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Martin Arnold: Aberrare (CD) Track listing detail

contact;vault

Martin Arnold

  • Year of composition: 1997
  • Duration: 17:02
  • Instrumentation: string quartet

Stereo

ISRC CAA4J1010271

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

“Vault” is the name of the long melody that makes up most of the material of Contact; Vault. It’s one of those polyvalent words that carry a few meanings that often seem quite opposed in character. In this case we have (at least) an enclosure and an action: a confining chamber for sealing something away and the act of propelling oneself over a barrier. I’m not putting these ideas in opposition. I like the idea of something confined and internal (that asks for careful, myopic attention) serving as a location from which all kinds of lines-of-flight can erupt and spill out ú delirious associations and speculations which are activated in the listener and bump around together through the experience of the piece. The “Contact” in the title can also suggest many possibilities but I was mostly thinking of it in reference to the way the player produces sound, the way they make contact with their instrument. This is a crucial part of this composition in that I’ve tried to re-invent the string quartet, to turn it into a strange collection of quiet, insidious, and hopefully wonderful, discrete instruments.

Liquidambars

Martin Arnold

  • Year of composition: 2009
  • Duration: 11:35
  • Instrumentation: 2 violins
  • Commission: Quatuor Bozzini

Stereo

ISRC CAA4J1010272

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

Premiere

  • April 24, 2009, Salon des compositeurs 2009: I: Portrait Martin Arnold, Studio 12 — Maison de Radio-Canada, Montréal (Québec)

Slew & Hop

Martin Arnold

  • Year of composition: 2000-07
  • Duration: 12:32
  • Instrumentation: viola and cello

Stereo

ISRC CAA4J1010273

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

Aberrare (Casting)

Martin Arnold

  • Year of composition: 2004, 09
  • Duration: 22:42
  • Instrumentation: string quartet
  • Commission: Quatuor Bozzini

In English, an aberration is a deviation from what is normal, expected, or usual. However, its Latin root, aberrare, has a less dialectic, evaluative connotation: it means “to wander away.” Perhaps “aberrare (casting)” is music that wanders away (then maybe wanders back a bit, then maybe wanders beside). But I also hope it is music that one can wander away into and with and wander away from (then maybe wander back a bit, then maybe wander beside) — not as any kind of escape but more like the Situationist International’s idea of drifting, the dérive, a term they coined to suggest a “technique of transient passage through varied ambiances. The dérive entails playful-constructive behaviour and awareness of psychogeographical effects; which completely distinguishes it from the classical notions of the journey and the stroll.” “Casting” is one of those English words that enfold what seem to be almost contradictory meanings, in this case to throw (sometimes off or away) or to expel or to shed or to drop; or to shape something molten into a form using a mould or by having it envelope another shape. The music of “aberrare (casting)” is certainly not casting; but if a listener is inclined to cast, I hope she/he embraces all of the potential (contradictory) actions implied by that term and keeps wandering while these embraces are being enacted. And I definitely hope she/he always follows any forming or shaping with throwing away, shedding and/or dropping.


Premiere

  • April 7, 2005, Bozzini QuartetConcert de saison II, Chapelle Saint-Louis — Église Saint-Jean-Baptiste, Montréal (Québec)

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