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Radio // Matériaux composés
Matériaux composés
Grain de sable (2004-05), 14m35s [excerpt]
Track 1 from Matériaux composés
DVD-Audio: empreintes DIGITALes (2008) IMED 0893
  • piste@imed_0893-1
    • 1
      Grain de sable (2004-05), 14m35s
      4.1-track fixed medium
      • Commission: Réseaux des arts médiatiques, with support from the CCA
      • Premiere: December 2, 2004, Louis Dufort, diffusion • Musique instrumentale d’aujourd’hui: Ensemble Ö, Maison de la culture Côte-des-Neiges (Montréal, Québec)

      “The sudden catastrophe caused by the tsunami in Phuket (Thailand), in December 2004, happened while this work was under way and, as such, influenced the work. Every day at lunch I always watched the news and, for several days, the news mostly showed footage from Phuket. These images inspired sonic allegories in me and, little by little, a theme arose: drowning. Since I didn’t want to slide into pathos with this theme, which can be perceived at first as morbid, I chose to approach it more dreamily, to evoke the state of ultimate being that comes right before you lose consciousness, according to drowning survivors.”

      Hence, this piece is at first putting emphasis on the development of a raw morphology in which there is a clear articulation around thematic variations on construction/deconstruction. New sound materials are introduced later, based on attack/resonance and density/thinness articulations. Then comes the voice, the sole clue to the tragedy, simultaneously evocative, dreamy, and bearer of the Siren archetype, the Princess of Deep Waters.

      [English translation: François Couture, viii-07]

      Grain de sable [A Grain of Sand] was realized in 2004-2005 at the composer’s studio in Montréal. The first version, then titled Ephem, was performed on February 12, 2004 during the Rien à voir (15) concert series presented by Réseaux at Espace GO in Montréal. A second version bearing the final title was performed on December 2, 2004 at Maison de la culture Côte-des-Neiges in Montréal, as part of a concert presented by Codes d’accès. The final version was premiered on January 22, 2005 at the Monument-National’s Hydro-Québec Studio in Montréal, as part of the Akousma series presented by Réseaux. The piece was commissioned by Réseaux des arts médiatiques with support from the Canada Council for the Arts (CCA). My thanks to Jean-François Denis, Robert Normandeau, and Gilles Gobeil.

      piste@imed_0893-1.1 oeuvre@10117 ISRC CAD500811050
    • 2
      Matério_* (2006), 8m00s
      4.1-track fixed medium
      • Commission: Francisco López, Quartier Éphémère
      • Premiere: February 24, 2007, Montréal / Nouvelles Musiques 2007: Spatio Lumino, Société des arts technologiques (Montréal, Québec)

      This is the first installment in a cycle of three pieces: Matério_*, Matério_** et Matério_***. This cycle experiments with “sound” matter (as part of the collective Montréal Sound Matter: Aimé Dontigny, Louis Dufort, Chantal Dumas, Steve Heimbecker, Mathieu Lévesque, Francisco López, Tomas Phillips, Hélène Prévost), approaching sound matter from its organicity. Musically, these pieces experiment with tone, of course, but also with harmony, rhythm, and movement. The harmonic aspect reaches its peak in the third installment, after being foretold at the end of the second one, where acoustic instrumental bodies go through the same manipulations as the sound matter, thus ensuring both dichotomy and symbiosis (even more striking in version 5.1).

      In a concert setting, these pieces can be presented separately.

      [English translation: François Couture, viii-07]

      Matério_* was realized in 2006 in the composer’s studio in Montréal and premiered on February 24, 2007 as part of “Spatio Lumino,” the opening concert of the Montréal/Nouvelles musiques Festival at Société des arts technologiques (SAT) in Montréal. The piece was commissioned by Francisco López, in collaboration with Quartier Éphémère in Montréal. My thanks to Esther Bourdages. Matério_* was first recorded in 2006 for the compact disc Montreal Sound Matter / Montréal matière sonore released by Pogus (P 21041-2).

      piste@imed_0893-1.2 oeuvre@19456 ISRC CAD500811060
    • 3
      Enfant d’obus (2007), 10m02s
      4.1-track fixed medium

