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Radio // Mondes inconnus
Mondes inconnus
Mapping (1995-97), 14m19s [excerpt]
Track 1 from Mondes inconnus
DVD-Audio: empreintes DIGITALes (2006) IMED 0679
  • piste@imed_0679-1
    • 1
      Mapping (1995-97), 14m19s
      • Premiere: May 29, 1995, Artothek (Vienna, Austria)

      Mapping depicts the slow evolution of an imagined landscape. It leads the listener through unknown territories, arriving at landing points from time to time by means of transformed sounds originating from the real world, either concrete or musical. Over and over the work plays with the idea of starting-out, either musically (with quotations from early Schaeffer and some of my own early piano music) or concretely (children learning a new game or learning to ride a bike). The work unfolds structurally as material emerges and is incorporated into the musical landscape. New material is continually being added until the final quarter of the piece. Some of this material is transformed throughout the work, while other parts remain unchanged, serving as points of reference as the piece evolves.

      [iii-06]

      Mapping was realized in 1995 in the Electroacoustic Music Studios of the University of Birmingham (UK) and revised in 1997 in the studios of University of East Anglia (Norwich, UK) and of EMS (Stockholm, Sweden). It premiered on May 29, 1995 at the Artothek (Vienna, Austria). The work was awarded 1st Prize at the Hungarian Radio’s EAR’95 International Competition of Electroacoustic Music (Budapest, Hungary, 1995) and was a finalist at the 5th Prix international Noroit-Léonce Petitot (Arras, France, 1998) and at the 26th Bourges International Electroacoustic Music and Sonic Art Competition (France, 1999). This version was mastered by Dominique Bassal in 2005 in Montréal.

      piste@imed_0679-1.1 oeuvre@19156 ISRC CAD500619230
    • 2
      Aerial (2002), 9m40s
      • Commission: BEAST
      • Premiere: March 7, 2003, 20/20 Re:Vision — BEAST, CBSO Centre (Birmingham, England, UK)

      Aerial is a sonic photograph of the hills and mountains that surround where I currently live in the north of England. The work is not an attempt to depict one particular location but a response to the landscape as a whole. Throughout the work, the listener is lead through various vistas that are sonic equivalents of a camera zooming in and out. The work forms a pair with Deepfield, both exploring similar materials with differing sonic results.

      [iii-06]

      Aerial was realized in 2002 in the studios of the Groupe de recherches musicales (Ina-GRM, Paris, France) and premiered on March 7, 2003 during the 20th anniversary concerts of the Birmingham Electroacoustic Sound Theatre (BEAST) “20/20 Re:Vision” at the CBSO Centre (Birmingham, UK). The work was awarded an Honorary Mention in the Musica Nova 2002 International Competition of Electroacoustic Music (Prague, Czech Republic). This version was mastered by Dominique Bassal in 2005 in Montréal.

      piste@imed_0679-1.2 oeuvre@19157 ISRC CAD500619240
    • 3
      Deepfield (2000), 12m22s
      • Commission: Studio de création musicale Césaré, Planétarium de Reims
      • Premiere: October 24, 2000, Planétarium de Reims (Reims, Marne, France)

      For many years the Hubble space telescope has been sending back to earth images of astronomical events that stretch further and further back into the history of the universe. Deepfield is a sonic exploration of these terrae incognitae — a world of violent explosions, extreme temperatures and velocities. The structural model for the work are the most distant stars yet discovered — quasars (quasi-stellar-astronomical-radio-source) — discovered in 1963. A quasar is an object of stellar appearance of exceptionally high luminoisty. The spectrum of a quasar shows emission lines that have very high redshifts. They are the nucleus of primordial galaxies at the centre of which is a huge black hole which is continually sucking in all surrounding gas. The quasar accretes material in the form of a spiral faster than the speed of light. This material is subject to huge pressures as it collapses passing through the event horizon into a singularity — where an infinite mass occupies an infinitessimally small space. The material for the work is derived from the sounds of rocks of various sizes and gas cylinders.

      [iii-06]

      Deepfield was realized in 2000 in the Studio de création musicale Césaré (Reims, France) and premiered on October 24, 2000 at the Planétarium de Reims (France). It was commissioned by Studio de création musicale Césaré and the Planétarium de Reims (France). The work was awarded honorary mentions at the 23rd Luigi Russolo International Competition (Varese, Italy, 2001) and the Concurso Internacional de Composição Electroacústica Música Viva (Portugal, 2002). This version was mastered by Dominique Bassal in 2005 in Montréal.

      piste@imed_0679-1.3 oeuvre@19158 ISRC CAD500619250
    • 4
      Still Time (2001), 8m52s
      flute, and processing
      • Commission: Alejandro Escuer
      • Premiere: June 28, 2002, Alejandro EscuerFestival Internacional de Arte Sonoro (Mexico City, Mexico)

      Still Time is concerned with an interplay between stasis and speed. Stasis conveys a sense of sound being frozen in time, and also of dormant life; something that is loaded with expectancy of what will emerge, of something errupting into life. Speed conveys a sense of panic and time becoming more and more compressed. This is reflected in the melodic materials which themselves become compressed into a quarter-tonal language as the work progresses. The electronic part counterpoints the flute by providing an extension of some of the extended flute techniques, expanding their timbral and spectral trajectories into extended time and space.

