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Radio // Prix international Noroit-Léonce Petitot 1997
  • piste@nor_5-1
    • 1
      Mapping (1995-97), 14m19s
      stereo fixed medium
      • Premiere: May 29, 1995, Concert, Artothek — MUSA (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.


      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).

      piste@nor_5-1.1 oeuvre@19156
    • 2
      Little Animals (1997), 12m58s
      stereo fixed medium
      • Premiere: March 28, 1998, 5e Prix international Noroit-Léonce Petitot (Arras, Pas-de-Calais, France)

      A forest of small creatures is gradually unveiled, their expressions and emotions revealed as they explore their sound world.

      Despite the living qualities alluded to by many of the sounds, all materials in Little Animals stem from non-vocal, inanimate acoustic objects. I remember, when composing this work in 1997, being surprised by how the sounds evolved these living qualities in successive transformational iterations.


      Little Animals was realized in 1997 in the studios of City University London (England, UK), and premiered on March 28, 1998 at the concert of the 5th Prix international Noroit-Léonce Petitot (Arras, France). The piece was composed as part of the doctoral degree program at City University London. Little Animals was awarded the First Prize at 25th Bourges International Electroacoustic Music Competition (France, 1998), received an Honorary Mention at the Prix Ars Electronica (Linz, Austria, 1998), and was a finalist at the 5th Prix international Noroit-Léonce Petitot (Arras, France, 1998).

      piste@nor_5-1.2 oeuvre@15986
    • 3
      Pointe-aux-Trembles (1996, 97), 14m26s
      stereo fixed medium
      • Premiere: May 3, 1996, Concert, Faculté de musique — Université de Montréal (Montréal, Québec)

      An impression of the refineries of east-end Montréal

      Night beneath the glittering refineries,
      time stands still, I am but a lost child
      on the gravel of Pointe-aux-Trembles
      Machine Mother take me.

      Pointe-aux-Trembles was realized in 1996 in the studio of the Faculty of Music of the Université de Montréal and premiered on May 3, 1996 at Université de Montréal. The final version was premiered on March 28, 1998 at the concert of the 5th Prix international Noroit-Léonce Petitot (Arras, France). Thanks to Marcelle Deschênes who has always understood my work so well. Thanks to Alexandre Burton for his capable fingers during the mixing sessions, and especially for getting me out of technical nightmares. Pointe-aux-Trembles was a finalist for the Prix international Noroit-Léonce Petitot in 1997 and was first recorded on the Prix international Noroit-Léonce Petitot 1997 disc (NOR 5).

      piste@nor_5-1.3 oeuvre@13795 ISRC CAD500014110
    • 4
      Puzzle [Noroit version] (1996), 14m36s
      stereo fixed medium
      piste@nor_5-1.4 oeuvre@28853
    • 5
      piste@nor_5-1.5 oeuvre@28854
    • 6

      The piece is a tribute to childhood. When I was ten years old I desperately wanted to become a pilot. All my dreams were projected through this thought of mastering an areoplane. So for many years I carried this idea of composing a piece which should take me back to this naive but fascinating state of mind - the obsession of a little boy. And when I started to make the recordings at different airports and on different aeroplanes I found myself totally captured by this fascination again. And in the studio the sounds were like acoustic madeleine-cookies. I became Proust remembering things past. So many things returned to me, things that had been sleeping in my mind. I also wanted to kee some of the recordings more or less unprocessed and in a way present a journey within a journey. Listening to the piece is in fact a journey in itself from the take-off in the beginning to the landing in the end. The piece is dedicated to all my friends who also wanted to become pilots. As far as I know none of them became it. To: Johan Ahlénius, Thomas Gruber, Per Eriksson and Hans Paldanius.

