bowl and processing

Commission: Productions Totem contemporain

Premiere: February 20, 2009, Jean-François Laporte, bowl • Montréal / Nouvelles Musiques 2009, Totem électrique: Les totems électriques, Studio multimédia — Conservatoire de musique de Montréal, Montréal (Québec)

When a composer is writing for a specific musician and his or her instrument, it is always a strange mixture of relationships. The composer has probably written for the instrument before (or can at least study other composers who have) so even if the musician is the one who knows the instrument most intimately, the composer can still come with his or her own ideas from the outside. In that way all three parts have different kinds of relationships. But when writing for Jean-Franços Laporte and his own constructions, it is something more then that he just knows this specific instrument well. It’s not just a relationship as a musician can have with his or her instrument — like with a brother/sister/husband/wife — it’s actually his own children. So as the outside composer, you can never come as close to the instruments as he has done. That being said — for me personally the two pieces I have been writing for Laporte instruments has been two of the most interesting experiences I’ve had as a composer. The first one was the piece “Residues” for Laporte-instruments and symphony orchestra, that was premiered by the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra in 2006 and later released on cd. This second piece “Close Encounter” is for one Laporte-Bol and live electronics. Where I tried in the orchestra piece to blend the orchestra and the Laporte instruments in a more global way, I have here tried to go deeper into the soundworld of one instrument and expand it through close microphones and real time treatments in the computer. But the title “Close Encounter” also refers to the experience of writing a piece for a great artist and his own child.