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Le voyage d’hiver Daniel Leduc

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… a highly infectious causeway to the cusp of an island positively commanding our attention.

Adverse Effect Fanzine, no 2:4, 24 octobre 2000

… beautifully precise sonic constructions…

— Paul Lemos, Under the Volcano, 1 septembre 1999

Le voyage d’hiver

Daniel Leduc

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Notes de programme

Une étape du voyage

Quatre pièces sont réunies sur le présent disque compact. Elles marquent une étape importante (1994 à 97) dans ma production sonore d’une dizaine d’années puisqu’elles ont été réalisées en pleine transition esthétique et technique. En effet, mon style compositionnel s’y est affirmé, puisant à même plusieurs influences et aussi plusieurs façons d’aborder le travail sonore. Ces dernières sont: passage des techniques analogiques aux techniques numériques, confirmation d’un style de composition puisant aux sources de l’acousmatique, de l’art radiophonique et de l’écologie sonore, et enfin, choix du support sonore fixe, que ce soit le ruban magnétique ou le fichier audionumérique, dans ses multiples formes, dont le disque audionumérique compact.

C’est par une écoute en interaction directe avec mon travail sonore que j’ai réalisé l’ensemble des pièces présentées ici. Il s’agit de miniatures destinées au support sonore stéréophonique. Si dans la pièce principale, Die Winterreise (Le voyage d’hiver), l’apport de la voix parlée, sous toutes ses manifestations, est importante, la citation, l’évocation ou l’inspiration de paysages sonores y sont systématiques surtout en tant qu’illustrations métaphoriques. Il en va de même dans les autres pièces du disque où la voix parlée laisse la place à la voix chantée ou transformée et aux paysages sonores.

Stylistiquement parlant, mes affinités vont vers un style plutôt minimal et impressionniste. Le but ultime de ce choix consiste en ce qu’une fusion entre les divers éléments sonores mis en scène puisse s’opérer. Ainsi, de façon ultime, ces composantes conservent leur caractère et, en même temps, donnent naissance à un tout singulier et autonome.

Enfin, ma façon de composer étant centrée autour d’une unité mobile de prise de son et de synthétiseurs, pour la pré-production (génération sonore) et d’un ordinateur, pour les étapes de production (composition, traitement) et de post-production (mixage), le travail actuel de création sonore appelle à une dynamique bien différente de celle offerte jadis avec les outils analogiques. Il n’en demeure pas moins que les techniques de composition demeurent, à quelques variantes près, totalement identiques, hormis la précision technique, inégalée jusqu’à présent.

Daniel Leduc [iv-99]

La presse en parle

Review

Laurie Radford, Computer Music Journal, no 25:1, 1 mars 2001

The 45th release from Montréal’s bastion electroacoustic label, empreintes DIGITALes, is a collection of works produced between 1994 and 1997 by the Montréal composer and radio producer, Daniel Leduc. Mr. Leduc has worked extensively in the medium of radio, a fact that helps explain his penchant for the voice as the primary sound source in most of the works included in this compilation. The first, the intriguingly titled Réponse impressioniste donnée par Josef K. lors d’une fin de soirée hivernale à une touriste française qui passait en face de la gare (Impressionistic answer given by Josef K. to a French tourist walking by the railway station at the end of a winter’s evening), may have the longest title but is the shortest piece. Réponse impressioniste is an “electroclip,” which introduces the listener to the fundamental sonic and gestural world that Mr. Leduc has gleaned from the François Bayle/Michel Chion legacy of acousmatic composition: the predominance of the voice as both semantic and sonic subject and object, either unadulterated or highly modified and processed; ringing quasi-inharmonic drones which encompass the sound stage and serve a structurally unifying function; a variety of sound materials drawn from natural sonic environments including, in this instance, wind and passing trains; and the sometimes bombastic entrances of punctuating, climax-building synthetic materials, raw, rough, and vibrant in contrast to neighboring sounds.

Réponse impressioniste, in addition to providing an initial summary of Mr. Leduc’s sonic world, proves an appropriate thematic opening for the disc which includes the 42-minute opus, Die Winterreise (Winter Journey), from 1997. In this extended composition, the composer sets the original German poems by Wilhelm Müller (1794-1827) as a suite of 24 electroacoustic miniatures plus a coda, each ranging from 30 sec to 3 min in length. (Yes, these are the same poems Franz Schubert set in his song cycle of the same name in 1827!) The text is wonderfully recited by the actor Erwin Potitt and is provided in its entirety in German, French, and English in the CD booklet for reference.

