Author Topic: Gérard Grisey (1946-1998)  (Read 20397 times)

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Offline snyprrr

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Re: Gérard Grisey (1946-1998)
« Reply #20 on: July 02, 2009, 12:41:42 PM »
Would you be willing to change the title of this thread to "The Spectral Thread?" If not, then I will feel compelled to start one. The "French Avant" thread I started got derailed, and I was going to start an "Electro-Acoustic" thread... but you can see that this entire topic is many sided... what can be done???
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greg

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Re: Gérard Grisey (1946-1998)
« Reply #21 on: July 03, 2009, 08:02:46 PM »
I have Saariaho's ...a la fumee/du cristal... and Nymphea on Ondine.

Nymphea is, so far, my favorite SQ w/ electronics. I have both the Kronos and Arditti, and they are somewhat different. I tend to prefer Kronos' grittier in-your-face version (though the recording is plush as can be, smoothing it out). The orchestral pieces again are pretty trippy.

The other Ondine disc with solo cello, solo voice, solo flute, and solo percussion, all with electronics... that I sold as soon as I got it: it did nothing for me. The one Ondine disc is all the Saariaho I'll ever need.

Do you mind if I find this statement humorous? ;D


I have to say, I think a la Fumee is a really attractive piece. There's one moment (pretty sure it's in that piece) where drums and harp come in, and it's pure magic.

I think it's easier to enjoy how a Saariaho piece feels, rather than its content- for example, Maa. The conception is brilliant- I can't think of another piece of music that starts out titled "Journey", and is some sort of recording of a jogger going through varies type of terrain. Also, L'Amour de Loin, NoaNoa, Verblundengen, etc. are some of my favorites, but generally, the music still applies to that rule- sensuous, imaginative, but harder to enjoy each note by itself (or maybe I haven't tried hard enough).

Sean

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Re: Gérard Grisey (1946-1998)
« Reply #22 on: July 04, 2009, 12:35:24 PM »
Not sure how to change the thread title...
 
By Saariaho I know Du crystal…a la fumee (alto flute, cello and orchestra) and the unaccompanied choral Nuits adieux and Over the sea. I persevere but am very sceptical about it all.

Offline snyprrr

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Re: Gérard Grisey (1946-1998)
« Reply #23 on: July 05, 2009, 11:55:12 AM »
Cool... so who do we have?

Does Scelsi get "Father of the Year" award, or did Grisey, Dufourt, and Murail have no knowledge of Scelsi until the late '80s?

Is Grisey's "Acoustic Spaces" "thee" spectral score? I recall a piece on Kronos' "Short Stories" by John Oswald called Spectres.

What about Radulescu and Dumitrescu?

G.F. Haas?
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Offline edward

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Re: Gérard Grisey (1946-1998)
« Reply #24 on: July 05, 2009, 12:20:36 PM »
Radulescu is generally considered one of the founders of the spectralist school, particularly in his works for "sound icons."

Haas has certainly proclaimed his closeness to the school in his writings (and works like in vain show this closeness), but I'm not sure if he regards himself as spectralist himself.

I would be surprised if the spectralists had heard mature Scelsi--it was all but unplayed until the 1980s, no?
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Offline CRCulver

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Re: Gérard Grisey (1946-1998)
« Reply #25 on: July 05, 2009, 02:11:49 PM »
Julian Anderson has called Per Norgard's 1968 work Voyage into the Golden Screen the first proper example of spectral composition, but Norgard quickly moved on to other concerns. Radulescu came not much later, but he was always a lone wolf. The community that grew up around the spectralist aesthetic was mainly involved with the music of Grisey, Levinas, Murail and Dufourt.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2009, 02:13:57 PM by CRCulver »

greg

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Re: Gérard Grisey (1946-1998)
« Reply #26 on: July 05, 2009, 08:25:23 PM »
Julian Anderson has called Per Norgard's 1968 work Voyage into the Golden Screen the first proper example of spectral composition
Hmmm.... that's kind of a weird idea. Infinity series is similar in conception, though...
I've also heard that Mayuzumi's Nirvana Symphony is the "first spectral work," which sounds more accurate to me given that it's supposed to be a study on bell sonorities. Still, though, given the fact that none of these two are really "spectral composers", it doesn't really feel right hearing this. It's almost like hearing that "Satie was the first minimalist"...

