La boutique électroacoustique

Étude no 3 pour cordes et poulies Nicolas Bernier, Jacques Poulin-Denis

Musique originale commandée par O Vertigo pour la chorégraphie Étude no 3 pour cordes et poulies de Ginette Laurin.

  • Durée totale: 45:22
  • EK 006
  • Étiquette: Ekumen

Étude no 3 pour cordes et poulies

Nicolas Bernier, Jacques Poulin-Denis

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Notes de programme

À propos d’Étude no 3 pour cordes et poulies

Étude no 3 pour cordes et poulies se dévoile comme une métaphore de ce qui est insaisissable de la pensée. Elle explore son désir de lever les voiles et de sa propension à prendre vol alors qu’elle est soumise à la contrainte matérielle du corps, forcée à demeurer sur le rationnel terrestre.

Écouter Étude no 3 pour cordes et poulies, c’est se placer dans la cale d’un bateau, sur le bord d’un quai, ou même à l’intérieur d’un train en regardant les paysages défiler. Le projet consiste à la création de nouveaux lieux, de méta-environnements sonores, issus d’une multitude de paysages mis en musique. Fascinés par le paysage sonore, les compositeurs n’ont pas seulement l’intention de le contempler ou de le documenter comme fait écologique. Ils tiennent à lui conférer sa pleine valeur à l’intérieur de la composition, et l’utilisent comme matériau servant à articuler le discours musical.

Pour Étude no 3 pour cordes et poulies, ils ont d’abord prit comme assise une instrumentation à corde de guitares, violons et violoncelles. Les compositeurs s’en sont ensuite détaché pour n’en garder que des artéfacts de leurs structures mélodiques, de leur structures harmoniques, ainsi que de leurs textures sonores. Cherchant à rendre une musique plus figurée, ces instruments ont été remplacés par les sons de réels cordages, de poulies et d’autres objets inusités.

La résultante est un amalgame de musique électronique et de paysages abstraits qui cherche à envoûter l’auditeur. À travers ses tableaux, il est possible de distinguer les réminiscences d’une musique ayant déjà été instrumentale, où l’atmosphere imagé dépeind l’espace infini et tumultueux de la pensée.

Cette musique a été composée par Nicolas Bernier et Jacques Poulin-Denis pour la chorégraphique Étude no 3 pour cordes et poulies de la compagnie O Vertigo.

Nicolas Bernier [iii-07]

La presse en parle

  • Eric Hill, Surgery Radio, 9 janvier 2008
    For us, electroacoustic music is as relevant to dance as instrumental music, if not more.
  • Gilles Boisclair, SOCAN, Paroles & Musique, no 14:3, 1 septembre 2007
    … ambiance complètement surréaliste et par moments aquatique.
  • Eric Hill, Exclaim!, 1 juin 2007
    … music that has the precision, inner life and depth of field inherent to accomplished electroacoustic work…
  • Réjean Beaucage, La Scena Musicale, no 5:3, 1 mai 2007
    … la musique rappelle par moments la vastitude des ambiances fabriquées d’un Luc Ferrari…
  • Frans de Waard, Vital, no 572, 16 avril 2007
    … the music is very vibrant and lively.

Interview

Eric Hill, Surgery Radio, 9 janvier 2008

The worlds of electroacoustic composition and dance are not ones that most people would expect to overlap… what circumstances bring them together here? Why do you think they fit?

For us, electroacoustic music is as relevant to dance as instrumental music, if not more. Music is music. Electroacoustic music can offer a lot of space, where instrumental music can be more independant and stand alone. This quality, the aptness for ambience, is appealing for choreographers who are looking to encompass their visual work with a supportive soundscape. The fundamental link that unites music and dance is movement. Music is movement. Dance and Electroacoustic music are the composition of gestures that exist in time and space and become meaningful when being shown and heard. Thus, the wonderful union.

Unlike many electroacoustic works these pieces have definite melodic and harmonic elements that move things along besides the acousmatic sound elements… is this more indicative of how the music is being used as an accompaniment to movement, or is it a primary aesthetic choice in itself?

The use of tonic sounds (notes) is definitely intentional, almost even a STATEMENT. Electroacoustic music went through a period of total rupture with music from the past, but we don’t believe in this detachment. Our music is the result of many influences including instrumental melody and harmony. The other reason why you will find tonic sounds in our music is that we use a lot of musical instruments as source material in our music. Electroacoustic music is about timbre and sonority, but for us the most beautiful timbres are often those of instruments that were made to be musical. All other found sounds, only widen timbral possibilities and add a level of allusion.

Outside of the academic world it usually is associated with the general public often has difficulty grasping the concepts at play in electroacoustic music… do you believe there is a strength/purity in this distance from “pop culture” or is it too self-enclosed?

This is a BIG question that points to many things. We don’t really identify with genres, but believe they are important. Even if it’s not obvious in the music, these labels have a heavy influence on music. The Academics do research that always influence at a certain point in time pop music, just like pop music has always influenced “academic music”. We only have to think of the loop now dominant in pop music, but discovered in a radio research studio. Personally we are very influenced by pop music. It’s difficult not to be!

