L’ivresse de la vitesse 2

Intoxicated by Speed 2
IMED 0318
2003

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Radio // L’ivresse de la vitesse 2
L’ivresse de la vitesse 2
Beyond the Walls of Jericho (1991-92), 16m25s [excerpt]
CD: empreintes DIGITALes (2003) IMED 0318
  • Why Remaster Old Works? (L’ivressse de la vitesse 2)

    In the late 1970’s I started to write and produce music involving hundreds of parts or tracks. In the early days, the analogue recording medium was very noisy when bouncing (or premixing) tracks together. Things improved throughout the 1980’s and ’90’s, but a large multitrack digital tape recorder was still out of my financial reach. By the late 1990’s the new computer and hard drive speeds finally provided me with an affordable multitrack solution. For the first time in my life I was able to achieve the balance between individual voices that I had so carefully notated in the original scores. I achieved further musical clarity and a new depth of sound by using quality compression, equalisation and reverb. To remaster, I went back to the individual tracks. This was a huge undertaking. For example, a piece like Beyond the Walls of Jericho (1991-92) may be only 16 minutes and 25 seconds long, but it is a large tape work comprising eighty hours of original recorded materials.

    Recordings always ‘freeze’ or crystallise musical and spectral meaning for the listener. An odd sound combination that you have grown fond of in the old master may not appear in the same way in the new one. However, I think you will agree that I have stayed true to the original compositions. I changed some musical moments and transitions in Beyond the Walls of Jericho, and the tape components for Physics of Seduction, Invocation #1, all originally released on the L’ivresse de la vitesse CD in 1994. These changes were motivated by compositional concerns and were created using the musical materials from the Walls Cycle. The only new recordings made for the remastering process were the drum parts (performed by Philippe Keyser) in Beyond the Walls of Jericho.

    I invite you to discover many new levels of meaning and clarity in the new masters, which are much closer to my original artistic intention.

    Paul Dolden [x-03]

  • Crash Music [from the 1994 edition]

    What is the speed of music? At what point does music red shift to ultrasonic velocity like all those spectral objects before it, break the sound barrier and then follow an immense curvature towards that point of incredible sound density, where music can finally move at such violent speeds that it can no longer be heard, even by mutant membranes. The final point, that is, where music breaks beyond the speed of light, falling onto a deep and immense silence.

    In this wonderful world, as we drift aimlessly across the mediascape, floating among the debris of all the seductive objects of desire, voyeurs in the cultural boutiques of which our bodies are only random and transitory terminal points, we can finally know the terminal blast of music to be our very own lost object of desire, the field across which bodies are coded, tattooed and signified in an endless circulation of spectral emotions.

    If music is so seductive today, that is because it finally delivers on the catastrophe that is our last historical illusion. Music as interesting, therefore, only in its dark and implosive side, in that impossible space where music prefigures our own dissolution into a spectral impulse in the circulatory system of the mediascape. The fascination with music today lies in its violence as a force-field that scripts bodies, codes emotions, processes terminal identities, and rehearses our own existence as crash bodies, by its violent alternation as a scene of ecstasy and inertia.

    Sounds appear from nowhere and they decay rapidly. They move across the field of our bodies, and then disappear. They have no real presence, only a virtual and analogical presence. Sounds without history and without a referent.

    The brilliant musical compositions of Paul Dolden are an emblematic sign of the times. Dolden is the high priest of crash music for the fin-de-siècle. A ‘DAT’ musician whose music is at the forward edge of the ’90s, Dolden hardwires us into the sounds of terminal culture. His crash music operates like a violent force-field: an oscillating field of energy where rolling walls of sound can achieve such maximal density that they suddenly fold back into perfectly eerie silences. Paul Dolden actually creates the crash sound of inertia and ecstasy.

    (A fragment of this introduction is excerpted from The Possessed Individual: Technology and the French Postmodern (St Martin’s Press, New York City, 1992), a theory that parallels Paul Dolden’s crash music.)

    Arthur Kroker, Montréal [ii-94]

  • Intoxicated By Speed, the discs [from the 1994 edition]

    The music on these two discs represents two different but related compositional strategies. The first compositional strategy is represented by the creation of the four solo tape works and the second strategy is the creation of the five works for soloist and tape.