Offline CRCulver

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Re: Gérard Grisey (1946-1998)
« Reply #27 on: July 05, 2009, 11:11:37 PM »
Hmmm.... that's kind of a weird idea. Infinity series is similar in conception, though...

Anderson is refering to the first movement, where the musical material is two overtone series with fundamentals a quarter tone apart and the beats that arise between them, not to the second movement which is based on the infinity series.

Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: Gérard Grisey (1946-1998)
« Reply #28 on: July 06, 2009, 04:28:44 AM »
a plea for enlightenment

Can someone please inform me briefly just what is "spectralism" in music? I've heard this term bandied about for years, but really don't know what it refers to.
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greg

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Re: Gérard Grisey (1946-1998)
« Reply #29 on: July 06, 2009, 05:16:50 AM »
a plea for enlightenment

Can someone please inform me briefly just what is "spectralism" in music? I've heard this term bandied about for years, but really don't know what it refers to.
This will explain it better than I can:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spectralism



Here's a collection of articles about spectral music for anyone that's interested:
http://www.mediafire.com/?39nexm6dvqo

(it's some awesome reading)

karlhenning

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Re: Gérard Grisey (1946-1998)
« Reply #30 on: July 06, 2009, 07:55:04 AM »
Not sure how to change the thread title...

Go to your inaugural message; click the Edit link in the upper right corner.

Insert the cursor in the Subject text field, and edit at will.

Mash the Save button.

Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: Gérard Grisey (1946-1998)
« Reply #31 on: July 06, 2009, 07:58:55 AM »
This will explain it better than I can:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spectralism

From the Wiki link: Murail has described Spectral music as an attitude towards composition rather than a set of techniques, an aesthetic rather than style. This attitude being that "music is ultimately sound evolving in time"

Wow, "sound evolving in time." So in short - spectralism is exactly like every other form of music in the history of the world  :)
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karlhenning

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Re: Gérard Grisey (1946-1998)
« Reply #32 on: July 06, 2009, 08:03:42 AM »
From the Wiki link: Murail has described Spectral music as an attitude towards composition rather than a set of techniques, an aesthetic rather than style. This attitude being that "music is ultimately sound evolving in time"

Wow, "sound evolving in time." So in short - spectralism is exactly like every other form of music in the history of the world  :)

(* pounds the countertop *)

Sean

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Re: Gérard Grisey (1946-1998)
« Reply #33 on: July 06, 2009, 10:26:02 AM »
Okay Karl...

greg

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Re: Gérard Grisey (1946-1998)
« Reply #34 on: July 06, 2009, 02:33:15 PM »
Wow, "sound evolving in time." So in short - spectralism is exactly like every other form of music in the history of the world  :)
haha, not exactly  ;D
It's probably more easily understood simply by hearing the style, in the way that it's only possible to understand what makes "impressionism" by listening to the music. 

A few things that are uniquely spectral, which I have learned from reading those articles:
1- transcribing the sound in time of bells, gongs, water, etc., for traditional instruments- mainly, winds, strings, and brass, because they can use microtones (and typically, quarter-tones are as far as they go)
2- diagram sketches of the structure of a piece- well, i've only seen one, though I would be surprised if no one else did this. That piece is Saariaho's, and I'm pretty sure it's Verblundengen. It looks like a flame that fades out at the end, and you can hear it in the music.
3- the overall look of spectral music scores is extremely recognizable.

For example:

Murail's Desintegrations (an awesome piece, btw  8))

Offline Josquin des Prez

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Re: Gérard Grisey (1946-1998)
« Reply #35 on: July 06, 2009, 06:04:50 PM »
I think it's easier to enjoy how a Saariaho piece feels, rather than its content- for example, Maa.

