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Radio // Époque de l’eau
Époque de l’eau
Arioso Dolente / Beethoven Op. 110 (2002), 7m06s [excerpt]
Track 1 from Époque de l’eau
CD: empreintes DIGITALes (2008) IMED 0894
  • piste@imed_0894-1
    • 1
      stereo tape
      • Commission: Amici della Musica di Cagliari
      • Premiere: June 1, 2002, Monumenti Pianistici — Intorno a Beethoven, Chiesa di Santa Chiara (Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy)

      Arioso Dolente / Beethoven Op. 110 is based on Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 31 in A-flat major, Op. 110, and more specifically on the third movement, which provided all the sonic material for the composition. The arioso dolente, which carries out the main melodic themes, is the epicentre of the third movement. Although I have largely maintained the harmonic structure and even the melodic profiles of the movement, the electroacoustic piece remains a comment on the original piano sonata rather than an analytical approach to Beethoven’s music. I was more interested in the spiritual aspects of the sonata. Beethoven had just rebounded from a period of illness. His recovery sparked his creative forces resulting in the genesis of Op. 110. Both the joy and the melancholy of life are merged in this movement as an omnipresent duality. While composing my musical comment on Beethoven’s adagio I tried to enhance this duality by means of spectral transparency and luminosity which often contrast and converse with textural obscurity and opacity. The main melodic theme of the original arioso dolente appears in the middle of the piece, remote, magnified and utterly stretched in time.

      [ii-08]

      Arioso Dolente / Beethoven Op. 110 was realized in 2002 at the studio of City University London (England, UK) and the composer’s studio, and premiered on June 1, 2002, during the festival Intorno a Beethoven in Cagliari (Sardinia). The piece was commissioned by Amici della Musica di Cagliari (Sardinia). Thanks to Maria Metaxaki for the piano recordings, and to Lucio Garau for initiating the commission. Arioso Dolente / Beethoven Op. 110 was awarded the 1st Prize (UK Section) at the Jeu de temps / Times Play (JTTP) competition of the Canadian Electroacoustic Community (CEC, Canada, 2003) and has been recorded in 2004 on the CD Cache 2003 CA+UK (PEP 008).

      piste@imed_0894-1.1 oeuvre@17273 ISRC CAD500811260
    • 2
      stereo tape
      • Premiere: April 28, 2004, Sonorities 2004: Denis Smalley, Sonic Arts Research Centre — Queen’s University (Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK)

      An image of a deserted vast area. A south wind approaches the listener / viewer. The wind lies on the sands. It forms sandbanks and carries along the sand grains, like clouds drifting away, and boats floating out to sea. Sand hills surround the listener. The technique of granular synthesis has been used vastly in order to create sonic environments, which imitate natural environments, such as the wind, and conjure up the image of sand grains blowing.

      [ii-08]

      A South Wind Will Bring the Sand was realized in 2002 at the studio of City University London (England, UK) and the composer’s studio, and premiered by Denis Smalley on April 28, 2004 at the Sonorities Festival in the Sonic Arts Research Centre (SARC) in Belfast (Northen Ireland, UK). It was awarded an Honorable mention at the 24th Luigi Russolo International Competition (Varese, Italy, 2002).

      piste@imed_0894-1.2 oeuvre@23883 ISRC CAD500811270
    • 3
      Underwater Theories (2002), 15m39s
      stereo tape
      • Premiere: October 20, 2004, L’Espace du son 2004: Finale du concours international de composition acousmatique, Théâtre Marni (Brussels, Belgium)

      “When I look through the density of the water, at the paving in the depths of a swimming pool, I do not see it in spite of the water and its reflections. On the contrary, I see it through the reflections, because of them. If these deformities, these stripes of the sun were not there; if I were glancing at the paving’s geometry without the interference of this flesh, then I would stop regarding it the way it really is; there, where it really is: beyond every identical space.” — Maurice Merleau-Ponty, L’œil et l’esprit (Eye and Mind), 1964

      The sonic world of Underwater Theories combines electronic sounds created by software synthesizers, with acoustic instruments, such as human voice and doublebass treated by the software Max/MSP. Although my original intention was to explore and emphasize the “rivalry” between electronic and acoustic, or “concrete,” sounds, surprisingly, these two sonic worlds were blended together in a concordant way, creating sonic environments where no confrontations between artificial and natural exist.

      [ii-08]

      Underwater Theories was realized in 2002 at the composer’s studio in London (UK) and premiered on October 20, 2004 during the 11th International Acousmatic Festival L’Espace du son (Brussels, Belgium). Underwater Theories was a finalist at the 3rd Biennal Acousmatic Composition Competition Métamorphoses (Brussels, Belgium, 2004). It has been recorded on the compact disc Métamorphoses 2004 (MR 2004, 2005).

      piste@imed_0894-1.3 oeuvre@18393 ISRC CAD500811280
    • 4
      Sibylla’s Voice (2001), 14m53s
      8-track tape
      • Commission: Musiques & Recherches
      • Premiere: October 2, 2002, L’Espace du son 2002: Finale du concours Métamorphoses, Théâtre Marni (Brussels, Belgium)

      To Annette Vande Gorne

      In classic mythology, and even in more ancient legends, sibyls were female prophets whose ecstatic utterances were inspired by Apollo. According to those legends, some sibyls could interpret dreams, and others could make their voices heard after death. Their oracles were taken seriously and with special care. Virgil, in his Aeneid (book 6, 42-51), describes the Cumaean Sibylla, the most famous of all sibyls, thus: “She changes her features, and the colour of her countenance; her hair springs up erect, her bosom heaves and pants, her wild heart beats violently, the foam gathers on her lips and her voice is terrible.” Their simplest words were covered up by the most complicate and misleading ecstatic screams. Therefore, it was extremely difficult for someone to understand the meaning of the oracles.