One has several compositional choices available when approaching a work employing text and voice, especially when the words elicit such potent visual images and are of such sonic richness on their own: establish and maintain a distinct sound and space for the voice and for the accompanying materials such that they are parallel but nonintegrated; integrate the voice materials into the timbral and metaphorical workings of the composition such that sound and sense achieve equal status; or--a hybrid of these two approaches--provide an accompanying “soundtrack” to extend and illustrate the words and semantic content of the text while keeping it the focus of attention in the forefront of the sonic image. Mr. Leduc chooses, for the most part, the latter option. He investigates several approaches to the vocal setting of the Müller text, including clear, unencumbered recitation, degrees of parallel signal processing of the voice that oscillate between accompanying and replacing the original vocal recording, and a more exaggerated and fragmented presentation. Despite these variations of approach, the vocal element is always maintained as the motivating agent in the piece, thus remaining faithful to the time-honored tradition of the lied as championed by Schubert.

A ringing, bell-like vocal sound (a recognizable offspring of the GRM’s Syter system) serves throughout the work as a unifying element, a refrain which haunts the speaker of the poems and accompanies the diverse collection of natural sound materials which populate and attempt to give dimension to Müller’s poignant and often desolate images. The short pieces that make up this substantial work run seamlessly from one to the next in a successful pacing of vocal declamation, interjected non-vocal materials, and more extended electroacoustic interludes.

The piece utilizes an ample assortment of recognizable wintry sounds such as the wailing winds, snow-crunching footsteps, and jingling bells that make up the first poem, Gute Nacht (Good Night). The sound world becomes immediately more diverse and evocative in the succeeding poems, Die Wetterfahne (The Weathervane), Defrorne Tränen (Frozen Tears) and Erstarrung (Numbness). While an incessant string timbre and a vivid, chattering, high-frequency texture propel Der Lindenbaum (The Linden Tree) and Wasserflut (Flood) respectively forward, Auf dem flusse (On the River) is illustrated simply with running water and the return of the ringing, bell-like refrain. Speed-varied voices and traffic sounds harry the voice in Rückblick (Looking Back), while a raging fire and rapidly moving filtered white noise provide a backdrop for Irrlicht (Will-o’-the-wisp).

A curious, noisy, orchestra-like interlude introduces Rast (Rest) and brings to the fore the most predominant electroacoustic timbre in the piece, a high frequency noise that seems an appropriately illustrative element for a winter topic. It is, though, overused in this long work. Frühlingstraum (Dreams of Spring) stands out as one of the work’s most successful segments in terms of both illustrative measures and vocal integration. The voice is tracked with a parallel stream of chattering vocal fragments while the sound stage is filled with a joyous din of cymbals and whirling synthesizer drones. Waves of filtered noise return as a staple of the sound world in Eisamkeit (Solitude) and Die Post (The Post), as does the parallel voice-tracking in Der Greise Kopf (The Grey Head) and Die Krähe (The Crow), where it is complemented by the more-than-obvious use of cawing and chirping birds.

The final segments of the cycle begin to grasp at ways of supporting the voice: the descending tom-tom solo at the end of Letzte Hoffnung (Last Hope) as an illustration of falling; the honking and baying cacophony in Im Dorfe (In the Village); the crackling storm of Der Stürmische Morgen (The Stormy Morning); the punctuation of a passing airplane in Täuschung (Illusion); the still unaltered bell-like refrain in Der Wegweiser (The Sign Post); more snow-crunching feet and tolling of bells in Das Wirthaus (The Inn); reversed, distorted, and tolling bells, as well as a distant church organ hymn in Mut! (Courage!); telephone push buttons, busy signals, and answering machine bleeps in Die Nebensonnen (The Phantom Suns); and finally, an out-of-tune plucked instrument and reversed versions of the same in Der Leiermann (The Hurdy-Gurdy Man). The minute-long coda is a bewildering final touch to this lengthy opus with its initial outburst of breaking glass followed by footsteps (now on a wooden surface) moving off into the distance and the roar of a motorcycle, the latter two sounds accompanied by the twittering of a music box melody.

Mr. Leduc shoulders a huge challenge in setting this quantity of text and image in the context of an electroacoustic work. His decision to concentrate on the vocal recitation and to provide simple electroacoustic illustrations in support of the text succeeds in many instances but not in sustaining the grand span and depth of the original poems. The piece is ultimately radiophonic in nature and origin and would unlikely be as suitable for an acousmatic concert experience as for a hörspiel-type broadcast.

A second short electroclip, Traverser les grandes eaux (To cross the great waters), follows Die Winterreise and serves as both an interlude and a transition to the final extended work on the disc. Its droning string textures, rapidly panning metal rattles, wisps of wind, and aperiodic pulses of tonality provide a point of repose from the flanking works. A central swell of string pads, as well as the well-orchestrated entries of muffled voice and high string drone, contributes to this brief sonic essay’s convincing shape.

