert“ gefasst, wo die brillante Transparenz der Produktion (Ur-) Grund und Oberfläche nicht nur vertikal ineinandergreifen lässt. Selbst die samt Schrei und Spoken Word ins Horrende driftenden Déluges et autre péripéties rütteln kaum an der Kohärenz. Und — auch im Rahmen dieser Illusion erweist sich Annette Vande Gorne als Verfechterin einer Musikalität, die sich eben nicht damit brüstet, ihr traditionell zugestandenes Gut gewaltsam zu unterlaufen. Wer will, der kann auch: entdecken.

… elle a — tant sur Haïkus que sur Illusion — […] formulé des interprétations et des réponses très plastiques à sa poésie (pouvoir des mots).

Review

Arian Bagheri Pour Fallah, Computer Music Journal, no 44:2/3, 1 juin 2020

Slavers Throwing overboard the Dead and Dying, Typhoon coming on, better known as The Slave Ship (1840), is among Joseph Mallord William Turner’s finest paintings, and one of the most recognizable visual artworks of the romantic movement. Fused with the painting L’étoile noire (1957), by the founder of les automatistes Paul-Émile Borduas, it greets listeners of Annette Vande Gorne’s latest acousmatic venture, Illusion, in the form of Luc Beauchemin’s cover art, Seule issue (2020). The level of intertextuality is broad. Beauchemin’s title hints at necessity. The cover art’s contrasting frames of references, too, provide an air of calamity. It is difficult — one may say impossible — to free one image from the other, or to brush aside the many implications of these whispers, these overtones in the context of here and now, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, but also the ethical, as well as economic, state of the world today. In spite of a seemingly absent narrative, these specters endure, however, throughout Illusion, at times by virtue of the omnipotence of sounds, and at others, through the performer’s material and gestural presence.

Déluges et autres péripéties (2014–2015), the most recent endeavor on this album, operates from a singular, base leitmotif: “We await destruction.” Replacing the ambiguity of the image with the certainty of the word, Vande Gorne chooses to walk in the glinting footsteps of poet Werner Lambersy, whose voice is one of the three used in the piece. Least subject to the manipulations pertinent to musique concrète, Lambersy’s voice is used mainly to wend an otherwise umbrous or disquieting narrative. It is spoken using a narrator’s voice, akin to Jean Négroni’s role in Apocalypse de Jean by Pierre Henry. The piece is, in form, an art song. With a length of half an hour, its effectiveness depends on the listener’s willingness to follow along. For it is punishing throughout, singular in this respect in Vande Gorne’s repertoire, at times more threatening in character than the album Impalpables while matching, if not exceeding, the fervor of the opera Yawar Fiesta.

Vande Gorne’s implacable art song is a far cry from Turner’s gracious, albeit troubling, landscape. Where Turner transfigures, Vande Gorne echoes the dread, supporting a horrific poem, in her own words, “with horrific sounds.” Not only is the piece texturally and emotionally unrelenting, the implementation of the voice in reverse can only be described as miasmic, rendering it vicious in ways contradicting contemporary acousmatic aesthetics. In this respect, the vicious narrative has few parallels in the greater electroacoustic repertoire, among them, Michel Chion’s Sanctus, from his early work, and the mass Requiem (1973), an equally demented endeavor “rich in extended vocal experiments and, most of all, spoken words.”

Yet, does this bring the piece closer to Borduas and les automatistes? The art song is dedicated to Francis Dhomont, whose rapport with spoken words is exemplary within the broader acousmatic tradition. As per the majority of acousmatic works, it makes use of the fixed medium, and is designed for a 16-channel setup. This places it well away from the inclinations of les automatistes. Declarations such as “It seemed as if our future were set in stone,” from the scandalous 1948 manifesto, Refus global, for which Borduas and les automatistes are most remembered, here are not points of departure for unrest but very much Vande Gorne’s aspirations. For her as a composer, fixity remains both an aesthetic and an ontological necessity. Hers is, in other words, neither a romantic, but, even more prominently, nor a revolutionary concern. In her own words: “I do not have a romantic vision of art” (CMJ 36(1):10–22). The automatic and the improvisatory are, in her view, contrasted with architecture and organization — with mastery over one’s time. This is what she also shares with Chion. His notion of sons fixés [fixed sounds] Vande Gorne deems to be “correct,” in relation to fixing time. Having said that, it may be useful to question the nature of this “mastery” over time.

