Numerous sequences of ?Partiels? announce a new technique, that of instrumental synthesis. Analogous to the auditory synthesis used in the programmes of digital electronic music, this writing style uses the instruments (micro-synthesis) to express different elements of the sound and elaborate an overall sound form (macro-synthesis). The result of this treatment is that our perception, the different instrumental sources disappear to the advantage of a completely invented synthetic timbre. These different mergings allow for articulating and organizing a whole range of timbres going from the spectrum of harmonics to white noise, by the way of the different spectra of inharmonic partials.
Like Dumitrescu, this music doesn't sound synthesized or instrumental, but somewhere hallucinated between. Comparisons end there though.
I saw Matt Ingalls and Toyoji Tomita play "Solo Pour Deux" earlier this year, for clarinet and trombone; the simultaneous mutes in the piece were performed by placing the bell of the clarinet directly into the bell of the trombone and letting the two close tones directly merge and cancel. The circular breathing required for the held tones nearly killed both of them, which was a bizarre contrast to the meditative calm of certain parts of the piece.
There's a lot going on in this music, in certain regards it's so quiet and inward that it suits home listening (though it requires total concentration, which is easier to give in the concert hall). But reading the concert reviews in the first two posts makes it clear that the gestures & movements required to perform this music are a key part of getting it -- taking sound apart and putting it back together at such a basic level requires physical work that it helps to see performed.
I'm expecting twenty googlebaited posts by 2015, but hopefully anyone who's seen performances can post here, or just talk about the CD's...
― milton parker (Jon L), Tuesday, 27 June 2006 19:33 (6 years ago) Permalink
Is this the musical equivalent of docking in gay sex?
(Anyway, sounds interesting.)
― Rockist_Scientist (RSLaRue), Tuesday, 27 June 2006 20:11 (6 years ago) Permalink
― Soukesian (Soukesian), Tuesday, 27 June 2006 21:32 (6 years ago) Permalink
― you will be shot (you will be shot), Tuesday, 27 June 2006 21:38 (6 years ago) Permalink
― ¡Vamos a matar, Dadaismus! (Dada), Wednesday, 28 June 2006 09:31 (6 years ago) Permalink
― Soukesian (Soukesian), Wednesday, 28 June 2006 17:00 (6 years ago) Permalink
Haven't done so cuz so far, whenever I'd chase a cpl of things from him such as "Jour contre-jour" (and most things from the 'spectral' field of composition) I end up feeling the ideas are way better/fascinating on paper than the reality of the sounds coming through the speaker. The conception seems very dense but for what, exactly? As I recall "Jour.." has this ascending/descending line on the some brass instr to start (thrombone?) with and 10+ other instruments that just don't register as doing too much beyond churning out a resonance. There is, like you say, that cancelling out to ambience through the emergence of tones but i get the impression that Grisey writes plenty of background to something else and forgets about foreground, or half-writes it.
(Too much of a meditational aspect to this for my liking? Maybe there is too much of a theory for so little result or variety of result? Has Grisey ever written a faster piece?)
And sure, things often click when you see it -- the payoff by seeing the physical effort needed to achieve the result, but the same can be said for many other fields in composition (as well as in jazz/improv) -- but again, what for?
By coincidence I ws giving Nono's "prometeo"* a listen -- plenty of resonances, some gaps in silence. However, his use of intrumentation is more surprising, there's an instrumental muscularity present and a foreground/backgound and shades of both.
*(In "prometeo" there are lots of emotively charged vocal writing so that is no fair comparison but I can think of a few purely instrumental late pieces too -- gotta re-hear them)
― xyzzzz__ (jdesouza), Thursday, 29 June 2006 07:45 (6 years ago) Permalink
Dada - yes, I remember you showing that CD to me, and I recall complaining that I had not found too much in spectral music or classical percussion music (which I stupidly compared as being way inferior to Milford Graves), but since then i found a couple of nice percussion pieces.