The concluding work on the disc is the most recent of Mr. Leduc’s creations to be presented. Troposphère, from 1997, is a suite of four pieces in “minimalist style,” lasting over 15 min. The objective is alluded to by the titles of the four pieces: Stratus, Cumulonimbus, Altocumulus and Cirrus. The music is “realized through a heuristic composition process by stratifying layers of sound.” Combining similar or dissimilar layers of sound is a standard process in many if not most types of electroacoustic music (from hard-core acousmatic works to electropop). The success of such an approach lies in both the possible implications of the materials used and the interplay that results between the coexisting sound streams, a result of either conscious design or haphazard chance. At times, the composer’s choice of materials fuses admirably into an engaging polyphony where time and timbre cavort and produce a meaningful texture, gesture, transformation, or punctuating event. But too often the layers of sound remain isolated from each other in terms of both gestural and timbral attributes and implications, leaving one with the sense of listening to improvising musicians who are oblivious to each other. There is an obvious attempt to produce programmatic textures and a sense of gravitational suspension in keeping with the tropospheric subject of the work. Unfortunately, these attempts are overly static and underdeveloped, lacking a sense of dialogue between or fusion of the contributing sound materials. The over-use of materials such as storm, rain, and high frequency noise, in combination with the chattering of hammers and the cliché of passing cars on wet pavement, simply does not create a sonic statement worthy of the title Cumulonimbus. The continued predominance of a thick band of noise and gurgling lo-fi sounds in Altocumulus, although briefly punctuated by a singular, large bell sound that gradually distorts in an interesting manner, does nothing to stem the impression of a gratuitous combination of materials. The fleeting entry of a soprano voice, intoning a melodic fragment amid a jumble of garrulous sounds reminiscent of analog sequencers circa 1975, seems an all-too-obvious and forced attempt to elevate the work into the ether in the penultimate moments of Cirrus.

There are no stunning, ear-melting timbres or moments of gestural ecstasy in Mr. Leduc’s work. He endeavors to create a type of hybrid sonic poetry where voice, natural sound, and processed or synthetic sound combine to buoy textual content or carry abstract compositional goals to fruition. The harvest is at times rich and promising, at other times wanting in depth and content.

Review

Adverse Effect Fanzine, no 2:4, 24 octobre 2000

Staggering array of electroacoustic pieces; mostly miniatures either forming part of a lengthy cycle or represented in their own right. All recorded between 1994 to 1997, they apparently mark an important period in Montréal based Daniel Leduc’s approach to composition drawing on the sources of acousmatics and the transition from analogue to digital techniques. The range encompasses everything from dynamic bursts of contained random sound elements to tempered collages and tinely-tuned tapping into what normally passes by unheard. Sometimes subdued, sometimes bordering on the tempestuous, these pieces, all created from samples, chart a highly infectious causeway to the cusp of an island positively commanding our attention. With a number of teaching credits and a chriving interest in multimedia to his name as well, it’ll be interesting to see whether or not Leduc sustains his compositional drive without sacrifice. Meanwhile, this album literally begs your attention.

… a highly infectious causeway to the cusp of an island positively commanding our attention.

Review

Ingvar Loco Nordin, Sonoloco Record Reviews, 1 septembre 2000

Canadian electroacoustics composer Randall Smith presents six pieces composed from 1995 through 1999. Each of these pieces is teeming with sounds and intensity; thousands of minute sounds flutter through these compositions in complex movements, revealing an intricate soundworld unlike anything I have hard before.

InsideOut is for me the most intriguing of these works. Using only sounds derived from four instruments of an orchestra (alto flute, violin, E-flat clarinet and double bass), the piece carries a certain urgency and unease about it, and a crisp resonance that is remarkable. In the liner notes, the piece is effectively described as being “a digression through small worlds, islands of experience, each demarking a facet of the whole.”

Other pieces incorporate the sound sources of live instrumentation: Liquid Fragments 1 uses double bass and alto flute; Continental Rift is a composition for cello and tape; and Convergence is for accordion and tape. There’s also a geological theme that runs through some of these recordings. Elastic Rebound attempts to explore — in electroacoustic terms — the geographical activity of the earth. The title is a reference to a phenomena relating to the tectonic behaviour of an earthquake. Continental Rift, says Smith, is a “metaphorical composition” describing the evolution of continental structures. This is perhaps the piece with the least sense of urgency, considering its theme is evolutionary as opposed to revolutionary; the cello intones in a way that suggests loss or a looking back to things that were. My least favourite of the compositions is Convergence: a chaotic piece for accordion and tapes, characterised by quickly shifting movements where the accordion rides erratically in a strange “carnivalesque” manner. The CD comes packaged with lengthy elucidations by the composer on each of the pieces, describing their compositional histories. Also for each piece, the contexts, themes and impressions are discussed with great interest by Mike Hoolboom.

Randall Smith is certainly an inventive and innovative artist, experimenting with new electroacoustic techniques and creating surprising results. Each of the compositions on Sondes carries a very unique sound full of complexity and urgency, a hectic soundworld full of transitions and sharp movements.Had you told Wilhelm Müller (1797–1828) that the depressive and forsaken words he spoke through the voice of the bewildered and forlorn traveller in the final edition of Die Winterreise in 1824 would live and flourish into the 21st century, and even appear in an electroacoustic guise — could he perceive that! — he would surely have banked hard out of your trajectory and seeked out saner company!

