The latest issue of L'inouï (n° 2, in bookshop at the end of May 2006) features the first in-depth French-language introduction to the esthetic of Beat Furrer; a journey into the work of Philippe Leroux (two articles and a DVD-ROM address the intrigues of his newest work, produced at IRCAM in 2005-2006); a special report on the artistic, technological, and scientific issues surrounding instrumental gesture and interactivity; and a presentation of the musical capabilities of a new IRCAM software program (Musique Lab 2) intended for music lovers and teaching purposes.
Adhering to the founding principal of the review, the topics addressed are related to the hottest issues in contemporary music (similar to those presented during Agora). At the same time, L'inouï is distanced from these issues as it presents a much broader esthetic viewpoint and leads to a reflection rooted in the bigger picture of scientific research and artistic experimentation. But in contrast to the first issue (2005), which dealt with general questions of esthetic theory (through Aperghis and Pauset), this new issue is built around the plurality of artistic experimentations, the pressing esthetic matters that determine the future of traditionally notated music.
A Composer: Beat Furrer
Beat Furrer (b. 1954), Austrian composer of Swiss origin, is one of the chief figures of the contemporary European music scene. Also a conductor (he founded and directed the Klangforum Wien) and a composition professor (at the Musikhochshule in Graz), he is known for his operas Die Blinden, Narcissus, and Begehren (produced in collaboration with the Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid), and for his numerous orchestral and chamber works, some of which, like Nuun (for two pianos and orchestra), will be presented at IRCAM in 2006.
In L'inouï, a special report on the composer includes a previously unpublished interview with Furrer conducted by Martin Kaltenecker; two texts by critic and musicologist Daniel Ender; an introduction to Furrer's œuvre based mostly on the pieces being played at IRCAM in 2006; and an essay on Fama (soon available online), premiered at the Donaueschingen Festival in 2005 and performed again in 2006 at the Ateliers Berthier as part of Agora. Also included are a list of works, a bibliography, and a discography.
A Work-in-Progress: from Voi(rex) to Apocalypsis
Philippe Leroux (b. 1959) is one of today's top French composers. His works reconcile the contributions of different trends: spectral music, of which he is one of the heirs; electroacoustic music, which he worked with at GRM in the 1980s; and the "IRCAM" approach combining traditional writing and computer music at every step in the composition process from initial formalization to real-time sound processing during the concert. His work Voi(rex) (2002), premiered at IRCAM, was an international success and formed the basis of a musicological study at IRCAM, the results and methods of which inspired his new work Apocalypsis, a sort of oratorio mimicking the genesis of Voi(rex), which was premiered during Agora 2006.
In L'inouï, the composer and the researchers reflect upon the creative process while a DVD-ROM titled "De Voi(rex) à Apocalypsis, fragments d'une genèse" offers various multimedia explorations of the two works (a listening guide based on sketches for the work; rewriting/recomposition tools for two movements of Voi(rex); video excerpts of the composition journal for Apocalypsis; and more.).
On the Workbench: Gesture, Interaction, Time Notation
For several years, in connection with the development of diverse sound-processing and motion-capture technologies, new forms of interaction between performers (or audience members) and instruments (or devices, like sound installations) have been emerging. At IRCAM, these new issues have been the basis for research carried out by the different specialized teams (Real-time Applications, Room Acoustics, Spatialization, etc.) and of the artistic experimentations done within the department dedicated to research on live performance technologies. During Résonances, an international symposium will bring researchers and artists together to discuss the topic "Writing musical time and interaction".
L'inouï has assembled contributions from artists, researchers, and musicologists. A general introduction by Hugues Vinet, organizer of the symposium and director of the Research and Development Department at IRCAM; articles by Laurent Feneyrou (musicologist) and Xavier Le Roy (choreographer and performer) examining the question of instrumental gesture with the music of Helmut Lachenmann; an article by composer Pierre Jodlowski on gesture as a source of multidisciplinary composition (especially in regards to his collaboration with Emmanuelle Huynh, of which a preliminary version was presented at Agora); and contributions from IRCAM scientists on motion capture in music and dance, and on the notion of spatial cognition, reconfigured by new sound spatialization technologies and contemporary sound installation practices.
Transmission: Knowledge and Know-How, from the Research Lab to the Music Lesson
In this issue, a new section on the diffusion of musical knowledge deals with the scientific and educational basics of new IRCAM software programs created in collaboration with the French state educational system (for middle and high schools) and the French Ministry of Culture (for conservatories).
For the programs, the goal is to start with a listening experience that includes a vast musical repertoire and to then be able to interact in real-time with the musical structures used by the composers, both in the area of audio (sound manipulation) and of symbols (note manipulation), highlighting several bridges between the two. Three tools will be presented in the review: ML-Maquette, which allows users to construct and deconstruct musical structures by working with the notes; ML-Audio, dedicated to real-time interaction (sound recording, sonogram, specter modification using MIDI and video interfaces); and ML-Annotation, which allows the user to annotate scores (or other musical representations) electronically and to read data coming from the two aforementioned environments.