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Gérard Grisey and the Foliation of Time

Gérard Grisey and the Foliation of Time

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05/12/2014

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(Qlde1rl)1llmrij
MlisicRa)Jir.w
2000,.vol.19,i'att3,
p.
2~OPhotocopyingp~
rmitted
by
license
only
@
2JJQOOPA(OverseasPublishersAssoctatien)N.V:
.Published
by
1i'(en5eunderHteHarwoodAcademic
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blishersimprint,
part:"fCocd""
arid
Breachl'iJblisl1iJil,g,
amernberoftheTaylor
&>
Francis
GI'OtlF'f.
GerardGriseyandtheFoliationofTime
P.
.A.Castanet
Translated
by
JoshuaFinebergInthemidstofthegrayish
panOTCU'1l8
ofcontemperarymusie.amengthecreators
of
thepost-wargeneration;
Gerard
Grisey
(bornin
1946)h.<15
been.composingin
solitude
formore
than
twenty-five'
years.
Thus,atthecenteroft:helaboratoryofEuropeanmusicalscience,auniverse
which,
steadfastly
prefers
sterilityandacceptance
tothesmolderingisolationofamore
personal
route,Gerard
Crisey
11.ao5
remainedatrue
composer,
determinedandunique,possessingavastamount
of
technique
andprofoundinstinctforrealizingmusicalworks.
AsharedseHsibility
In
the20thcenturynumerouscomposershavemadeuseofnature
in
its
raw
form,
asmusicalmaterial.
Water,
wind,
fire,
along
with
variousother
naturallyproducedphenomenahavebeenrecordedorcreated
irt
concert,
offering'composers(suchasMikhe,
.Messiaen,
Xenakis,
Kagel....)
.<J
collection
of
instruments
rich
in
parametric
possibilities,
However,
in
the
eadyseventiesadifferent
aspect
ofnature-the
organic,living,
acousticnatureofsound-strenglyinflueneedafewresearch-mindedmusicians.
Immersed
in
scienceand
philosophy;
with
ahungerfor'
technologicalprogressandwithconsiderationfortheculturalaswellas
physical
aspects
of
sound,
Tessier,Murail,'Crisey,Levinas,Dufourt,
whowould
29
 
30
p.A.
O.slimul
guidethedevelopmentoftheensemblel'ItineraireinParis,
began,
each
intheirown
way,theroutetowards,whatHuguesDufourtcallsdinhis
now
historicalarticle,"SpectralMusic",Followingalonglineofeminentscientists,goingfromCalileoorDescartestoNewtonorSaveurand
touchinguponthe."concomitantsounds'of
FatherMarin
Merserme,the
'spectral'composersbegan
hawkiltg
anewideaandformeda
new
'school.'In
the
middleofthisgroupofexperimenters,
extollingthevirtuesofthe'ecology'
of
musicalsauteematerial,Criseywould
woik
diligentlyonthe
'evolution
of
sound]'
focusingaesthatically
on
both
musicalandtemporalissues.
Sonicfll'cheoiogy,
111usicalmythology
WHhoutgoing
back
to
mythelogicalreferencessuchasthe
Gandlurrva,
the
storiesandlegends
or
China,
the
diphonicvocal
techniques
or
MongolianHoomlsingersorthe
techniques
of
the
peasants
of
TOLrvCl,
considerationofnaturalacousticphenomena
highlighting
afundamental
noteanditscoloredtrain.
of
upperpartialshaseffectedmanypost-romantic
musicians
(fromDebussy,
Hindamirh,
Soriabin,Varese,
[olivet,
Scelsiand
Messiaen
toRadulescu,Vivier,PerNorgaard...).Inthewakeofthiscosmopolitanmovement,confrontedwith
thehippie-likehappen-ingsthatgrewoutofthecultureinspired
by
thestudentuprisingsinParis
in
May
1968,andinoppositionto
Fiene
Boulez's
DomuineMusiclil
anditsimageofcompositionaltechniquewithinavacuum,agroupofParisian
composers
and
instrumentalists
foundedtheensemble
l/Itinerairein1973.
WiththeapprovalofOlivierMessiaen,thisgroup'sfirsteffortscried
outfor
listening
tothesoundsthemselves.foramusical
'language'and
'syntagm'basedonaprofounduseofsonicphenomena.
in.alltheir
C:OIll.-
plexity,
bothharmonicand(youth
and
creativegreed
oblige)
inharmonic,
Thosemost
concernedwiththeoverall
relationshipsof
phenomenolegi-calsorucntatetiaJ
(0£
this
g:ro.llp
ofco~!.tlpose.rs,onlyDufourt
wasnotMessiaen'sstudent)aredearlyCerardGriseyandTristan
Murail
arong
withMichaelLevinas.toalesserdegree,Althoughabitlate,aspiritofmodifiedrniero-spectralityisfeltincertainrecentworksofLevinas:
forexample,
Rebo1'1ds
(1993},
Diaclas«
(1993t
Par-Deli:
(1994)
and
the
work
1.t.rtlusldtor's..I'l'".te:
theexpressionused
in
French
is
'devenir
du
50)10re;'
thisimplies
the
sonicevolutionas
p~0ieded
intothework'sfuture:
thesound's
becoming
what
it
will
become,
 