However, this is what has happened, and the lonely and desperate winter traveller, lingering on happier summer days with a woman who would turn out to be deceptive, does turn up again in the electroacoustic workings of Daniel Leduc (1965) from Montréal. This goes to show that some writings keep there urgency throughout the ages, since man is the same now as then — just in a changing human environment – and since words that speak out of commonplace and universal experiences always will be recogonized and validatet by man wherever in time he happens to find himself.

This CD also contains a few other works by Daniel Leduc, but here I will concentrate on the main piece; Le voyage d’hiver.

Leduc hereby steps into a tradition of electroacoustics, which can be traced back well into passed decades of creative sonic illustrations. When best these auditive variations serve the purpose of furthering the understanding and the experience of the text, in the same manner as the Bible illustrations of Gustave Doré from the 19th century magnifies the events of biblical times in a way that can never be forgotten by those who grew up with them.

Sometimes these re–workings of old texts serve as a casting of a conjuration net across existence, through their old and liturgic–like forms. There can be no question about the need of such liturgies in modern society and it’s art, to handle the existential anxiety that brews just below the surface of urban man, showing up in dreams and erratic behaviour. A culture without ceremonies and liturgies slides down a sloping plane. The rites of human societies do however exist everywhere, though they may be surpressed in the materialistic world of today. However, there are many beautiful examples of life in ritualistic societies, permeated by ceremonies. The Aka pygmies of Central Africa, for example, sing a special song for the child who just has gotten a little brother or sister, so the older child won’t feel rejected or cast aside. This is civilization!

When it comes to modern electroacoustic presentations of old texts, the majority of works are of religious origin. Moreover, most of these works have sprung out of the French speaking sphere, like France or Canada. A random list can look like this: Pierre Henry’s Apocalypse de Jean and Messe de Liverpool, Jacques Lejeune’s Le Cantique des Cantiques and Messe aux Oiseaux, Michel Chion’s Requiem and Xavier Garcia’s Apocalypse.

The secular works are more sparse, but they exist. Examples might be Jean Schwarz’s amazing Quatre Saisons — a setting of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Vier Jahreszeiten from 1797 — François Bayle’s Purgatoire & Paradis terrestre — an electroacoustic rendering of The Divine Comedy by Dante, which also might be referred to as religious, of course… – and the work we talk about here; Le voyage d’hiver — a set of twenty–four poems by Wilhelm Müller (1797–1828) from 1824, made famous by Franz Schubert’s composition.

I have always had great pleasure in listening to the great interpretation given by Hans Hotter (baritone) and Gerald Moore (piano) in a recording from 1954, which I rate as a first choice of a traditional lieder interpretation of the work in question. It is of course very interesting to hear how Daniel Leduc treats the material in an electroacoustic manner. Well, there is nothing new or surprising about the way Daniel Leduc traverses these poems. He has done it in a traditional way, electroacoustically speaking, and he has succeeded very well. His work compares well to the aforementioned electroacoustic variations on old texts, and in this tradition he now belongs, without any disturbing glitches or anomalities. The text appears in it’s original language — German — and the words are spoken by Montréal actor Erwin Potitt. Daniel Leduc uses musique concrète–methods in addition to the pure electronic alterations, applying concrete and altered concrete sounds around the text, and he utilizes established methods of permutating the voice itself.

After the twenty–four poems he has added a short concluding “coda” without words, rounding off this very well worked–through piece of art, which in itself is an homage to poets of the past, in a setting of today.

These kind of works give a continuation through the flow of time, and a sense of belonging, a sense of direction, and a time for contemplation. It is a great pleasure to receive all these re–workings and variations of old but timeless pieces of art. They build bridges from yesterday to today and back, and on these bridges we can walk back and forth, and truly feel that all places are here, all times are now!


An analysis of Wilhelm Müller’s text and the circumstances around Schubert’s setting can be found at: www.bway.net/~hartung/schubert.html and more on Schubert and Winterreise, for example translations, can be enjoyed at: www.gopera.com/winterreise/.

[This review was also published in SAN Diffusion]

Review

Ingvar Loco Nordin, SAN Diffusion, 1 septembre 2000

Had you told Wilhelm Müller (1797–1828) that the depressive and forsaken words he spoke through the voice of the bewildered and forlorn traveller in the final edition of Die Winterreise in 1824 would live and flourish into the 21st century, and even appear in an electroacoustic guise — could he perceive that! — he would surely have banked hard out of your trajectory and seeked out saner company!

However, this is what has happened, and the lonely and desperate winter traveller, lingering on happier summer days with a woman who would turn out to be deceptive, does turn up again in the electroacoustic workings of Daniel Leduc (1965) from Montréal. This goes to show that some writings keep there urgency throughout the ages, since man is the same now as then — just in a changing human environment – and since words that speak out of commonplace and universal experiences always will be recogonized and validatet by man wherever in time he happens to find himself.

