- Raphaël Cendo
- Year of composition: 2006
- Duration: 9:00
- Instrumentation: contrabass clarinet and processing
Some performance instruction that appear in the printed score are: “violent, sans retenu; strident, agressif; excessivement nerveux; trembler, smorzando dents; très metallique; cries d’oiseau effrayantes, strident, très mouvementé; impulsif, incontrollé; vers l’apaisement; souffle; bruits de clef; bruit blanc; hors limite; très calme”.
The principle of this music is “a thwarting of the limit, thanks to an excess of energy.” Releasing the instrumental energy and bringing the performer’s body into the field of the composition make the concert no longer a simple disaffected representation but a basic musical act, a sound ritual in which the performer is the officiant. This calls for mad virtuosity from the performer. The sound is metamorphosed. It is no longer a matter of planning, but of losing oneself; it is no longer a matter of organizing, but of cutting a path in an unstable, wild and unknown world, for what is written is as much as for the player as for the listener.
In Décombres, the sound space deployed is the result of a constant confrontation between the electronic sounds and the contrabass clarinet. The clarinet writing is essentially organized around complex sounds, through the use of the voice while playing the instrument, through inordinate energy, a virtuosity of excess. The resulting saturation of these materials brings out the instrument’s electronic side as much as its wild animal side. Here the notion of excess is reinforced by great virtuosity, the use of all registers, and maximum tension in the energy. At this limit of the possible, the instrumentalist finds herself no longer in a performance but in a musical action, a sensitive, palpable ritual where the body is at the centre of the playing. The mass of electronic sounds is treated according to different granulation techniques to form only blocks of scattered, tense, damaged sounds. The search for fusion between the electronic and instrumental worlds creates a paradox in which the identification of the sound sources is intentionally blurred. These timbres, which seem to suddenly appear from an ancient primordial source, push their materials to the extreme: up to dizziness and their destruction.
- 2017-05-23, Studio 270, Montréal (Québec)