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Showing posts from December, 2009

18/60 - True Night

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The manuscript I scribbled while recording.In the Fall, I was a teaching fellow for Robert Levin. On Friday, September 18th, 2009, he gave a lively lecture during which he shared his passion for Mozart's music. After the lecture, I booked the Huseac's recording studio, and produced this minute of music. As you will hear, it is bathed in a quite Mozartesque spirit.18th minute of 60/60, True Night was also inspired by the gift I received: Keith Jarrett's Carnegie Hall Concert. Keith Jarrett is certainly the most interesting composer of piano music in the recent decades. The title True Night comes from his True Blues, and from the fact that I made a direct recording of both Bb clarinet and live electronics during the night. Thanks to Bénédicte, the participant to whom this minute of music is dedicated.Download or listen to 18/60 - True Night on last.fm.You can still participate in this composition project: choose a present, I will compose & dedicate a minute of music to y…

My dissertation committee

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On December 7th, my dissertation committee was approved during the Music Department's faculty meeting. The dissertation is the most important part of the doctoral program at the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. I am honored by the four composers who accepted to serve as readers of my dissertation. Let me briefly introduce them:Hans TutschkuHe is a composition professor and the director of the Huseac Studios. He has been my advisor during my graduate studies at Harvard, and he was the first person I went to learn electronic music with.Chaya CzernowinShe has been a composition professor at Harvard since September of 2009. I also worked with her during my first semester here, when she was a visiting professor.
An excerpt from Bleu 3, a quatuor for clarinet, violin, cello and piano.
Bleu 3 will constitute a chapter of my dissertation.Michael Gandolfi Chair of the New England Conservatory's composition department, he was a guest professor in 2008-2009 at Harvard. I appre…

17/60 - IM

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Many thanks to Ronan, who takes part in the 60/60 composition project with a great book on Afro-Cuban Percussion. I have always been keen on learning more in the vast percussion world, and this volume is an excellent introduction to an important rhythmic tradition. Of course, you really learn by playing with other percussionists, but it's interesting to read the author tell the story of what and how he learnt.I dedicate IM, the 17th minute of 60/60, to Ronan. As you will hear, this minute of music retains the rhythmical orientation of the gift. You may also recognize influences linked to the personal story of the participant (hard work, house door... don't hesitate to invent your own story!)Listen to this new minute, as well as the previous ones, on last.fm - or download the sound files:17/60 - IM on last.fmLicense Creative Commons by-nc-sa

Lapalu - Video with violist Garth Knox

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Lapalu, a composition for viola and live electronics, was premiered on February 14th, 2009 by Garth Knox and myself. The video is now available:In this composition for viola and live electronics, I set up a chamber music situation for the two musicians. The violist and the live electronics performer interact, listen to each other, and follow the score that features both instrumental parts.
Lapalu's Coda: viola and live electronics in dialog.For more information about the composition technique, and how the piece was inspired by a flower, check this earlier post: Formula composition in Lapalu.

Rhapsody in Blue by the Dudley House Big Band

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Ryan Banagale is not only a talented musicologist, but also a musician, and a very generous one. He shared with the big band his research on Duke Ellington's interest in George Gershwin's famous Rhapsody in Blue. The result is this unique program that we'll be performing together tomorrow.I am blessed to lead first class musicians in the band. After a semester of weekly rehearsals, we are now ready with powerful sections that sound great. And it's just a pure pleasure to listen to the soloists. Whether they are graduate students in physics, mathematics, romance languages, or other fields, they really know what jazz is all about! I hope to see you at the concert:Saturday December 12th, 2009
Dudley House (Lehman Hall) - Harvard Yard
Cambridge, MA, USA
Free admissionProgramAmong the greatest American artists around Geoge Gershwin!Strike Up The Band (George & Ira Gershwin, arrangement Sammy Nestico)Fascinating Rhythm (George & Ira Gershwin, arrangement Ethan Fenn) - W…

Electroclarinet 2 at Hydra

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Looking for the studio album? Visit www.electroclarinet.comThe Hydra concerts are taking place these Thursday and Friday (December 10&11) at Paine Hall, Harvard Music Department. Hydra is Harvard University Studio for Electroacoustic Composition's sound diffusion system: it consists in 36 speakers with multiple routing possibilities.During Thursday's 8pm concert, I will be premiering my most recent composition: Electroclarinet 2, for contrabass clarinet and live electronics.
My set-up for Electroclarinet 2 (rehearsal December 8th, 2009)Electroclarinet 2 program notesElectroclarinet 2 is an homage to Claude Debussy, directly inspired by his Sonate pour Violoncelle et Piano. In this piece, Debussy follows in the steps of the great innovative composers: he explores the expressive power of new sounds and twists them with a unique sense of humor. In the tradition, he keeps surprising the audience with his fantastical imagination, a trait maybe echoed today in the music of some o…

Dudley House Jazz Combo Winter Concert 2009

At Dudley House, one of the jazz bands is a creative combo. All musicians from the Harvard Graduate School of Arts & Sciences are welcome to audition in the Fall and in the Spring. The group members then bring new compositions or suggest creative versions of standards. The repertoire is really a function of the musicians' personalities. This semester, the instrumentation consists in violin, five saxophones (two altos, two tenors, a baritone), clarinet, guitar, piano, keyboards, acoustic bass, and drums.Free concert this SaturdayYou are invited to the concert this Saturday, December 12th, 2009, at 8pm in Dudley House (Harvard Yard). The concert will open with a full big band (detailed announcement to come Friday on this blog...), then the combo will play 6 tunes: 3 originals by Brigham Hall, Richa Gawande, and Alan Lenarcic, and reprises from Daahoud (Clifford Brown), Fables of Faubus (Charles Mingus), and Baraka (Steve Korn).Do Right WomanOur previous concert was part of the D…