    The creation of the solo tape compositions involves the composition of several hundred simultaneous musical parts or lines on large manuscript paper. Each part or line is individually performed on an acoustic instrument and recorded. Once all several hundred parts have been individually recorded, they are digitally mixed together with usually no, or very little, signal processing or electronic effects. This working method allows for new and complex polyrhythmic and microtonal tuning relationships between parts that could never be performed by a live ensemble. This compositional technique also allows for unique orchestration and density possibilities that can be constantly transformed.

    The exclusive use of acoustic instruments in these recordings could be partially explained by the fact that I regularly perform on the violin, guitar and cello. Therefore I hear a richness of human expression in acoustic instrumental performance which, to me, is largely absent in any other electroacoustic production method. Indeed the sound worlds found in these recordings could not be created by current electronic synthesis techniques, which are unable to produce a large palette of convincingly different timbres or sounds. The narrowness of this range of unique timbres prevents the type of orchestration strategies that can occur for acoustic sounds in which large numbers of sound sources can be combined and the individuality of each sound is somewhat maintained while there is a contribution to the overall sound. Likewise, this music could not be produced by current sampling techniques, which cannot create convincing long musical phrase structures which develop according to the compositional language of each piece.

    The second compositional strategy featured on these two discs combines a live soloist with segments from three of these solo tape compositions. Often new tape portions are added in order to compliment the timbral quality of the soloist’s instrument. In creating these works for soloist and tape, many details of the tape become masked by the soloist’s sound. However, by being able to clearly hear one part, one gains a new perspective on my sound world, as the solo line often highlights fairly hidden musical gestures and directions. Moreover, one has the wonderful contrast between the tape, in which hundreds of musical parts often create anonymous massed textural effects, and hearing the soloist with all the subjectivity, subtlety and detail he/she brings. As such one could compare the soloist to a clear single line in an abstract dense visual field which creates a type of definition and clarity by its sheer contrast to the surrounding density. In other words, the tape works stand on their own but are heard in a different manner when they are combined with a soloist. Another analogy would be when viewing a crystal in which we know it is the same object even as we turn it and get different visual perspectives.

    The contrast between the anonymous mass effect of the tape and the singular effect of the soloist also works as a metaphor for the relationship between the individual (the soloist) and society (the mass effect of the tape). The implication of this metaphor is discussed in the following section entitled The Possessed Individual.

    With the exception of Veils, the works on these two discs are contained within two cycles according to their relationship: the Walls Cycle contains the solo tape compositions: Below the Walls of Jericho, Dancing on the Walls of Jericho, and Beyond the Walls of Jericho. The related works for soloist and tape are the Physics of Seduction series and Luminous Hysteresis. At the time of this writing, the second cycle, The Resonance Cycle, consists of the tape composition L’ivresse de la vitesse and the soloist and tape pieces In a Bed Where the Moon Was Sweating. Resonance #1 and Revenge of the Repressed. Resonance #2. The Resonance Cycle will be completed with upcoming commissions from accordionist Joseph Petric, violist Rivka Golani and the Société de musique contemporaine (SMCQ).

    Paul Dolden, Vancouver [iv-94]

  • Acknowledgements [from the 1994 edition]

    The music on these two discs represents two different but related compositional strategies. The first compositional strategy is represented by the creation of the four solo tape works and the second strategy is the creation of the five works for soloist and tape.

    The creation of the solo tape compositions involves the composition of several hundred simultaneous musical parts or lines on large manuscript paper. Each part or line is individually performed on an acoustic instrument and recorded. Once all several hundred parts have been individually recorded, they are digitally mixed together with usually no, or very little, signal processing or electronic effects. This working method allows for new and complex polyrhythmic and microtonal tuning relationships between parts that could never be performed by a live ensemble. This compositional technique also allows for unique orchestration and density possibilities that can be constantly transformed.

    The exclusive use of acoustic instruments in these recordings could be partially explained by the fact that I regularly perform on the violin, guitar and cello. Therefore I hear a richness of human expression in acoustic instrumental performance which, to me, is largely absent in any other electroacoustic production method. Indeed the sound worlds found in these recordings could not be created by current electronic synthesis techniques, which are unable to produce a large palette of convincingly different timbres or sounds. The narrowness of this range of unique timbres prevents the type of orchestration strategies that can occur for acoustic sounds in which large numbers of sound sources can be combined and the individuality of each sound is somewhat maintained while there is a contribution to the overall sound. Likewise, this music could not be produced by current sampling techniques, which cannot create convincing long musical phrase structures which develop according to the compositional language of each piece.