      When Annette Vande Gorne asked me to compose a multichannel piece, the idea of covering up simple musical ideas into complicate and obscure textural morphologies was pestering my mind. Sibylla’s Voice uses heavily treated instrumental (violin) and vocal recordings, in order to produce a strange ‘vocal’ feel (due to convolution between the violin and the vocal sounds). It is not a piece about movement in terms of displacement between loud speakers. It is rather about the co-existence of diverse spatial environments. It is also about how the same simple musical elements, an interval of a second for example, behave under different and constantly changing and contrasting spatial environments. Like Sibylla’s words, those elements are sometimes covered up by thick and often obscure spectral textures. People in our days also use to seek advice from ‘sibyls.’ It is possibly the unknown and unforeseen future that lent colour to their prophecies.

      [ii-08]

      Sibylla’s Voice was realized in 2001 at the Métamorphoses d’Orphée studio in Ohain (Belgium) and the studio of City University London (England, UK) and premiered on October 2, 2002 during the 9th International Acousmatic Festival L’Espace du son (Brussels, Belgium). The piece was commissioned by Musiques & Recherches. Thanks to Eleni Mpratsou for her voice. Sibylla’s Voice was a finalist at the 2nd Biennal Acousmatic Composition Competition Métamorphoses (Brussels, Belgium, 2002). It has been recorded on the compact disc Métamorphoses 2002 (MR 2002, 2003).

      The present version is a stereophonic reduction of the 8-track original.

      piste@imed_0894-1.4 oeuvre@15793 ISRC CAD500811290
    • 5
      Shadows (2000), 12m05s
      stereo tape
      • Premiere: 2000, Concert, City University London (London, England, UK)

      Shadows are the dark faces of light, the unexplored view of reality. Obscure or transparent, threatening or airy, a shadow always suggests motion. During the compositional process of this piece, I was exploring with great fascination the kinetic possibilities of shadows as well as the different types of gestural behaviour that could create their motion. Some of the main tools for simulating the complex kinetic behaviours of shadows is the glissandi and portamenti, which dominate the piece and serve as the vehicle that guides the ear within the space frame. Long, superimposed trajectories converse and are often opposed to micro-kinetic structures. The generative idea throughout the piece is Heracletus’ principle of the opposed duality. According to the Greek philosopher, an opposed duality contains two poles. Although seemingly opposing, these poles are interdependent and mutually connected. Their inherent and dynamic unity are the consequence of counterbalancing forces and kinetic behaviours. Light and shadow are the two poles of an opposed duality. The continuous transformation from light to shadow creates the delicate harmony of the piece.

      [ii-08]

      Shadows was realized in 2000 at the studio of City University London (England, UK) and premiered in 2000 at the City University London. Shadows was awarded Honorable mentions at the 4th Concurso Internacional de Música Eletroacústica de São Paulo (CIMESP ’01, Brazil), and the 22th Luigi Russolo International Competition (Varese, Italy, 2000). It was finalist at the Concurso Internacional ART’S XXI in 2001 in Valencia (Spain), and at the 28th Bourges International Electroacoustic Music and Sonic Art Competition (France, 2001). Thanks to Eleni Mpratsou for her voice and Rupert Dejonge for his doublebass.

      piste@imed_0894-1.5 oeuvre@23268 ISRC CAD500811300
    • 6
      La mer (1996), 15m43s
      stereo tape
      • Premiere: June 1997, Concert (Mons, Belgium)

      To Martha

      La Mer is made up of two independent movements: La mer bleue, and La mer profonde.

      The hum of the bees treated electronically creates the waves of the sea. A string quartet, also treated, reminds the light on the surface and the liquid fluency. La Mer expresses the joy and the purity of the water and proposes a listening in two levels. The first one is an imaginary perception of the sea. Serene or stormy: the sun sparkles on the water, the colours-frequencies become blurred during the descent, the darkness of the profound… The second is a symbolic perception: the deep of the sea is the cemetery for the shipwrecks and the image of the fecundity, the passage to Hades and the road to new discoveries.

      [ii-08]

      La mer [The Sea] was realized in 1996 at the Métamorphoses d’Orphée studio in Ohain (Belgium) and premiered in June 1997 in Mons (Belgium). It was awarded an Honorable mention at the 1st Biennal Acousmatic Composition Competition Métamorphoses (Brussels, Belgium, 2000) and was finalist at 27th Bourges International Electroacoustic Music and Sonic Art Competition (France, 2000).

      piste@imed_0894-1.6 oeuvre@20463