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Showing posts from 2015

Passage - percussion part

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This morning's version of the percussion part for Passage, a composition for percussion & live electronics: To be premièred in 2016!

Hour of Code 2015

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I'm proud to participate for the first time in the Hour of Code event. This year, I'm hosting one Hour of Code for 2 groups of 15 kids - I'm meeting with the second group tomorrow. After talking with their primary school teacher, I decided to go with the "Frozen" hour of code: the kids have been playing with geometrical figures, drawing stars and patterns, so this is a good tutorial for them to go over. Also, in a way, it brings together art & science.In case you haven't tried it yourself, do not hesitate: go to code.org, and do code for an hour: everyone can learn!

Rotonde 2015

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Many thanks to Éric Guérin, pianist, bassist, and computer scientist: we premiered Rotonde 2015 last week. I composed this piece for the inauguration concert of the Section Musique Études' new piano. In this composition for piano & live electronics, I used a Korg Electribe & live software synthesis.This great night of music featured classical, romantic, jazz music, and more. Congrats to the organizers of the piano subscription: Jean Bacot, Emmanuel Roux, and Arnaud Sandel - who is the head of the program, a Professor in Mechanics, and an excellent percussionist!

Contemporary Accordion Music

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Tomorrow, I have the great pleasure to accompany accordionist Céline Rivoal's recital with live electronics. Picture by Rosalie Tsai, Testo by Davide Ianni, Electrocution 2015 Music FestivalThe program includes:Brèves by Jacques RebotierTesto for accordion & live electronics, by Davide IanniWinter Seeds by Klaus HüberSchattensprüngen by Heiner Frauendorfand the classic Like a Water Buffalo by Yuji TakahashiImprovised miniaturesHere is a screenshot of my live electronics environment for an improvisation with Céline tomorrow: Details:

Nabil Benabdeljalil's Moroccan Symphony

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Tonight, I wish I were in London with my friend Nabil Benabdeljalil to listen to the English Chamber Orchestra performing the UK première of his Adagio for Strings. We studied composition together with maestro Ivan Fedele at the Strasburg Conservatory. During this time, we spent one week together at the Villa Medici, meeting daily with composer Pascal Dusapin - the week when we met composer Davide Ianni. It was a great pleasure to spend time in Roma with Nabil, talking about music, culture, faith religions, and more. If you are not in London tonight, meet Nabil through his Moroccan Symphony (youtube link). Jazzy, Moroccan, classical, in the tradition, witty, this music is brillant! Listen to the beautiful Sacrifice at the end of the Third Movement: a Moroccan Sacre!

Scelsi's Kya on Sunday

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On Sunday, I'm playing the bass clarinet in the Ensemble Sable & Ciel. We are performing Giacinto Scelsi's Kya, featuring soloist Christophe Dravers on clarinet. It's great music, with subtle relations between tuned and detuned intervals. Christophe Dravers plays beautifully, while Marc Schuster conducts with precision & poetry. Mozart and Rota are also on the program:

GUI on the back of the napkin

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In July, I was at Ircam to present one of my live electronics environment for composition & improvisation. Here are a couple of design scribbles for the app: I made them in March & April 0f 2015, not on the back of a napkin, but in a convenient pocket notebook. Now, the app's main window looks like this:

Prisma meeting - Summer 2015

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This year, the Prisma meeting took place at Ircam from July 5th to 7th. Jacopo Baboni was the main organizer, as usual;Hans Tutschku showed how he uses light live electronics & spatialization in his compositions Still Air 3 for oboe, bass clarinet & electronics, and Shadow of bells for piano & electronics;Orjan Sandred presented his recent compositions, as well as new developments in his contraint programming for computer-aided composition;Johannes Kretz shared his Timbre Tunnel to morph sound in real-time;Michele Tadini gave a new version of his granular synthesis tool the T-Grain;Invited for the first time, Stéphane Boussuge presented the computer-aided composition tool Opusmodus - to know more about it, check out this article on music radar: Composition meets programming with OpusModus;Jean Bresson, Jérémie Garcia and Xavier Favory presented computer-aided composition tools (especially a new reactive mode in OpenMusic) and interfaces for the control of sound spatializati…

Originaires Exhibition near Evian

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You are invited to this exhibition organized by the Touanen family in the French Alps near Evian. Johann is a photographer, Anne-Marie creates poetic natural & mechanical boxes, Élise is a graphic artist, Peggy is a collagist, Freddy recounts traditional & original Alpine stories, Suzanne bakes singular chocolate cakes, and I'm not even mentioning all contributing artists! I am taking part with an installation entitled Metallum, and with a multimedia setting of Freddy's books, including Les Mystères de la Montagne. The exhibition is open until Saturday, 7 p.m.