whichsynthesizesmuchof
the
researchintheotherpieces,theopera
GO~gol
(1994).In
asmuchashismusic
make
nouseof
micro-intervals
andinoppositiontothegenerallyheld
view,
HuguesDufourtmustbeconsideredasortof'faux-spectral'composer.AsforRogerTessier,heonlydealt
obliquely
withthetechniquesofferedbyspectralmusic,onlyoccasionally
usingthe
solipsisticconceptofasinglesoundas
thebasis
forapiece
(Cl~7ir~Ol7scu.r
forsoprano,instrumentaltrioandelectro-acoustictreatments-1977,
Coalescence
forclarinetandtwoorchestras-1987).
Thework'SofCriseyfrom
1970-1980
contain
at
once
self-generativ-ephe-
nomenaandself-destructiveingredient_
Extracted
fromthemega-cycle
LesEspacesAcoustiques
(1975-1985),
Modulat-f.on:s
(1976-1977),for
example,shows
acoustic
zones.
in
perpetualmotionaround
a
fundamen-talE(41.2Hertz).Inthispiece,whereateachinstantthematerialseems
tobe
hoarding
to
itselfthefragile
allegoryof
self-genesis,theform
itself
recounts'thehistoryofthsoundsofwhichitismade.'
Moreover,
inthe
sameinstrumentalcycle,
thecomposersattempts-with
Partiele(1975)
-tosynthesizemorerichlythespectrum.ofasingle
110te
playedonthe
trombone
using
si
teen
instruments
for
thetask.
An
analyticaluseofsonogramsofbras.instrumentsalongwith
spectrograms
ofthe
transfer-
mationscaused
by
adding
variousmutes,allowthesyntheticreconstruc-tionofthe
gIob<)hty
ofthetimbreor,onthecontrary,facilitate
its
controlleddistortion.Thegeneralconceptsofperturbationanderosion,read
entropy,
are
the
purview
not
only
of
Partiele
but
alsoof
Chantsde
I'Amour
(1981-1984),£01:mixed
voices
and
computersynthesizedvoice.UsingtheprogramChant,createdatIRCAM(Paris)byXavierRodetand
Yves
Petard,Grieywaable
to
realizeacontinuous
oice
andtwostreamsofe,traordinaryrespiratorypulsations.Iowever,while
the
success
of
thispiece
owes
much
tocutting
edge
technology,
~t
alsoowesadebttotherigorousstructuresusedbythepolyphonicmusicofthefifteenthcentury(mainlyCuillaumeDufay-1400-1474-andJohannesOckeghem-
1410-1497)
andto
the
games
'of
Pygmi
sfrom
theLituriregion,Additionally,thesyntheticvoicefunctionsasareferen-tialmodelforthelivesingers,performingasimilarroletothe'Iampura
of
Indian
music,
Themachinevoicecanassumetheroles
of
bothBeauty
andtheBeast.
"In
turn
divine,monstrous,threatening;seductive,bothamirroranda
projection
of
all
the
fantasiesof
thehumanvoice,"
this
instrumentalsource"copiesandmultipliesitselfintoacrowd"explains

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