This CD also contains a few other works by Daniel Leduc, but here I will concentrate on the main piece; Le voyage d’hiver.

Leduc hereby steps into a tradition of electroacoustics, which can be traced back well into passed decades of creative sonic illustrations. When best these auditive variations serve the purpose of furthering the understanding and the experience of the text, in the same manner as the Bible illustrations of Gustave Doré from the 19th century magnifies the events of biblical times in a way that can never be forgotten by those who grew up with them.

Sometimes these re–workings of old texts serve as a casting of a conjuration net across existence, through their old and liturgic–like forms. There can be no question about the need of such liturgies in modern society and it’s art, to handle the existential anxiety that brews just below the surface of urban man, showing up in dreams and erratic behaviour. A culture without ceremonies and liturgies slides down a sloping plane. The rites of human societies do however exist everywhere, though they may be surpressed in the materialistic world of today. However, there are many beautiful examples of life in ritualistic societies, permeated by ceremonies. The Aka pygmies of Central Africa, for example, sing a special song for the child who just has gotten a little brother or sister, so the older child won’t feel rejected or cast aside. This is civilization!

When it comes to modern electroacoustic presentations of old texts, the majority of works are of religious origin. Moreover, most of these works have sprung out of the French speaking sphere, like France or Canada. A random list can look like this: Pierre Henry’s Apocalypse de Jean and Messe de Liverpool, Jacques Lejeune’s Le Cantique des Cantiques and Messe aux Oiseaux, Michel Chion’s Requiem and Xavier Garcia’s Apocalypse.

The secular works are more sparse, but they exist. Examples might be Jean Schwarz’s amazing Quatre Saisons — a setting of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Vier Jahreszeiten from 1797 — François Bayle’s Purgatoire & Paradis terrestre — an electroacoustic rendering of The Divine Comedy by Dante, which also might be referred to as religious, of course… – and the work we talk about here; Le voyage d’hiver — a set of twenty–four poems by Wilhelm Müller (1797–1828) from 1824, made famous by Franz Schubert’s composition.

I have always had great pleasure in listening to the great interpretation given by Hans Hotter (baritone) and Gerald Moore (piano) in a recording from 1954, which I rate as a first choice of a traditional lieder interpretation of the work in question. It is of course very interesting to hear how Daniel Leduc treats the material in an electroacoustic manner. Well, there is nothing new or surprising about the way Leduc traverses these poems. He has done it in a traditional way, electroacoustically speaking, and he has succeeded very well. His work compares well to the aforementioned electroacoustic variations on old texts, and in this tradition he now belongs, without any disturbing glitches or anomalities. The text appears in it’s original language — German — and the words are spoken by Montréal actor Erwin Potitt. Daniel Leduc uses musique concrète–methods in addition to the pure electronic alterations, applying concrete and altered concrete sounds around the text, and he utilizes established methods of permutating the voice itself.

After the twenty–four poems he has added a short concluding “coda” without words, rounding off this very well worked–through piece of art, which in itself is an homage to poets of the past, in a setting of today.

These kind of works give a continuation through the flow of time, and a sense of belonging, a sense of direction, and a time for contemplation. It is a great pleasure to receive all these re–workings and variations of old but timeless pieces of art. They build bridges from yesterday to today and back, and on these bridges we can walk back and forth, and truly feel that all places are here, all times are now!


An analysis of Wilhelm Müller’s text and the circumstances around Schubert’s setting can be found at: www.bway.net/~hartung/schubert.html and more on Schubert and Winterreise, for example translations, can be enjoyed at: www.gopera.com/winterreise/.

[This review was also published in Sonoloco Record Reviews]

Review

Robert Reigle, Musicworks, no 78, 1 septembre 2000

Glenn Gould, in an article accompanying the LP The Well-Tempered Synthesizer, wrote that Wendy Carlos’ prime motivation for synthesizing baroque music was to utilize “the available technology to actualize previously idealized aspects of the world of Bach.” Judging by the name of the CD label and the composer’s choice of Wilhelm Muller’s set of poems, Die Winterreise, one might expect that Daniel Leduc uses technology to “actualize” Schubert’s famous setting for male voice and piano. Indeed, another living composer, Hans Zender, wrote a new realization of Die Winterreise a few years ago. Leduc, however, sets himself a different task: to use ‘soundscape’ for metaphorically illustrating both the poetry of the title work and the themes of the other pieces on the disc. He does not refer to Schubert in the liner notes, although he follows Schubert, rather than Müller’s, ordering of the poems.