Mikrophonie I - First rehearsal

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Last week, we had a first meeting with a dream team of musicians for a new performance of Stockhausen's Mikrophonie I: Hélène Colombotti, Vincent Leterme, Ève Payeur, Maxime Échardour, and Stéphane Sordet. Philippe Aarri-Blachette asked me to be responsible for the live electronics (I happened to already own the score when Philippe told me about his project). Get your tickets in September: Vibrations concert featuring Stockhausen's Mikrophonie I, on January 5th, 2016 in Brest.If you're interested in Mikrophonie I, a great ressource to learn how to read the score comes from Stockhausen himself:

Creative Children

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We had a blast 2 weeks ago with 26 children of the Bellevue ward in Brest. As you can see in the picture, saxophonist Stéphane Sordet was there, as well as artist Henri-Pierre Deroux. It was the first step of a great project envisioned by Philippe Aarri-Blachette, artistic director of Ensemble Sillages: stay tuned, this Improbable Orchestr'A will be back next year!

Metallum: an interactive toupin

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Coming in July 2015:
Metallum is an interactive alpine cow bell (toupin). Necessary to a successful emmontagnée, the toupin is interpreted here as the alpine equivalent of Asian percussions, such as the Japanese singing bowl (rin gong), or the Chinese opera cymbals. A ritual bell, which sounds like a call to imagination and like an echo sent back by the rock faces of my native mountains.
A queen & her toupin... Picture from 20min.ch

Spiral Sound

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A picture of my May experiments with graphically based sound processing:

Electroclarinet 2 @ Electrocution 2015

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Looking for the studio album? Visit www.electroclarinet.com Thanks Dominique Rybakov, for her picture, and her listening!

Accordion & Live Electronics @ Electrocution 2015

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Accordionist Céline Rivoal, a teacher at Brest conservatory, is passionate about new music, written or improvised. During the electrocution festival, on Friday, March 27th, Céline is playing the French première of Testo, by Composer Davide Ianni. This piece is written for accordion & live electronics, with quadrophonic sound projection. Note that this composition used to be called Forme in Scia - you may listen to a recording in Davide Ianni's Listening Room. Davide studied with Joshua Fineberg, a great composer and connoisseur of spectral music. You can hear this in Davide's music, with his careful attention to timbre, to how the electronics and the live accordion fade in and out of each other. Davide programmed the live electronics are made with Max.Accordion explained to composersDavide worked with accordionist Luca Piovesan. Download his free e-book: accordion4composers. He also just released a new album: Luca Piovesan - Sul Tasto(amazon.com link).

Saxophone & Live Electronics @ Electrocution 2015

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Composer Julien Vincenot will be in Brest at the end of this week, for the electro[]cution interactive music festival, organized by the Ensemble Sillages. Saxophonist extraordinaire Stéphane Sordet will perform Julien's composition silent_data_corrupt during the Electrolib concert on Friday, March 27th.
Excerpt from the first page of the score. Julien Vincenot composed this work for alto saxophone and live computer (appellation by the composer) during his Cursus year at Ircam. Here is the video of the premiere, with saxophonist Nikita Zimin:I'm looking forward to meeting with Julien again - last time was during last year's July 2015 Prisma meeting at Ircam.

Back to Gershwin & Stravinsky

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I'm playing the bass clarinet tomorrow in Lorient, for a concert dedicated to Gershwin, Kurt Weill and Stravinsky's Ebony Concerto. Orchestra conductor Laurent Goossaert is great: he is pushing the orchestra to its very best. Rhapsody in Blue should sound really good - of course, I still have a special feeling for the 1932 version we performed with Ryan Bañagale & the Dudley Jazz Band.To learn more on Gershwin and the Rhapsody as a composition and an evolving arrangement, make sure you read Ryan Bañagale's book Arranging Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue and the Creation of an American Icon.

