As with so much of Les Espaces Acoustiques, Transitoires makes sounds that are simultaneously ancient and modern: There are apocalyptic visions listen to the start of the fourth songThe Death of Humanity, to hear the world implode in a black hole of percussion writingreflective resignation and spectral stasis in these songs. Topics Music A guide to contemporary classical music. By atomising sounds in this way, he could structure large pieces of music and spans of time, such as Partielsthat were based on an intense process of listening to an individual sound, exploding the smallest of sonic phenomena, a single note, on to the largest possible scale. Show 25 25 50 All. Grisey himself spoke of the difference between the sort of super-slow time experienced by whales as opposed to the frenetic time-scale of insects. This article contains affiliate links, which means we may earn a small commission if a reader clicks through and makes a purchase.

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It was from this starting point that the French composer began to mine the depths of texture and harmony contained within individual sounds. In composing the piece Grisey undertook detailed analyses of sound spectra. These are the unique combinations of frequencies that manifest themselves as timbre, accounting for the distinction between, for example, a middle-C played on a piano and the same note played on a violin.

Whilst seemingly little more than a conjuring trick, this passage serves to reveal the wealth of subtle nuance hidden within a single sound. In this sense, Les espaces acoustiques reaches far beyond the superficialities of its compositional ingenuity: this piece opens up new modes of aural perception, exposing the beautiful multidimensionality constituting even the most mundane of sonic events. Les espaces acoustiques hovers uneasily between the consonant and the dissonant, the placid and the volatile.

Through his spectral analyses, Grisey uncovered the dramatic tensions at the centre of apparently stable sounds, drawing out the natural dissonances that lie buried within. As such, this music is at once sensuous and uncertain; the static mass of luminous colours and textures is undercut by a constant threat of rupture as Grisey proceeds to tear apart the very fabric of the soundscape.

Part scientific analysis, part mystical exploration of aural sensuality, Les espaces acoustiques simultaneously deconstructs conceptions of the nature of music whilst remaining firmly rooted in the physical, vibrational qualities of sound itself. Below is a recording of Les espaces acoustiques accompanied by a brief listening guide. Another recording can be found here via Spotify. Please note that this is a different recording so the timings below will no longer correspond exactly with the performance.

A sparse solo for viola, this movement hints at the timbral richness of the remainder of the piece as the instrument traverses a variety of sonorities. In the opening passage, the static, pulsating mass of sound occasionally threatens to erupt as the rasping trombone cuts through the soundscape. Listen out for the lilting series of arpeggios beginning at and the intense succession of chords from Scored for 18 instruments, this movement explores a wide variety of textures; particularly striking is the throbbing cloud of sound at , gradually changing in colouration and intensity as different instruments enter and leave.

From to , high strings and pitched percussion cloak the music in a shimmering metallic gauze. The penultimate movement acts as the culmination of the piece, traversing a kaleidoscopic array of luminous textures. In a magical passage, the delicate, fragmentary strings which emerge from the gloom at are joined by distant muted brass at The movement forms an enigmatic conclusion to Les espaces acoustiques, the bleached colours of the orchestra punctuated by the jarring sonorities of the horns.

The fine performance above is conducted by Pierre-Andre Valade and available on the Accord record label.


A guide to Gérard Grisey's music

There are apocalyptic visions listen to the start of the fourth song , The Death of Humanity, to hear the world implode in a black hole of percussion writing , reflective resignation and spectral stasis in these songs. For Grisey, every single sound was a living, breathing entity; it was only logical that he should want to explore what happens at the end of the sonic life-cycle as well as the start. Yet the composer had already given the world visionary, inspirational and complete music. The essential idea is the creation of a new way of structuring the parameters of music by exploring the harmonic series, the overtones that are part of every musical note. If you analyse the complexity of the harmonic series of a single note played on a particular instrument — say a low E on a trombone — you find a teeming world of musical possibility.


Grisey - Partiels (1975)Grisey - Partiels (1975).pdf

Submit a new link. I think its good to think of an instrument always as a voice, not a computer program, if that makes sense. Show 25 25 50 All. Grisey himself spoke of the difference between the sort of super-slow time experienced by whales geisey opposed to the frenetic ecore of insects.




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