Today, acousmatic music remains part medium and part listening strategy. In the first instance, it involves fixed media, with scattered examples of hybrid (live with fixed elements) media, which often incorporate small groups or individual performers. It is also as a fixed media that notions such as sons fixés find immediate meaning. In other words, the further one moves away from fixed into hybrid media, notions such as sons fixés become more difficult to follow. For one thing, the live instrument or electronics can disallow any immediate control outside that of the performer. Hence, the implicit decision of most composers in the acousmatic tradition to produce works more often in the former category. With regard to listening strategies, it is fair to say that many listeners are unfamiliar with either reduced listening or spectromorphology. The select few who are familiar would struggle to find any reciprocity, strictly speaking, between the listening strategies and the notion of fixed sounds. So, does this “mastery” point to anything except an aesthetic proclivity?

The two iterations of the third and last piece included in Illusion, Faisceaux, are concluded respectively, in fixed and hybrid media. Whereas the former is designed for fixed stereo medium, the latter is accompanied with a pianist. Within the acousmatic tradition, collaborative works, regardless of the nature of the collaborations, rank among the strongest. For example, Gilles Gobeil’s best works, including his individual recordings, are those involving composer-performer René Lussier. Simon Emmerson’s duets with Lol Coxhill outrival the composer’s “fixed” works. Barry Schrader’s recent collaboration with Wadada Leo Smith has not only exposed his works, for the first time, to a wider audience, it is furthermore aesthetically varied in ways that are not true of his earlier output. The list goes on. And the hybrid variant of Faisceaux is no exception. Albeit suffering from what has already been discussed regarding hybrid media — namely, that the fixed sounds are accompanied with a narrow number of instruments or performers (in this case, one pianist) — the hybrid rendition is one of the most commanding works included in Illusion.

It is evocative but also pulsating and alive. The performer’s presence is able to disrupt, even if briefly, the moribund, idealistic narrative evoked by the fixed component. It is a refreshing take, compared with similar ventures of Vande Gorne into evocative sound worlds, such as Terre (1991) or the included fixed-medium variant, and although using instrumentation that is as of now depleted by composers time and again, it manages to stand out in a selection dominated by fixed media. What is evident, from Faisceaux but also the other examples noted above, is that the alleged mastery over time is, more than anything, an aesthetic qualifier. Although it is true to some degree that a narrative temporally fixed also allows the composer to have more immediate control over the output, this is by and large incidental and furthermore subordinate to the primary function of the fixed medium, which is to predefine the work aesthetically.

Finally, it is the spirit of Arsène Souffriau that roams Illusion. The album’s opener, Au-delà du réel, with which I find apropos to close this review, is dedicated to the enigmatic composer. Obliquely reminiscent of Vande Gorne’s own Métal (1983), the piece pyramids percussive and instrumental resonance into hypnotic spectra, while conniving at performative gestures. Compared with the former, its use of spectral mobility, pronounced by oscillations and rotations primarily, is much more vivid, thereby evolving faster with a magnetizing effect on the listener. As per the other dedications on Illusion, it is a material, not a merely symbolic celebration. The piece utlizes soundobjects from a rare collection gathered by Souffriau, catalogued according to materials, ranges, and frequencies.

It is as if instruments become doorways to the tenebrous. His self-described “instrumental” piece, Incantation (N’sien ufo d’ra) (1981), for ondes Martenot, tcheng, and three percussionists, albeit with a modus operandi different from that of Vande Gorne, in which both a score and performers are present, achieves analogous aesthetic results. The piece’s backstory is also one that pertains to the discussion on composer and performer reciprocity in the acousmatic strand. Allegedly, another version was intended by the composer but was never realized, due to the performers’ unwillingness to learn “the unusual notation of the score.” Vande Gorne may not be a romantic, yet the acousmatic tradition with which she identifies has always been prone to idealism. Acousmatic music, which, rather interestingly, positioned itself in contrast to concert-hall music, appears all the more today to suffer from the same set of predicaments besetting musique spectrale, once openly described by Grisey also as an aesthetic. And this is Illusion’s weakness as well as source of its partial strength. Acousmatic music, as aesthetic, is recognizable strictly due to the fixity of vision shared by its practitioners, and in that also, it cannot proceed forward unless opening up the creative space for performers, stressing reciprocity and collaboration.

… at times by virtue of the omnipotence of sounds, and at others, through the performer’s material and gestural presence.