Bass clarinet in A in Ravel's Concerto for the left hand

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On Sunday, March 1st, I'm playing the bass clarinet in the Ensemble Sable & Ciel, for the Ravel's Concerto pour la main gauche. I would like to invite you, but the concert is sold out. Conductor Joël Doussard designed a concert of French Music, with Fauré's Pelléas et Mélisande orchestral suite, and both the Concerto en sol and the Concerto pour la main gauche by Maurice Ravel.
Pianist François Dumont will perform both piano concertos!Bass clarinet in ARavel is calling for a bass clarinet in Bb and a bass clarinet in A. Given the cost/benefit ratio of the instruments, the bass clarinet in A has almost entirely disappeared. I am convinced that the timbre difference between an A and a Bb bass clarinet is less than the difference you have between bass clarinets from two manufacturers, or between two clarinetists playing the same instrument, or between 2 mouthpiece/reed combinations played by the same performer.But the bass clarinet in A did exist. For more information, che…

Feedback Analog Synth

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Come tomorrow at the Coin de la Rue café, rue Saint-Malo in Brest: I'll be performing with Bretagne musicians at the RRRR jam. In addition to a clarinet or two, I'll be using for the first time a new analog synth built with guitar pedals: Yes, you are right: before the analog signal path, I put a digital delay, to be used as a looper on a microphone input. But this mic is not necessary: the synth can also be used as a kind of a no-input mixer, with two ring modulators and a pitch-driven VCO (Voltage Controlled Oscillator).This synth constitutes the core live electronics set-up for my up-coming composition Electroclarinet 4.

Electric sax

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When working with the music students for the Désordre Electro-jazz project, I suggested some music to listen to, including a couple of electro-saxophone options. Here is a selection of my electric saxophone recommended listening:Gaël Horellou & NHX;Guillaume Perret & the Electric Epic;Matthew Burtner with his metasaxophone;Colin Stetson with well placed microphones around his saxophone.NHX I met Gaël Horellou when we arrived at the Lyon's National Institute for Applied Sciences, in the Music Studies section. He was as dedicated to music at the time as he is still now. Here is an excerpt of his NHX project:Guillaume Perret & the Electric EpicI like Guillaume Perret's conception of the electronically augmented saxophone, a true electro-acoustic instrument, where both the acoustic sound & the electronic audio processing contribute to the musical expressivity.It's interesting to note that Guillaume Perret chose to work with several sidemen already present in NHX…

Electro-jazz @ Désordre 2015

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Krystian Sarrau is a great saxophonist, and the head of the jazz department at the Brest conservatory. Last year, we talked together about creating musical links between musicians from different departments in the music school. We came up with a new electro-jazz workshop, gathering Quentin & Romain (bass & drums) from the contemporary music department, Lucien, Kristina & Joël (sax, keys & e.guitar) from the jazz department, and the guest electronic music producers Dusty Corners.We tutored the students during three work sessions since November. You are invited to listen to their new set: the concert is taking place as part of the Désordre festival:Saturday, February 7th, 11 p.m.
Mac Orlan venue in Brest. More information on the Penn Ar Jazz web site.

Signals. Musique en salle d'attente

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Signals.Musique en salle d'attente is a radio program dedicated to Post-Rock, Ambient, and Drone. It is broadcast on Tuesdays, 10:30-11:30 p.m., on student-run Radio Campus-Besançon.I was honored to be featured on the show with Electroclarinet 6, parts 1 & 2. Curator DJ L.K. knows an incredible amount of obscure, weird, or improbable music. He included my work in his 44th edition, along with music by Anjou, Black Rain, Arandel, Diabologum, Depêche Mode, Greg Haines and a group of musicians also from Brest: Dale Cooper Quartet & The Dictaphones. Listen to Signals #44 on mixcloud.Like Signals.Musique en salle d'attente on facebook!

Max @ Telecom Bretagne

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Last Monday afternoon, I presented the Max development environment to artists from EESAB (Brest Art School) and engineers from Telecom Bretagne. Noémie Sprenger, a professor at the Brest conservatory, taught about interactive electronic music in the morning.The students then made groups to work on collaborative art-science projects. I helped a couple of groups on Tuesday morning: several of them planned on using Jitter, the video part of Max. Others were especially interested in the Arduino-Max connections.The students are presenting their work tomorrow: feel free to stop by at the Telecom Bretagne school, in the students Foyer, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. If you can't make it, I guess Sylvie, the electronics professor who is responsible for the organization, is going to report on the Telecom Bretagne Fablab blog.I'm looking forward to discover what they came up with in a week!Update Jan 26: students did post details on the telefax blog. For instance, Buildung, an interactive synthesize…