Still not gone very far with spectralism.
― xyzzzz__ (jdesouza), Thursday, 29 June 2006 07:53 (6 years ago) Permalink
― Tim Rutherford-Johnson (Rambler), Thursday, 29 June 2006 12:44 (6 years ago) Permalink
― Tim Rutherford-Johnson (Rambler), Thursday, 29 June 2006 12:47 (6 years ago) Permalink
although: the vocals are very demanding. they simultaneously give you a way into the piece while preventing you from moving a millimeter in any direction, it's pretty strenuous. Extremely perishable on disc -- I did not get it until I put on my Sennheisers -- many of the sounds are just barely audible.
the center pieces in Espaces acoustiques are the most inspiring to me right now -- 'Partiels', 'Modulations', '"Transitoires"'. I've got the Kairos recording, the intonation is weirdly delicate even when everything's blaring. I like the unknown performance of 'Partiels' Jacob Sudol is hosting (linked above), a more forceful, atmospheric recording, though the intonation is maybe a tiny bit rougher you still feel it...
the one mp3 of "Le noir de l'étoile" linked above I can see not making the best first impressionFavorite Murail so far are "Desintegrations" & "Ethers", though both augment the orchestra with electronics, the former w/ digital synthisizer, the latter with delays. The first several moments of 'Territories d'Oubli' for piano, instant dementia.
still wondering why Dumitrescu was snubbed in that Wire primer on Spectralism a few years back, probably just because he's too good
― milton parker (Jon L), Thursday, 29 June 2006 17:55 (6 years ago) Permalink
Well when it came to that Grisey piece, you were right!
― ¡Vamos a matar, Dadaismus! (Dada), Friday, 30 June 2006 08:00 (6 years ago) Permalink
I usually don't have problems with working out of 'abstract ideas' as music (and I) needs new ideas (whether 'abstract' or not) to keep it going but I also feel you need to thread a line between the idea and how it makes its way into the scheme of things. A trade-off (as i write i think of "the rite of spring" as an exception to this?) and whenever I've heard a piece by Murail (or Julian Anderson) there is something odd and unsatisfying about it when worked out as orchestral music. Maybe that it lacks on the rhythmic front or the insistence of writing to a system represses the need to come out with a forceful or a more intuitive manner of instrumental writing.
(Also when I said "faster" I guess what I ws asking ws why I've not heard enough variety of tempo, say, or something unusual in the tape part -- i don't need a fast music, really. Check out Murail's piano music.)
(Dada -- Looking back I somehow 'knew' there wdn't be enough in the disc, but Milford Graves is going for something else than a composer might do unless, that is, a composer heard Milford and thought to try and nick a part or two and see how it worked out which is perfectly reasonable.)
― xyzzzz__ (jdesouza), Saturday, 1 July 2006 09:05 (6 years ago) Permalink
Andy hamilton wasn't it? Well Dumistrescu seems quite capable of writing with force and isn't shy of orchestrating noisily. That can go either way with critics. Haven't heard in a long time. Remember Gossett going on some other thread about the 'sci-fi' nature of Dumitrescu...off-putting, perharps?
One person I really like in this field is Clauded Vivier -- very odd way with melody, had a sense of drama. Dillon's "Helle Nacht/Ignis Noster" draw from spectralism. Both are mentioned in that..
― xyzzzz__ (jdesouza), Saturday, 1 July 2006 09:37 (6 years ago) Permalink
2nd post -- its Claude Vivier.
― xyzzzz__ (jdesouza), Saturday, 1 July 2006 09:42 (6 years ago) Permalink
there is a near inaudible 'radio noise' - kinda part at the beginning of each section
I think the percussionist begins each movement by very lightly scraping the drumskins, sounds like paper being scratched, nearly inaudible
― milton parker (Jon L), Friday, 7 July 2006 19:05 (6 years ago) Permalink
― Turangalila (Salvador), Friday, 7 July 2006 20:15 (6 years ago) Permalink
I have been listening to the Accord release of Les espaces acoustiques about once a week for two months, real loud, gearing up for it each time. there's an awful lot in that piece. I got the version on Kairos first, but only woke up to the piece after hearing the one on Accord.
