six musicians

… a mesure was constructed as the “negative” of Pour Luigi, a piece Hurel composed in 1993 for a similar combination of instruments (minus the vibraphone, the two pieces forming a pair thenceforth). These pieces are mutually complementary: so, for example, we can note that the “orchestrating” piano of Pour Luigi takes on thereafter a solo part, and that while, in the earlier work, there is a contrast between the overall blending of the sound and the chiseled textures of the separate timbres, this stands in opposition to the work on the instrumental couple in …a mesure (initially by an “affinity in registers”: flute-violin, bass clarinet-cello, piano-vibraphone: thereafter by an “affinity in techniques”: the two winds, the two strings, the two “percussions”). In many ways, though, …a mesure is more an extension of the work associated with it than in opposition to it. On the one hand, the rhythmic and harmonic materials take on a jubilant heterogeneity: according to the composer, “short pulsating rhythmic sequences, each in turn accompanied by rhythmic accelerations and decelerations coming from a different musical universe,” mix with abundant rhythmic polyphonies which ultimately “settle firmly into loops.” On the other hand, the programmed network of relationships which typically impose an exclusive determination on the music’s development (layering processes) leave room for the temptation of “unknown situations,” deduced from the work of development in its traditional sense, and integrated in a form which “offers a game of anticipations and returns to the past close to movie flash-backs.” The title refers to this double resonance in the work of the factor of rhythm and the material’s disintegration “as it plays out, like a sculptor who renders visible the object he wants to see, here, octaves, already set out in the work’s central climax.”

Eric Denut [English translation: Nikki Halpern]

Performance

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