      [iii-06]

      Still Time was realized in 2001 in the composer’s studio and premiered on June 28, 2002 during the Festival Internacional de Arte Sonoro (Mexico City, Mexico). The work was commissioned by flutist Alejandro Escuer. It was awarded 2nd Prize at the Hungarian Radio’s EAR’03 International Competition of Electroacoustic Music (Budapest, Hungary, 2003). This version was mastered by Dominique Bassal in 2005 in Montréal.

      piste@imed_0679-1.4 oeuvre@19159 ISRC CAD500619260
    • 5
      Melt (1994), 11m41s
      • Premiere: June 1995, Festival Synthèse (Bourges, Cher, France)

      This work initially grew out of my daily travels to the studio in Birmingham, from my then home some thrity kilometers away. Melt is a poetic depiction of a train journey and draws on Turner’s painting Rain, Steam, and Speed (1844). By its very subject matter, it makes reference to Schaeffer’s early work Étude aux chemins de fer (1948). The quality of Turner’s later work that appeals most to me is the sense that more definable objects have been painted over, how hard lines have been dissolved. There is a sense of implication and suggestion. The work is based on the mediation between extremes: smooth to pulsed motion and raw to processed sonic material. The sonic material for this piece comprises unprocessed recordings of trains, station announcements and station concourses, synthetic materials which are modelled after the motion and characteristics of the raw source materials and finally, synthetic materials of a dream world. Throughout the work, sounds of the real world melt/morph into their dream-world equivalent as a traveller lapses in and out of a daydream.

      [iii-06]

      Melt was realized in 1994 in the Electroacoustic Music Studios of the University of Birmingham (UK) and premiered in 1995 at the Synthèse Festival in Bourges (France). The work was awarded a Prix Résidence at the 22nd Bourges International Electroacoustic Music Competition (France, 1994) and the First prize of the Stockholm Electronic Arts Award (Sweden, 1995). This version was mastered by Dominique Bassal in 2005 in Montréal.

      piste@imed_0679-1.5 oeuvre@18231 ISRC CAD500619270
    • 6
      Symbiont (2002), 9m01s
      • Commission: HCMF, Ina-GRM, SAN
      • Premiere: October 24, 2002, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (HCMF) (Huddersfield, England, UK)

      Symbiont is a work that plays with the idea of balancing opposites. The most obvious is the balance between a more acousmatic way of approaching sound and the sound worlds of drum ’n’ bass / electronica. There are also other oppositions taking place within the work between speed, dynamics, the way sounds, and the way sonic material is treated in different contexts. There are a number of ‘hidden’ quotations throughout the work, most notably from Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. These quotations highlight the images of life and death in the video by Miles Chalcraft that accompanies the work. Symbiont was inspired by the novels of William Gibson and the art works of HR Giger.

      [iii-06]

      Symbiont was realized in the composer’s studio and in the studios of the Groupe de recherches musicales (Ina-GRM, Paris, France). It was premiered on November 24, 2002 at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (UK). It was commissioned by the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, the Ina-GRM, and the Sonic Arts Network (SAN). The work was a finalist at the 30th Bourges International Electroacoustic Music Competition (France, 2003). This version was mastered by Dominique Bassal in 2005 in Montréal.

      piste@imed_0679-1.6 oeuvre@19160 ISRC CAD500619280
    • 7
      Silk to Steel (2005), 10m36s
      • Commission: IMEB
      • Premiere: June 4, 2005, Festival Synthèse (Bourges, Cher, France)

      Silk to Steel is a musical present to my close friend and fellow composer Christopher Fox who celebrated his 50th birthday in early 2005. This work takes fragments from his piano work Prime Site and weaves around these a series of electroacoustic variations. Like Prime Site, Silk to Steel is in seven interlocking sections that make use of prime number sequences to order material as well as other stuctural parameters… But let’s not get into talk of musical techniques, let us raise a glass to this constantly inventive and charismatic composer and wish him many more artistically fruitful years to come.

      [iii-06]

      Silk to Steel was realized in the studio Circé of the Institut internationale de musique électroacoustique de Bourges (IMEB, France) and premiered on June 4, 2005 at Synthèse, the 35th Bourges International Electronic Music and Creation Festival (France). It was commissioned by the IMEB. The work received a mention at the 32nd Bourges International Electroacoustic Music and Sonic Art Competition (France, 2005). This version was mastered by Dominique Bassal in 2005 in Montréal.

      piste@imed_0679-1.7 oeuvre@19164 ISRC CAD500619290
    • 8
      Cortex (2004-05), 9m05s
      • Commission: Ina-GRM
      • Premiere: February 17, 2005, Présences «électronique», Salle Olivier Messiaen — Maison de Radio France (Paris, France)

      Cortex is the first of a trilogy of pieces that explore the notions of identity in digital space drawing specifically from ideas in the writings of Isaac Asimov and William Gibson. In Cortex we first hear the disembodied voice of a ‘cyber-innocent’ experiencing the rush of entering cyberspace for the first time followed by an initial burst of rhythmic excitement. At this stage the vocal samples are almost unadulterated. As the piece progresses, the ‘cyber-innocent’ accumulates information, viruses, and other digital detritus floating around cyberspace. This is reflected in the vocal samples becoming more and more distorted. By the end of the piece virtually all sonic traces of the original ‘cyber-innocent’ have vanished replaced by a newly constructed digital personality… an avatar… and so to the second part of the trilogy.

      [iii-06]

      Cortex was realized in December 2004 and January 2005  in the studios of the Ina-GRM (Paris, France) and premiered on February 17, 2005 during the Présences “électronique” festival in the Salle Olivier Messiaen of the Maison de Radio France (Paris, France). It was commissionned bu the Ina-GRM for that festival. This version was mastered by Dominique Bassal in 2005 in Montréal.

      piste@imed_0679-1.8 oeuvre@19165 ISRC CAD500619300