    The second compositional strategy featured on these two discs combines a live soloist with segments from three of these solo tape compositions. Often new tape portions are added in order to compliment the timbral quality of the soloist’s instrument. In creating these works for soloist and tape, many details of the tape become masked by the soloist’s sound. However, by being able to clearly hear one part, one gains a new perspective on my sound world, as the solo line often highlights fairly hidden musical gestures and directions. Moreover, one has the wonderful contrast between the tape, in which hundreds of musical parts often create anonymous massed textural effects, and hearing the soloist with all the subjectivity, subtlety and detail he/she brings. As such one could compare the soloist to a clear single line in an abstract dense visual field which creates a type of definition and clarity by its sheer contrast to the surrounding density. In other words, the tape works stand on their own but are heard in a different manner when they are combined with a soloist. Another analogy would be when viewing a crystal in which we know it is the same object even as we turn it and get different visual perspectives.

    The contrast between the anonymous mass effect of the tape and the singular effect of the soloist also works as a metaphor for the relationship between the individual (the soloist) and society (the mass effect of the tape). The implication of this metaphor is discussed in the following section entitled The Possessed Individual.

    With the exception of Veils, the works on these two discs are contained within two cycles according to their relationship: the Walls Cycle contains the solo tape compositions: Below the Walls of Jericho, Dancing on the Walls of Jericho, and Beyond the Walls of Jericho. The related works for soloist and tape are the Physics of Seduction series and Luminous Hysteresis. At the time of this writing, the second cycle, The Resonance Cycle, consists of the tape composition L’ivresse de la vitesse and the soloist and tape pieces In a Bed Where the Moon Was Sweating. Resonance #1 and Revenge of the Repressed. Resonance #2. The Resonance Cycle will be completed with upcoming commissions from accordionist Joseph Petric, violist Rivka Golani and the Société de musique contemporaine (SMCQ).

    Paul Dolden, Vancouver [iv-94]

  • Recorded Musicians [from the 1994 edition]

    Recorded musicians in the Resonance Cycle.
    François Houle: E flat clarinet, clarinet, bass clarinet, soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophones
    Allen Thorpe: bassoon, contrabassoon
    David Owen: oboe, english horn
    Kathryn Cernauskas: piccolo, flute, alto flute
    Peter Hannan: soprano, alto and tenor recorders
    John Korsrud: trumpet, flugelhorn
    Brenda Chatman: french horn
    Brad Muirhead: trombone
    Ian McIntosh: tuba, digeridoo, jewsharp
    Grace Yaginuma: piano
    Mark Campbell: electric bass
    Rob Maynard: drum kit
    Nick Apivor: vibes, marimba, timpani, bass drums, gamelan orchestra instruments, congas, bongos, jambays, surdo, talking drums, rainsticks, chimes, various shakers, various bells, woodblocks, maracas, guiros, rachets, and vibraslap
    Paul Dolden: electric and acoustic guitar, sitar, violin, viola, cello, double bass, mouth harmonica, rubbed glass, breaking glass, hammering, sawing, and scrap metal
    Voices
    sopranos: Kim Hardy, Diana Ganske, Lorraine Reinhardt
    altos: Karen Ydenberg, Liz Baker, Wendy Klein
    tenors: Chris Givens, Jonathan Quick, Kieren MacMillan
    basses: Peter Zaenker, Derrick Christian