What we have, then, are twenty-four miniature sonic evocations of the short poems, followed by a coda. In most of the settings the voice recites the poetry clearly, but, as Leduc intended, it always “gives way to the sound landscape.” Thus, the voice is occasionally covered up unintelligible, or heavily processed (as in traks 14-16, 21, and 23-24). The actor Erwin Potitt recites the poems beautifully. Leduc treats each poem as a distinct musical entity, with the music ending. pausing fading, or cutting off abruptly. He illustrates frequently and carrefully words referring to sounds. The wind mentioned in the first line of the second poem is incorporated into the music accompanying the first poem. Most of the soundscape illustrations, however, are synchronized with the poems, making the contradictions all the more interesting.

For example, [track 8] On the River (Auf dem Flusse) asks in its first sentence why the loud river became quiet, but Leduc presents water noises through most of the piece, saving the quiet section for the end. Similarly, he introduces recordings of songbirds (which Müller does not mention in the poem entitled The Crow (Die Krähe [track 16]) to contrast bleak electronic imitations of crows. The songbirds serve as a bridge, despite the pause between the two pieces, to the next poem, Last Hope (Letzte Hoffnung) [track 17].

For this listener, three of the settings stood out from the others. [Track 9] Looking Back (Rückblick) effectively collages together different types of sounds; Rast consists of slowmoving electronic sounds and filtered noise, with high-pitched repetitive sounds reminiscent of Ryoji Ikeda’s work; and The Signpost (Die Post) creates, with its quiet, blurred sounds, a feeling of ambiguity similar to that heard in some of Nono’s electronic music.

The remaining three works also consist of miniatures, with the longest section clocking in at 4:19. The opening piece, which won the Public Radio Award, is titled Impressionistic answer given by Josef K. to a French tourist walking by the railway station at the end of a winter’s evening (Réponse impressionniste donnée par Josef K. lors d’une fin de soirée hivernale à une touriste française qui passait en face de la gare). Another short work, Traverser les grandes eaux, was inspired by a phrase from the I Ching. A longer piece, Troposphère, consists of four works named after different types of clouds.

Recenzijos

Linas Vyliaudas, Tango, no 8, 1 août 2000

Kritik

Heinrich Deisl, Skug, no 40, 1 décembre 1999

empreintes DIGITALes ist ein aus Montréal stammendes Label, das sich seit neun Jahren auf elektroakustische Musik spezialisiert hat und mit bischer rund vierzig Veröffentlichungen aufwarten kann. Die Bandbreite reicht von Akusmatik (Michel Chion) über „Cinema For Ears” (Francis Dhomont) bis zu Soundscape-Kompositionen und Live-Electronics. Es werden hauptsächlich frakophone Kompositionen gefeatured. Ähnlichkeiten mit dem französischen Label Métamkine sin nicht von der Hand zu weisen. Die luxuriös gearbeiteten DC-Covers sind mit Begleittexten ausgestattet. Zur Zeit sind um die dreißig Titel auf der aufwendig gestalteten Homepage zu bestelle, sämtliche verfügen über Real Audio.

Leducs Le voyage d’hiver stellt die musikalische Umsetzung der „Winterreise” des Romantikers Wilhelm Müller dar. Telweise pathetisch, aber nie überzogen von Erwin Potitt dargebracht, bilden sie die Grundlage für Stimmenverfremdungen, imitiertes Schreiten und allerlei kurz gehaltene Feedback-Drones. Bei den vier Stücken von Troposphère (ebenfalls 1997 entstanden) bekommt Leduc Unterstüzung von der Sopran-Sängerin Chantal Fournier und der Klangskulpturen-Künstlerin Carole Simard-Laflamme. Im Gegensatz zu „Le voyage” geht es hier wesentlich brachialer zu. Die experimentellen Nummern verfügen über einen ausgeprägt visualirenden Impact. Die zwei Stücke von 1994 ergehen sich in langanhaltenden. mehr oder minder statischen Drones, die von konkreten Samples unterbrochen und abgelöst werden

Critique

Pierre Durr, Revue & Corrigée, no 42, 1 décembre 1999

Pièce principale de cet enregistrement, Le voyage d’hiver, où Winterreise est une mise en sons d’une sériede petits poèmes de Wilhelm Müller, compatriote et contemporain de Heinrich Heine. Peu mentionnés dans les encyclopédies, ses textes s’inscrivent dans la mouvance du romantisme allemand, où l’obsession de la solitude, de la mort — l’auteur lui-même est mort à l’âge de 33 ans — est omniprésente. L’approche minimaliste, fait de sons discrets, de paysages sonores, de quelques voix furtives est donc toute naturelle et parfaitement appropriée. Froissement de feuilles séchées, sonorités froides que viennent rompre incidemment quelques sons de cors, quelques aboiements. Ce travail, par sa thématique, n’est pas sans rappeler l’opéra que le compositeur allemand Wolfgang Rihm a créé récemment (Musica 93), consacré à Jakob Lenz écrivain contemporain — et rival amoureux — de Goethe, égaré dans son sleen existentielau fin fond de la forêt vosgienne.

A ce corpus principal s’ajoutent deux courtes pièces, qui pourraient d’ailleurs rejoindre le propos principal, puisqu’il est aussi question de voyage. Plus denses toutefois elles n’ont pas la subtilité de Die Winterreise.