― milton parker (Jon L), Wednesday, 11 October 2006 18:14 (6 years ago) Permalink
― xyzzzz__ (jdesouza), Thursday, 12 October 2006 08:42 (6 years ago) Permalink
― Dadaismus (Takin' Funk to Heaven in '77) (Dada), Monday, 6 November 2006 10:50 (6 years ago) Permalink
OK, free Grisey
― Ich Ber ein Binliner (Tom D.), Tuesday, 25 November 2008 18:09 (4 years ago) Permalink
― Milton Parker, Tuesday, 25 November 2008 19:24 (4 years ago) Permalink
yeah, its part of the 'Music of Today' series -- there have been a number of concerts, featured composers include Xenakis and Finnissy.
Will try to make it.
― xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 26 November 2008 13:37 (4 years ago) Permalink
been listening a lot to the partiels pieces recently (which yes, I still have in storage, milton)
― Dominique, Wednesday, 26 November 2008 13:59 (4 years ago) Permalink
don't worry, I bought myself another copy
― Milton Parker, Wednesday, 26 November 2008 19:25 (4 years ago) Permalink
no posting to ILM while on tour btw
― Milton Parker, Wednesday, 26 November 2008 19:26 (4 years ago) Permalink
review of new album Les Chants de l'Amour collecting his two pieces for ensemble + taped electronics / synthesizers - http://www.musicalpointers.co.uk/reviews/cddvd08/Sammoutis-3.html#grisey
had to order this from a UK distributor -- it isn't even on amazon yet, let alone in stores. couldn't wait to hear Grisey's take on electronically bolstered overtones. Need to listen to it a few more times, I wasn't blown away at first, maybe need to take it on a road trip.
I disagree with Mr Tim -- even given the expanse of years it was written over, and the overlong opening solo, I still think this is a masterpiece, and not just for 'Partiels' -- that is where he floors it, but the next two pieces even expand on it. this was the soundtrack to a road trip down the coast last thanksgiving during a midsized rainstorm and it was fairly apocalypse
― Milton Parker, Saturday, 20 December 2008 01:21 (4 years ago) Permalink
FLAC rip of 2 May 2008 performances of Les Espaces Acoustiques
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen RundfunksConductor - Stefan AsburyHerkulessaal, Munich Bienniale - 2nd May, 2008 (and broadcast subsequently on Bayern 4's excellent Horizonte programme).
This is a fantastic version! Angry and the ending is just gaping chasms scaring me in broad daylight. Asbury conducted a version with WDR Sinfonieorchester Koln that came out on Kairos but that version did not have the weightless floating sound of the Accord version, so I never listened to it. This version's got the trance inducing textures, yet goes for your throat laughing at all the right moments
I'm about to listen to this again
― Milton Parker, Friday, 9 January 2009 00:17 (4 years ago) Permalink
not to get all l0u1s jagg3r about it, but damnnnnn
― board free (Whiney G. Weingarten), Wednesday, 28 April 2010 05:37 (3 years ago) Permalink
new album Les Chants de l'Amour collecting his two pieces for ensemble + taped electronics / synthesizers
Really liked "Le Temps et l'Écume", haven't even had a chance to listen "Les Chants de l'Amour" yet, busy busy busy!