    Recorded musicians in the Walls Cycle
    Isaac Bull: bassoon, contrabassoon
    Paul Steenhuisen: soprano, alto and bass saxophone
    Ian Crutchley: tenor saxophones
    Lorne Buick: bass clarinet
    Johanna Hauser: clarinet
    Michelle Cheramy: piccolo, bass flute
    Clemens Rettich: flute, soprano, tenor, alto and bass recorders
    Glee Devereaux: oboe, english horn
    Mark Tynan: trombone
    Jamie Croil: trumpet
    Paul Fester: tuba
    Gwyneth MacKenzie: french horn
    Gary Sterle: french horn
    Marc Crompton: timpani, tom-toms, cymbals, glockenspiel, temple-blocks
    Trevor Tureski: tom-toms, cymbals, vibes, marimba, bongos, congas, tablas, gamelan instruments, snare and tenor snare
    Paul Dolden: acoustic and electric guitars, double bass, cello, viola, violin, dulcimer, sitar, banjo, mandolin, and piano
    Marko Novachcoff: flute, alto flutepiccolo, panpipes, bamboo, soprano, alto and tenor recorders, clarinet, alto, bass, contrabass and clarinets, cornet, alto horn, ophicleide, tuba, soprano sarrusophone, oboe, english horn, heckelphone, bassoon, soprano, alto, tenor, baritone and bass saxophones
    Andrew Czink: piano
    Voices
    soprano: Diana Ganske
    alto: Janis Clark
    tenor: Nick Curalli
    baritone: David Pay


    Recorded musicians for Veils
    Clemens Rettich: flute, male voice
    Nicola Czink: voice
    Andrew Czink: piano
    Brett Dowler: trumpet
    Graham Howell: saxophones
    Ian Campbell: pitches percussion
    Tom Hajdu: pitches percussion
    Paul Dolden: acoustic guitar, sitar, rubbed glass, violin, and double bass

    [x-03]

  • The Possessed Individuals [from the 1994 edition]

    The Possessed Individual is a metaphor for the soloists and their relationship to the sound world found in the tape component of each composition. The five works philosophically address the crises in our traditional thought structures and our fast approach towards the impossible dream of escaping mortality through the construction of an artificial or virtual reality created through the use of advanced technology. These virtual realities would create a world of shifting pleasures composed of strategies of appearances which would allow for the remapping of experience and existence. In this metaphor, the tape is a type of virtual reality in which idealized acoustic situations are made possible only with the modern digital recording studio. The soloist, or the Possessed Individual, often plays materials that blend with or enter the virtual reality of the tape. At other times, the soloist maintains his/her individuality by playing in a different direction from the tape in terms of mood, tempo, dynamics, harmony or timbre. Therefore the Possessed Individual, or the soloist, is also a metaphor for all of us at the end of the second millennium, in that we are aware of the breakdown of our traditional thought structures but unable to completely escape our historicized subjectivity. Notwithstanding this predicament, we are still possessed with an energy to create play, challenges and duels. When these energies are combined with technology, they can ideally lead to new sonic worlds and offer the possibility of remapping of our senses and existence through transcendental æsthetic experiences.

    The program notes for the works represent the evolution in my thought structure to this philosophical outlook. For example, the program notes for the Physics of Seduction. Invocation #1 announce the crises of our traditional thought structures and appeal to a type of musical listening and transcendental experience unmediated by words or images. To evoke these states, the program notes for the Physics of Seduction. Invocation #3 propose a compositional strategy involving my Theory of Excess. Finally, the program notes for Physics of Seduction. Invocation #2 are a celebration of speed as one example of a surface phenomenon that can create transcendental and hopefully new experiences. The Resonance Cycle pursues these themes with new detailing of the basic ideas.

    Musically, the five works chronologize different strategies for combining the live aspect of a potentially irrational, irregular and wild soloist with the disembodied virtual reality of the tape. As mentioned above, in some instances the soloist enters and plays with the virtual world of the tape. At other times, the historicized subjectivity of the soloist is in musical contrast with the tape and, in this sense, the Possessed Individual is one of the last great heroic figures: the virtuosic soloist. The real drama of the relation between the soloist and the tape and the details of these interactions and strategies lie within the unfolding of the musical structures. For in reality, within and outside of the musical experience, things do not co-exist or dominate one another but work to exterminate each other in a fatal regression of discourses. In other words, all metaphors one could establish for the relation between an individual and society or technology is ultimately facile in the face of the illuminating power and transcendental potential of music.

    Notwithstanding these limitations of written discourses, it is sufficient to say that in the virtual reality of these recordings our heroic virtuoso, or Possessed Individual, is a possible portrayal of subjectivity in ruins at the end of the second millennium, and yet simultaneously a meditation on the dark, and fatally attractive and seductive universe of The Possessed Individual.

    (Title taken from and writing inspired by the book The Possessed Individual, Technology and the French Postmodern by Arthur Kroker.)

    Paul Dolden, Vancouver [iv-94]