Enfin, Daniel Leduc se lance aussi dans la météorologie sonore, puisqu’il conclut le présent recueil par une étude de la troposphère à travers les principales formations nuageuses…

Kritik

ST, Black, no 18, 1 décembre 1999

Der kanadische Elekiroskustiker Daniel Leduc hat sich auf Le voyage d’hiver eines der größten Werke der deutschen Romantik angenommen. Leser, die des Französischen mächtig sind, wissen wovon die Rede ist, und alle, die sich ein wenig für Musikgeschichte interessieren wahrscheinlich auch: gemeint ist Schuberts Winterreise ein Liederzyklus, in dem die inneren Seelenqualen eines einsamen Wanderers in eindrucksvoller Weise in den Naturgewalten widergespiegelt werden. Für die musikalische Umsetzung der Gedichte von W Müller wahlte Leduc jedoch nicht die Liediorm wie seinerzeit Schubert, sondern bearbeitete die Winterreise minimalistischer und — so scheint es im ersten Moment weni ger dramatisch als Schubert. Die reztierten Gedichte wer den von Geräuschen untermalt die die jeweilige Atmosphäre noch verdichten. Die Stücke erschenen oh rauh, manchmal uberlagern die Geräusche das Gesprochene oder die Stimme ist so verzerrt daß man Mühe hat den Text zu verstehen. Eine andere Art von Dramatik also aber nicht weniger wirksam. Eingerahmt wird die Winterreise von anderen Stücken Leducs, die aber keineswegs konträr dazu stehen umd die Leducs hohe Profession erkennen lassen. Dieses Album dürfte also zum einen all diejenigen ansprechen, die elektroakustischer Musik wohlgesonnen sind (und ganz so einfach ist das ja nicht mit dieser Art von Musik, jedenfalls nicht beimir), zum anderen sei es allen empfohlen, die für eine neue Bearbeitung dieses Gedichtzyklus ohen sind.

Recensione

Massimo Ricci, Deep Listenings, no 16, 1 novembre 1999

Il lungo brano che dà il titolo al compact, basato sulla poesia di Wilhelm Müller Die Winterreise, è paradossalmente il motivo della sua scarsa attrattiva. Al di là di ogni discorso di cultura o — perché no — d’ignoranza (anche da parte mia, visto che non ho mai letto nulla di Müller) non si possono dedicare 42 minuti di un disco ad una voce recitante accompagnata da suoni generati in studio; volente o nolente, ci si stanca. Visto poi che il resto dell’opera non presenta episodi tali da gridare al miracolo, direi che Leduc deve ancora imparare molto dai suoi contemporanei Normandeau e Dolden prima di uscirsene con un altro lavoro; si può essere impregnati anche senza risultare indigesti.

Altrisuoni in breve

Etero Genio, Blow Up, no 17, 1 octobre 1999

Il Winterreise (viaggio d’Inverno) è una raccolta del poeta tedesco Wilhelm Müller, contemporaneo ed esteticamente gemello del nostro Leopardi, molto conosciuta dagli amanti della musica classica perché venne musicata da Schubert. Quelle stesse 24 poesie vengono oggi riprese dal canadese Daniel Leduc in un progetto tanto ambizioso quanto riuscito Fortunatamente Leduc non propone una versione pacchiana e plastificata di quella che fu l’interpretazione schubertiana ma riscrive di bel nuovo le musiche atte a commentare i testi di Müller (che qui, a differenza dell’opera di Schubert, vengono recitati). Le voyage d’hiver è faflo di rumori quotidiani, poesia eleflroacustica, musica ecologica e soflili manipolazioni elettroniche che sono in grado di dare un’ambientazione corporea alle parole. Le voyage d’hiver è insieme un film radiofonico ed uno stimolo concreto ad intraprendere un “viaggio” all’esplorazione del “vostro Inverno” Gli altri sei quadri che adornano il CD offrono un’immagine di un Leduc che sa accostare ai suoni concreti un gusto (di nuovo il pacoscenico) d’impronta classico-lirica (6/7)

Review

Paul Lemos, Under the Volcano, 1 septembre 1999

The last of the empreintes DIGITALes CDs to be discussed this issue is Daniel Leduc’s expansive and truly beautiful, Le voyage d’hiver. Unlike the other releases discussed here, Leduc’s work integrates spoken text within its delicate electroacoustic fabric. The 26 part Die Winterreise, the major work presented here, is a deeply moving meditation on the passage of life, based on the poems of Wilhelm Müller. Through Leduc’s beautifully precise sonic constructions, the text comes to life. The composer’s use of environmental sounds, synthesizers, voice and extensive processing lends textural richness to his work, imbuing it with a rare organic beauty.