      Enfant d’obus [Bomb Child] was realized in 2007 at the composer’s studio in Montréal. The piece is taken from a section for voice and tape from the opera L’archange (2005). My thanks to Chants libres and Émilie Laforest.

      piste@imed_0893-1.3 oeuvre@21337 ISRC CAD500811070
    • 4
      Matério_** (2006), 9m00s
      4.1-track fixed medium
      • Commission: Francisco López, Quartier Éphémère
      • Premiere: July 27, 2006, «Montréal Sound Matter», Fonderie Darling (Montréal, Québec)

      Matério_** was realized in 2006 at the composer’s studio in Montréal. It was premiered on July 27, 2006 as part of a concert presented for the sound installation exhibit Montréal Sound Matter, at Fonderie Darling in Montréal. The piece was commissioned by Francisco López, in collaboration with Quartier Éphémère. My thanks to Esther Bourdages.

      piste@imed_0893-1.4 oeuvre@20387 ISRC CAD500811080
    • 5
      Gen_3 (2007), 8m56s
      4.1-track fixed medium
      • Premiere: December 1, 2007, Binary Cities Event: Montréal, Canada — Avignon, France, Recombinant Media Labs (San Francisco, California, USA)

      To Francis Dhomont

      “I have always liked Francis Dhomont’s sound palette; his sounds talk to me. So I was bound to steal one from him at some point. I have opted for a very “Dhomonesque” sound from his Novars. Interestingly, Novars contains one sample from Pierre Schaeffer and another from Guillaume de Machaut. I am also using these samples, to carry the ‘cycle’ for a third generation. Not a homage work per se, Gen_3 is still inhabited by these composers. The piece presents the intimate view I share with this medium or even this music, all the while paying tribute to Francis, Pierre, Guillaume, and its ultimate creator Orphée.”

      [English translation: François Couture, viii-07]

      Gen_3 was realized in 2007 at the composer’s studio in Montréal. It was premiered on December 1st, 2007, as part of the concert “Binary Cities Event: Montréal, Canada - Avignon, France” presented by Nexmap at Recombinant Media Labs in San Francisco (USA).

      piste@imed_0893-1.5 oeuvre@21338 ISRC CAD500811090
    • 6
      Matério_*** (2007), 9m48s
      4.1-track fixed medium
      • Commission: Francisco López
      • Premiere: May 19, 2007, FIMAV 2007: Victoriaville matière sonore, Colisée des Bois-Francs (Victoriaville, Québec)

      Matério_*** was realized in 2007 at the composer’s studio in Montréal. It was premiered on May 19, 2007, as part of the concert “Victoriaville matière sonore,” during the Festival international de musique actuelle de Victoriaville (FIMAV) in Victoriaville (Québec). The piece was commissioned by Francisco López.

      piste@imed_0893-1.6 oeuvre@21339 ISRC CAD500811100
    • 7
      Hi_Res (2005), 13m37s
      5.1-track fixed medium
      • Commission: ZKM
      • Premiere: February 11, 2005, Louis Dufort, diffusion • trans_canada: Paysages • Landschaften • Landscape, ZKM_Medientheater (Karlsruhe, Germany)

      Hi_Res investigates a technology fetish, the kind often featured in B-series science-fiction movies. At the basis of Hi_Res is a text — a short excerpt from the user manual for the Motor Mix MIDI controller — read by Canadian composer Darren Copeland. In a sense, this assumed awkwardness highlights the absurd importance technology has taken in art. So I admit it: there is a kitsch side to this piece, and it is peppered with irony.

      [English translation: François Couture, viii-07]

      Hi_Res was realized at the studios of the Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie Karlsruhe (ZKM) in Germany. A first version was premiered on February 11, 2005 during the trans_canada festival at the ZKM’s ZKM_Medientheater. The final version was premiered on May 14, 2005, under the provisional title Hi_Res.1, during the Elektra Festival at Usine C in Montréal. The piece was commissioned by the ZKM. My thanks to Ludger Brümmer, the team of the ZKM’s Institut für Musik & Akustik, and Darren Copeland.

      piste@imed_0893-1.7 oeuvre@18391 ISRC CAD500811110