pour 21 musiciens
PIANO & ENSEMBLE
TRIBUTE TO MARK FELL
TO MY BELOVED ONES ♡
TO FLORENT LOUIS MEGUMI ALEXANDRU BRENDAN
premiered on Sept. 18, 2020
Rémy Pfimlin Hall | CNSMDP
Fanny Vicens accordion
Jean-Étienne Sotty accordion
Rémy Reber guitar
Chae-Um Kim harpsichord
Philippe Hattat-Colin piano
the Paris Conservatoire Orchestra OLC
The encounter, sometimes sought, often accidental, with music from new horizons can produce in us composers the most precious aesthetic bifurcations and allow us to open doors on worlds still unknown. Just as the structures of the Banda-Linda horns revealed by Simha Arom revolutionized the language of Reich or Ligeti, the research and obsessions of certain electronic music composers such as Mark Fell and Rashad Becker have opened up new considerations for me. In Electronica B - Minor Crush for 21 musicians, my reflection is about the perception of rhythm and more precisely on the intricacy between timbre and harmony through the listening of duration. The realization is simple: a single minor ninth chord is repeated homorhythmically at constant intensity by the main group (Accordions, Harpsichord, Piano, Electric Guitar, Percussions) and the only possible types of impact are the following: silence (no impact), very short (staccato), very short accented, held, held accented. By extremely reducing the materials, the listening is then focused on the only parameter that varies: the rhythm. It should be noted that the lengthening of the duration of an impact, or the intention in the playing (accent or not for example) are deeply significant, and that, more generally, each parameter in the instrumental playing has repercussions on the perception of rhythm.
Following these principles, the first part of the piece alternates between two states: A synchronized (homorhythmic) and B desynchronized (heterorhythmic). This elementary process of alternating A and B, where the duration of A decreases while that of B increases, converges towards a superposition of these two states marked by the resonant shock of the plate bells. A new possibility then appears: the accents of the piano become the arrival point of a bass line arpeggiating the notes of the original chord in different registers. As a distant reference to disco funk, even though the pulsation is absolutely unstable, this line grooves, understood by the body, and leads us to the next part.
In the second part, the alternation takes the form of a sway between two impacts, short and long, where the second seems to be the arrival point of the first. Each time different, these impacts are developing and enriched by the orchestration in an explosion of energy. The piece then continues before returning to the initial state, following an arch form A B transition A'. But this time, the initial chord is transposed many times, creating a melody. The melodico-rhythmic perception completes the demonstration of the central idea: the initial chord is no longer heard as such, the ensemble merges into a single instrument, hybrid and indefinable, playing a strange melody that gradually takes on the structural characteristics of a traditional song or a birdsong.
The word crush is polysemous in English. The title imposed itself. Minor crush evokes the strong feeling at the passage of a glance or a smile, the desire to take in the arms but also the crushing of time. Everything that this particular period may have revealed. This minor crush, or on a minor chord whose obsessiveness can be paralleled to that we can feel in these suspended meetings, is to be put in comparison with the sense of crushing. The crushing of a life situation, the crushing of feelings, the crushing of time felt in the variation of rhythm or during a quarantine.
Written from April to July 2020, Electronica B - Minor Crush is inscribed in a particular context where isolation was imposed and bodies separated. The relevance of writing an ensemble piece in such a context was then very difficult to evaluate. But through the will to work on rhythmic microvariations, the use of an homorhythmic pattern necessary to the realization of the main idea became an answer to the need to be one with a group. To be able to play together (the word must be emphasized), under the ever-shifting hand of a conductor, each musician must merge in the sound of the other and has to correlate his gesture to that of the others. The delicate accelerations and slowing downs or the sudden changes of tempo can only be felt in a real group synergy.
Our time, our life experiences irrigate our imagination. And the influences we are subject to, without cultural or geographical borders, nevertheless give birth to singular aesthetics well defined in space-time. Creators appropriate reality and try to shape the future. Many of my friends strive for it. This piece is dedicated to them ■