Plex - Basset-horn and Live Electronics

In fall 2002, still at Strasbourg Conservatory, I registered at the École nationale de musique du pays de Montbéliard (Montbéliard national music school). Ensemble New Flore had just invested in a new Apple Laptop (a Powerbook G4, 800 MHz, 756 Mo, at the time), and I wanted to learn interactive music with Max/MSP. I chose Montbéliard because of the composition faculty, Hans Tutschku and Jacopo Baboni Schilingi. Each other week, we met there during 2 intense days, with many great students. We were a creative and motivated community of young artists, including, for instance, Lorenzo "Lorbi" Bianchi and Daniele Segre Amar (now members of esc-crew). Nice music school in Montbéliard, isn't it?

montbeliard chateau ecole musique

My first composition with live electronics

Plex is a composition for solo instrument and live electronics. The live electronics may be played either by the soloist, or by a second performer. I performed the premiere on clarinet and live electronics in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, on June 23rd, 2003.

The next performance took place on October 26th, 2003, in Weimar, Germany, during the festival "16. Tage neuer Musik". The Montbéliard Interactive Music Ensemble was invited, and we played a basset-horn version (I play a Buffet-Crampon model), with Hans Tutschku performing the live electronics part. We recorded a similar version in Le Palot, Montbéliard, during the afternoon of December 5th, 2003. Click play to listen:

Live extreme time stretching

In Plex, the soloist plays a 10-second musical phrase spread with live electronics over 6 minutes (these 10 seconds are played back 36 times slower without transposition.) To achieve this extreme time stretching, I programmed a special phase vocoder in Max/MSP. Additional spectral sound processing is applied, as shown on this schematic score:

Plex music score

Plex is a "live electronics" implementation of the concept of formula composition. I dedicated the basset-horn version to Karlheinz Stockhausen. Indeed, he and Suzanne Stephens have made a great contribution to the basset-horn litterature.


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