… beautifully precise sonic constructions…

Critique

Octopus, 1 septembre 1999

Le voyage d’hiver de Daniel Leduc mêle électroacoustique et voix parlée d’une façon impressioniste où la citation extraite des poésies de Wilhelm Müller est utilisée dans l’évocation de paysages sonores. Puisant leur inspiration dans l’art acousmatique, radiophonique et dans l’écologie sonore, les vertus métaphysiques de ce disque valent le voyage.

… les vertus métaphysiques de ce disque valent le voyage.

Kritiek

TT, Gonzo Circus, no 41, 1 septembre 1999

Ook prille deniger Daniel Leduc is een produkt van de toonaangevende Ouébec-school. Le voyage d’hiver/Die Winterreise’ beschouwt hij als zijn meest ambitieuze werkstuk. In 25 Impressionistische audiominiaturen begeleidt hij een gedichtencyclus van ene Wilhelm Müller, een concept dat ook muzikaal vorgelijh baar is met de theetemmuziek van de Neubauten-ploeg. zqn werk is doordrongen van een narratieve structuur: net als bv. Luc Ferrari vertelt hij verhalen met geluid. zqn bronnen, vooral natuurgeluiden en de menselijke stem, zijn gemakkelijker le traceren dan bi; Normandeau en worden zelden radicaal gemanipuleerd. De afsluitende suite Troposphère ligt wat minder zwaar op de maag: met het wolkendek als metafoor stapelt hij lagen geluid op mekaar tot een dreigend decor van donkere ambient dat niet uil de loon zou vallen op een Mille Plateauxcompilatie.

De laatste Canadees uit het rijtje Is ‘radio-artist’ Dan Lander. De twee ultra-gelimiteerde huiskamercomposities op deze cassette getuigen van een gezond gevoei voor humor, relatid zeldzaam in deze branche. Op ‘Lucas, Robert, David’speelt hi; audioscrabble mel korte woordknipsels en huis-, luin- en keukengeluiden. Zo ontwikkelt zich een imaginaire dialoog, volledig losgekoppeld van bjd en nuimte. Van een ander kaliber is de nerveuze claxoncompositie `The road belongs lo everyone’, een schijnbaar onbewerki op band geflanste registratie van een ult de hand getopen verkeersopstopping. Verplicht luistervoer voor de duizenden filefelisjisten die hun maagzweerpopulatie cultiveren tijdens de daoelijkse ellende, aan de Kennedytunnel of het Vierammenkruispunt.

Discos

Jesús Gutierrez, Hurly Burly, no 11, 1 juillet 1999

Esta obra de cuatro partes que pertenecen a una época entre 1994 y 1997 que según el mismo Leduc, definen una importante transición estética y técnica de su labor artistica. Nosostros observamos un paisaje sonoro en convivencia con la voz hablada en un escenario escueto y distante a lo Tarkovsky: un mundo sonoro adentrado en sí mismo de tal fortma que lo narrado absorve o escupe su propio sonido aproplándose de un carácter relevante para un fondo difuminado e inerte.

Kritik

Guido Sprenger, Aufabwegen, no 28, 1 mars 1999

Daniel Leduc ist von Geburt Frankokanadier, im Stil der französischen Elektroakustik nahe und vom Hazen her Impressionist; wenn nicht gar Romantiker. Seine Vatonung der „Winterreise˝ des romantischen Dichters Wilhelm Müller — die wohl bekannter durch Schumanns Lieder ist — ist unmittelbar und illustrierand: Da feuchl der Wind und knirscht der Schritr, Im Dorfe hörl man Hunde bellen, und Auf dem Flusse gluckst es munter. Um Erwin Potitts amste und stets deulliche Sprechstimme spinnt Leduc filigrane Almosphärne von glasklarer Kalte. Liebeskummer und Herzensschwere, von denen die Texie baichten, sleigert er zu klammer Angst und scharfa Vazweiflung. Das könnte ieicht neiv erscheina’, doch die Romantiker waren selbst der Ansicht, daß in der reinen Naturbetrachtung der Weg zu Transzendenz und Innerlichkeit liegt. Daher evoziert die Kombination von Wort und Geräusch jene Landschaflsgemälde von MüllersZeitgenossen (wie Caspar David Friedrich). die mit dem Bild der Naturzugleich tiefstes Empfinden vamitteln woilten; nur sporadisch schleichl sich ein anachronistisches Telefontulen oder Fliegergebrumm hinein. Neben zwei kurzen Zusatzstockan enthält die Scheibe noch Troposphere, wo Leduc sich mil der Frage befasst: We klingen Wolken? Urwaldschnartemd im Bodennebel, donnerkrachend cine Etage höher, und im außerirdischen Geschwurps der höchsten Sphären hört man einen Engel singen. Ganz schön süß, aber dennoch: Bei Leduc verbindet sich der reinc Ganuß des atmosphärisch genau gesetzten Geräuschs mit unverkopfterZugänglichkeit zu wunderschöner Musik.

Autres textes

All-Music Guide, Bad Alchemy, The Wire no 189, De:Bug