Do we believe in distance from pop culture? We believe in the quality of arts and research. That which aspires to bring music-creation further than pop music does. We believe in the purity of elctroacoustic music, close to being the only type of music solely based on LISTENING and not on performance. You have to be a REAL music fan to listen to this type of music because the concept of performance is kept irrelevant. We don’t believe in the confinement of Electroacoustic music. If we want to understand the world that surrounds us, we have to be able to dialogue with others who constitute it. Academicians would gain by attending more pop music concerts, and that pop culture (also secluded in its own world, even if the mass is larger) should experience more research-based art. Wouldn’t that be wonderful!?!?

The Ekumen collective supports creativity across different art forms, primarily in digital media… do you think it’s possible for creative groups to flourish exclusively online or is an extension into the real world also necessary? What are difficulties you’ve faced when exposing your works to a greater audience?

It’s possible for a collective to flourish solely through the internet… but how awfully boring! The reason behind Ekumen is to show that we are not just artists trapped in front of their machines. We also collaborate amongst ourselves, amongst humans.

Again, for a better world, human communication, physical communication is essential. Our work only begins to make sense when exposed in the REAL life, meeting REAL people, and not when we meander through the web.

For us, electroacoustic music is as relevant to dance as instrumental music, if not more.

Critique

Gilles Boisclair, SOCAN, Paroles & Musique, no 14:3, 1 septembre 2007

Conçue pour une chorégraphie de Ginette Laurin pour O Vertigo, Étude no 3 pour cordes et poulies, cette œuvre électroacoustique est un constant mouvement sonore qui élabore une ambiance complètement surréaliste et par moments aquatique. Ces musiques quasi chuchotées nous entraînent dans un flôt sonore envoûtant et irrésistible comme la pièce Cor. Le travail de Nicolas Bernier et Jacques Poulin-Denis n’est pas sans nous rappeler les expériences de l’étiquette empreintes DIGITALes.

… ambiance complètement surréaliste et par moments aquatique.

Reviews — Improv & Avant-Garde

Eric Hill, Exclaim!, 1 juin 2007

Created as a sonic accompaniment for the dance troupe O Vertigo, Étude no 3 pour cordes et poulies is a recording that steps lightly on its own two feet. Creators Bernier and Poulin-Denis are multidisciplinary artists who crossed paths via their studies of electroacoustic composition at the University of Montréal. Poulin-Denis’s previous training as a dancer and actor doubtlessly led to this specific collaboration. The two have achieved something rare and wonderful: music that has the precision, inner life and depth of field inherent to accomplished electroacoustic work but with a ghostly breath of melody giving it lift and lightness. The electronic elements elicit comparisons to the detailed works of Alva Noto or Ryoji Ikeda but they are only the gears and hinges of a much larger and more delicate machine. Nothing is ever still. Brushed drums shoot right-to-left like chain lightning, voices pop out like snippets of captured radio broadcasts while ticks and chimes well up like a wall of music boxes yet nothing ever seems overwrought or crowded. Bernier’s website / label / micro-community Ekumen is one to keep an eye and/or ear on in the nights to come.

… music that has the precision, inner life and depth of field inherent to accomplished electroacoustic work…

Critique

Réjean Beaucage, La Scena Musicale, no 5:3, 1 mai 2007

Composée pour une chorégraphie de Ginette Laurin (compagnie O Vertigo), l’Étude no 3 pour cordes et poulies de Nicolas Bernier et Jacques Poulin-Denis se présente comme une suite de 10 courtes pièces électroacoustiques. Comme les auteurs n’ont pas cru bon de joindre la moindre information sur la musique, il ne nous reste que nos oreilles pour en juger. Manifestement faite de sons échantillonnés de provenances diverses, la musique rappelle par moments la vastitude des ambiances fabriquées d’un Luc Ferrari, auxquelles se mêlent ici ou là des bribes de musique instrumentale, le tout baignant presque de bout en bout dans un ballet de grincements (les cordes et les poulies, sans doute) qui donne l’impression d’être sur un immense navire en perdition. Quelques pièces, en particulier Cor, s’abandonnent au diktat du rythme électro, ce qui, il est vrai, rappelle que l’on est quand même dans une musique composée pour la danse.

… la musique rappelle par moments la vastitude des ambiances fabriquées d’un Luc Ferrari…

Review

Frans de Waard, Vital, no 572, 16 avril 2007

Back in Vital Weekly 559 I introduced the Ekumen label, through a bunch of highly limited CDr releases. Much surprised I am now by seeing their first real CD release, by Nicolas Bernier and Jacques Poulin-Denis, who also made their mark on a compilation MP3 by the label. Étude no 3 pour cordes et poulies was created for a choreography by Ginette Laurin. Although there is no such indication, I think the two are laptop boys, despite the fact that we hear acoustic instruments such as a cello. Maybe of them plays it, but in all the digital processing that goes on it's hard to believe that it's just one laptop. So me thinks its sound file playback from a computer. Not that it really matters I think, since the music is very vibrant and lively. Things are in constant flux and movement in a live improvised acousmatic manner. The processing as such sound very much like that of the composers on empreintes DIGITALes but at the same time there is also a lot of improvised stuff going on. Occasionally they reach for the beat such as in Cor, in which everything falls into rhythmic groove of minimalist electronica. Throughout this is a very vibrant CD, with lots of ideas thrown about, but that makes perfect listening sense. We could now wonder what they dance looked like.

… the music is very vibrant and lively.

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