      [source: Réseaux des arts médiatiques]

      piste@nor_5-1.6 oeuvre@20427
  • piste@nor_5-2
    • 1
      Cân (1997), 11m52s
      stereo fixed medium
      • Commission: SAN with support from The Arts Council of England
      • Premiere: January 9, 1998, Sonic Arts Network Conference, University of Birmingham (Birmingham, England, UK)

      To John Harper

      Cân (song, in Welsh) is a musical distillation of Wales, its people, language, landscape, and culture (particularly its musical culture). For the most part, the substance of Cân is made up of sounds which relate very much to the stereotypical image of Wales: harps, male-voice choirs, folk-singing and fiery preaching, though there are some less familiar sounds (for example, pibgorn playing, or the slow fracturing of mountain ice-sheets). The challenge was to press on beyond the picture-postcard surface into the ‘reality’ of Wales and Welshness. In doing so, the music enters a realm that is far more complex and diverse than the simplistic concepts of ‘nation’ or ‘nationality’ might seem to allow.


      Cân was realized in 1997 in the Electroacoustic Music Studios of Bangor University (Wales, UK) and premiered on January 9, 1998 during the Sonic Arts Network Conference, in Birmingham (UK). The piece was commissioned by the Sonic Arts Network (SAN) for its 1998 UK tour with support from The Arts Council of England. Thanks to Rachel Ley (harp), Miriam Ley (voice), Stephen Rees (pibgorn). Cân was a finalist at the 5th Prix international Noroit-Léonce Petitot (Arras, France, 1997).

      piste@nor_5-2.1 oeuvre@20453
    • 2
      L’éveil (1996-97), 10m02s
      stereo fixed medium
      • Premiere: January 11, 1997, Concert acousmatique: l’espace du son, L’Orangerie — Le Botanique (Brussels, Belgium)

      L’éveil initially centers on the creation of the universe and the presentation of its various poles: matter / antimatter, illumination / darkness, and searing heat / glacial cold. The idea of opposites presented at the beginning is later developed on a larger temporal scale. Slow and relatively peaceful sections alternate with highly charged, tense sections and rough textures with smooth material. Near the end of the work, the human being awakens in this hostile universe and, echoing its environment, assimilates its own oppositions such as the light and the shadow of the soul. However, these are balanced separately, yet delicately, without strife, on the fulcrum of the conscience.

      L’éveil is the first work in a cycle that is inspired by the book inspired by the book Owning Your Own Shadow: Understanding the Dark Side of the Psyche (1991) by Robert A Johnson (Portland, OR, USA, 1921) which explores the paradox of opposition in the psychological realm of mankind. I translated Johnson’s psychological paradox of opposition into a physical realm of environmental proportions that I express through sound.


      L’éveil was realized in 1996-97 at the Métamorphoses d’Orphée studio of Musiques & Recherches in Ohain (Belgium) and was premiered on January 11, 1997 during the Concert acousmatique: l’espace du son concert at the L’Orangerie of Le Botanique in Brussels (Belgium). L’éveil was awarded the Public Prize at the 6th Prix international Noroit-Léonce Petitot (Arras, France) in March 1998.

      piste@nor_5-2.2 oeuvre@20283
    • 3
      piste@nor_5-2.3 oeuvre@28855
    • 4
      Amaryllis (1996), 13m32s
      stereo fixed medium
      • Premiere: July 1996, Concert, Conservatoire royal de Mons (Mons, Belgium)

      The source materials consist of concrete and synthesized sounds, both having been transposed, chopped up, frozen, repeated, etc. The resulting motives form the first level of the research. The main idea revolves around the following principles: division; opposition; complementarity, alternation, and; emergence. That is, to analyze several principles simultaneously and try to find interdependencies, complementarities, looking to recreate a certain coherence or unity between them. The sounds and their transformations, the writing, and the overall structure have been designed to fulfill the requirements of these principles. For example: The structure of the piece (in four large sections) matches the alternation principle, in the rarefaction/densification of events, and its correlate, time perception.