Seems kinda redundant to me.

greg

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Re: Gérard Grisey (1946-1998)
« Reply #36 on: July 06, 2009, 06:09:15 PM »
Seems kinda redundant to me.
Well, to put it more simply, it's easy to understand the emotion she's getting at- the whole mystic, sensuous sound, but it can be more challenging (though likely more rewarding) if you focus on stuff like the individual lines (if you can call them "lines", given this type of music).

Offline Brewski

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Re: Gérard Grisey (1946-1998)
« Reply #37 on: November 19, 2010, 08:58:28 AM »
Bumping up this thread (and merging with a previous one) since tonight I'm hearing Grisey's Quatre chants pour franchir le seuil (1997-98), his final work, with Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic.  The soprano is Barbara Hannigan, who was terrific in last spring's production of Le Grand Macabre

I still can't quite believe that the New York Philharmonic is finally getting into spectral music--long overdue.

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« Last Edit: November 19, 2010, 10:24:24 AM by bhodges »
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Offline lescamil

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Re: Gérard Grisey (1946-1998)
« Reply #38 on: November 19, 2010, 10:12:06 AM »
I still can't quite believe that the New York Philharmonic is finally getting into spectral music--long overdue.

They have been doing post-spectral music for quite some time, what, with the likes of Magnus Lindberg as the composer in residence. However, you are right in that they haven't done "true" spectral music such as Grisey before.
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Offline petrarch

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Re: Gérard Grisey (1946-1998)
« Reply #39 on: January 09, 2011, 06:07:15 AM »
Since about a week ago I spent some time listening (and relistening) to Grisey's Le noir de l'étoile, Le temps et l'écume and Les chants de l'amour. Each one is quite rewarding in its own (different) way.

Le noir de l'étoile, for 6 percussionists located around the audience and live transmission of astronomical signals lasts a little under one hour. It is the meeting point between a dying star sending out its last signals, a giant radiotelescope picking them up, and six musicians being guided by them. It is a work essentially about rhythm and space. The score is organized according to the rotational speeds and timbres derived from the radio transmissions of a selection taken from the catalogue of known pulsars, distant stellar objects that are known for their very regular bursts of energy. The use of the percussion is quite organic and rather than being savage and wild it allows the ear to follow the ebb and flow of time (think Ionisation rather than Psappha), a recurrent concern of Grisey. On two occasions during the work, the sounds of the stars play unaccompanied through the set of loudspeakers, allowing the audience to experience the cosmic pulses exactly as received.

Le temps et l'écume, for 4 percussionists, 2 digital synthesizers and chamber orchestra lasts around 20 minutes. The piece bridges the "music of whales, that of humankind and that of insects". This is another piece that was inspired by astronomy when an astrophysicist friend of Grisey's explained gravitational waves as the foam of space-time. The piece, like the simile used by his friend, is like an ocean, which when viewed from a distance is perceived as a continuity; when we get closer, we realize that it is made of waves; and then, ever closer, we see that the summits of those waves have absolute discontinuities, giving rise precisely to the foam. The passage of time is fluid in this piece. At one end of the scale, we have the extended quiet opening; at the other lie pulsations, ruptures and durations, resulting in the "foam". The requisite "acoustic synthesis" so typical of spectral music can also be heard throughout.   

Les chants de l'amour, for 12 voices and magnetic tape is a work in 5 sections and lasts around 35 minutes. The material consists of phonetic material derived from words related to love, intoned by the singers in various forms and against the tape, which contains synthesized vocal sounds and speech sounds processed and filtered by computer. Sonically, the obvious reference is Stockhausen's Stimmung, although the similarities are only superficial and careful listening dismisses the comparison. Grisey was inspired by the strict structures found in Ockeghem and Dufay, the polyphonies of the pygmies of the forest of Lituri and, of course, the spectral and formant analysis of human speech--in fact, the form of the whole piece and the formant material are derived from the phrase I love you. The interplay of the real voices and the synthesized voices is very well done and certainly a very engaging aspect of the work.



//p
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