- Year of composition: 1986
- Duration: 12:27
- Instrumentation: fixed medium
•• Imitation / development: Based on proliferation and brassage [‘stirring up’ in French, is a sound processing function of the SYTER system], Bois (Wood) is part of a broader investigation into nature as model, a very old process of the human mind that has recently regained popularity via computer modelling in computer graphics for example.
Each movement starts with an image-model whose energy flow system will later be expanded: repeated blows of a tree being felled, endless rotation of a mill, swinging/swaying of a ping pong game.
•• Symbol: The felling and the death of a tree as a symbol of the forest, of Nature being truly murdered. “Miller, you are asleep…” and the world is turning crazily in Your absence.
•• Form: While the first part maintains and directs listening in a linear fashion, the second opens the space and the third superimposes a polyphonic proliferation of oscillating materials in all fields of perception (registers, durations, matters, movements, spaces), and ends after a moment of stillness by taking up again the two other energy models, again in a polyphonic fashion. The whole is an attempt to transpose the tree morphology in time.
•• Anecdote: The door (an electroacoustic cliché since Pierre Henry) opens and closes the book of Bois whose story is told between the cutting down and the fall of the tree.
•• Spatialization: This piece is played in fast, rich, abundant, and ‘stirred up’ movements. Everything moves, except the images. A relatively complex multiphonic device, with a minimum of twelve loudspeakers, is therefore essential.
Bois was produced at the Métamorphoses d’Orphée studio (Ohain, Belgium) and premiered during the Cinéma pour l’oreille concert series, organized by the Première université de la radiophonie, on August 14, 1986 in Arles (France). Many thanks to Christian Debecq (traverso flute), Éliane and Raoul Debrus, Thierry Génicot and André Van Belle with whom I was able to produce most of the material, as well as to Vania Dantas Leite for lending me her recordings of the Amazonian forest.
- August 14, 1986, Première université de la radiophonie — Cinéma pour l’oreille, Cinéma Passage — Le Méjan, Arles (Bouches-du-Rhône, France)