      [English translation: François Couture, vi-09]

      Amaryllis was realized in 1996 at Musiques & Recherches’ Métamorphoses d’Orphée studio in Ohain (Belgium) and premiered in July 1996 at the Conservatoire royal de Mons (Belgium). Amaryllis was awarded a 2nd prize at the 5th Prix international Noroit-Léonce Petitot (Arras, France) in 1997. It has been previously released on the compact disc Prix international Noroit-Léonce Petitot 1997 (NOR 5).

      piste@nor_5-2.4 oeuvre@20378
    • 5
      Les invisibles (1996), 12m30s
      8-track fixed medium
      • Premiere: June 2, 1996, Concert (Berlin, Germany)

      Les invisibles is a composition based on vocal and instrumental sounds which create a soundscape corresponding to the text. It was not my intention to illustrate or ‘set’ the text, although I do use speech as a sound source, and the comprehensibility of the text remains secondary. Les invisibles uses recordings of twenty-five short melodic gestures and five longer sequences, as well as a layered four-part vocal polyphony on the text of Es wird später (recorded in the studio by Donatienne Michel-Dansac, soprano; Catherine Bowie, flute; Antoine Ladrette, cello; Jean Geoffroy, percussion). By use of granular synthesis and by the control of special sound parameters (grain size, transposition, delay, speed, spatial position) the recorded melodies and sequences are processed to obtain dense layers of texture.

      The compositional structure of the piece is based on the number five. There are five parts, each divided into five subparts. The harmonic material is based on five chords of five notes each.


      Les invisibles was realized in 1996 the studios of Klang Projekte Weimar and first performed in the original 8-track version on June 2, 1996 during the Inventionen Festival (Berlin). Les invisibles obtained the First Prize during the 5th Prix international Noroit-Léonce Petitot (Arras, France, 1997).

      The present stereophonic version was realized in 1996 in the studio of Klang Projekte Weimar (Germany).

      Les invisibles arbeitet mit instrumentalen und vokalen Klängen. Seit einigen Jahren suche ich nach musikalischen Ausdrucksformen für die Interpretation von Texten, die keine „Vertonungen“ derselben sind. Die Textverständlichkeit spielt dabei also eine untergeordnete Rolle — es geht mir um das Übertragen von Empfindungen in ein anderes Medium. Dabei wird der originale Text immer als Klangatom, als Ausgangselement für elektroakustische Bearbeitungen verwendet.

      Zuerst komponierte ich 25 kurze musikalische Gesten und 5 Sequenzen, die einzeln aufgenommen wurden (Donatienne Michel-Dansac, Sopran; Catherine Bowie, Flöten; Antoine Ladrette, Violoncello; Jean Geoffroy, Schlagzeug). Außerdem sang die Sopranistin die 4 Stimmen eines Kontrapunktes, der den Text Es wird später sowohl in der deutschen, als auch in der französischen Version verarbeitet.

      Mit einem Programm für Granularsynthese, das mir den Eingriff auf die wichtigsten Parameter in Echtzeit erlaubte (Graingröße, Transponierung, Abstände zwischen den Grains, Synchronisation der Einzelstimmen, Position im Raum etc.), wurden die Aufnahmen weiterverarbeitet, um sehr dichte Klangschichten zu erzeugen.

      Die kompositorische Struktur des Stückes basiert auf der Zahl 5. Es gibt 5 große Abschnitte, die jeweils wieder 5-fach unterteilt sind. Das Tonhöhenmaterial basiert auf 5 fünftönigen Akkorden, die die Grundlage für die oben erwähnten 25 Gesten bilden.


      Les invisibles wurde 1996 im Studio der Klang Projekte Weimar realisiert und in seiner 8-kanaligen Originalversion am 2. Juni 1996 während des Festivals Inventionen (Berlin) uraufgeführt. Die vorliegende Stereofassung wurde ebenfalls 1996 im gleichen Studio abgemischt. Les invisibles erhielt den ersten Preis beim Internationalen Wettbewerb für elektroakustische Musik Noroit-Léonce Petitot (Arras, Frankreich, 1997).

      piste@nor_5-2.5 oeuvre@14521 ISRC CAD509913720
    • 6
      Shady Origins (1997), 9m23s
      piste@nor_5-2.6 oeuvre@28856