― tom d: he did what he had to do now he is dead (Tom D.), Monday, 9 August 2010 10:56 (2 years ago) Permalink
thanks again milton
― Dominique, Tuesday, 17 August 2010 04:25 (2 years ago) Permalink
btw milton, you might have seen this elsewhere like on the rolling jazz thread but
In spectral music, the physics of sound informs almost every compositional decision. Attack, decay, and timbre provide the source material for orchestration and musical form. The most prominent overtones of a given sound – of a clarinet or a church bell, for example – create a rich framework for microtonal harmonies that, with the help of computer analysis, are organized according to frequency relationships, as opposed to the intervals of a musical scale. Individual overtones are then assigned to specific instruments in an ensemble, and blended together to create striking new harmonies.Lehman’s fascination with spectral music began at Wesleyan University in 2000, when he was first introduced to the work of spectral music’s most renowned practitioners Tristan Murail and Gerard Grisey. After attending the U.S. premiere of Murail’s Le Partage Des Eaux, at Carnegie Hall in 2001, Lehman invited Murail to speak at Wesleyan and eventually began intensive studies with him at Columbia University in 2006.On Travail, Transformation, and Flow, Lehman draws extensively from his work with Murail and, remarkably, reimagines spectral harmony as a platform for improvisation.
Lehman’s fascination with spectral music began at Wesleyan University in 2000, when he was first introduced to the work of spectral music’s most renowned practitioners Tristan Murail and Gerard Grisey. After attending the U.S. premiere of Murail’s Le Partage Des Eaux, at Carnegie Hall in 2001, Lehman invited Murail to speak at Wesleyan and eventually began intensive studies with him at Columbia University in 2006.
On Travail, Transformation, and Flow, Lehman draws extensively from his work with Murail and, remarkably, reimagines spectral harmony as a platform for improvisation.
― j., Thursday, 30 June 2011 02:01 (1 year ago) Permalink
jazz has always been about the notes between the notes so I'm always wary of 'spectral jazz' practioniers -- did not respond much to Mat Maneri etc - and this Lehman stuff initially sounded so midi to me I stayed wary but I'll keep listening, thanks for posting / good to know
― Milton Parker, Thursday, 30 June 2011 08:01 (1 year ago) Permalink
I'm too busy listening to the new Tokyo Jihen on repeat to learn to spell!
― Milton Parker, Thursday, 30 June 2011 08:02 (1 year ago) Permalink
& yes I know it's not midi, it's actually nailing the pitch so precisely it sounds electronic -- sometimes precise intervals initially sound bland, then you suddenly get sucked in once you realize it's actually acoustic music
who knows, it isn't birds
― Milton Parker, Thursday, 30 June 2011 08:08 (1 year ago) Permalink
weird that this thread gets bumped — I've been listening to Les espaces acoustiques a lot this week.
― corey, Thursday, 30 June 2011 12:11 (1 year ago) Permalink
Causse & Valade's for Accord is much, much better than Stefan Asbury's for Kairos
though the unreleased 2008 Stefan Asbury is great too
and the original recording of Partiels still has that first-encounter feeling
― Milton Parker, Thursday, 30 June 2011 17:48 (1 year ago) Permalink
The Accord. Haven't heard the other but the consensus seems to agree with you. It's been awhile since I grinned from the sheer greatness of a piece, but LEA did that for me.
― corey, Friday, 1 July 2011 02:11 (1 year ago) Permalink
Like Met Maneri a lot more than this stuff...
― xyzzzz__, Saturday, 2 July 2011 10:45 (1 year ago) Permalink
than Grisey or the Lehman mentioned upthread?
― corey, Saturday, 2 July 2011 12:22 (1 year ago) Permalink
Than Grisey. Although I don't think I've posted as much about Maneri as I have about Grisey over the years.
― xyzzzz__, Saturday, 2 July 2011 18:49 (1 year ago) Permalink
― Named locally as Tom D (Tom D.), Friday, 26 October 2012 08:30 (6 months ago) Permalink
thx for the link, will try to make this! :)
― xyzzzz__, Friday, 26 October 2012 11:27 (6 months ago) Permalink
tonight. v excited
― Crackle Box, Tuesday, 6 November 2012 11:29 (6 months ago) Permalink