vendredi 23 juillet 2010

C'est la première fois qu'un invité intervient en tant que compositeur sur Peur Bleue. Je me souviens avoir découvert Alfred Brown par le morceau "SphericalType GasHolder" à forte inspiration musique concrète. Intrigué j'ai cherché à acheter ses titres, mais sans succès. Par conséquent, j'ai décidé de lui envoyer directement un mail pour lui demander comment se procurer sa musique, et c'est là que nos échanges ont commencé. J'ai été fasciné par la volupté lancinante du morceau "Ichoate" qu'il a composé notamment pour l'Electric Baritone Kalimba, instrument qu'il a lui-même conçu. Muni d'un bagage musical très solide, Alfred possède une qualité rare pour un compositeur actuel de musique contemporaine : l'audace. Je suis extrêmement reconnaissant qu'il est accepté d'écrire sur lui et ses influences. Alfred Brown, un futur très grand:

This is the first time that a guest appears as a composer on Peur Bleue. I remember that I discovered Alfred Brown by his track "SphericalType GasHolder", broadly impregnated by the concrete music. I was intrigued so I looked for a way to buy his tracks, but it was unsuccessful. Hence, I have decided to send him directly a mail in order to ask him how could I get his music. By this way, our connection started. I have been fascinated by the throbbing sensuality of"Ichoate", composed for the Electric Baritone Kalimba, instrument that he designed himself. Fitted by a strong musical background, Alfred is a composer who has a rare quality for a current composer of contemporary music : the dare. I am extremely grateful that he accepted to write on himself and his influences. Alfred Brown, a future great one:

I write very texturally; focusing mostly on using different timbres to build an aesthetic, and then moving on to other musical conventions from there. I’ll experiment digitally for sounds and when I find something I like I’ll work with it. Usually pieces will start from one or two timbrel ideas with the other elements being based on those.

I make nonperformable recordings that come out of the Musique concrete tradition in that they are acousmatic, but that place less of an emphasis on literal environmental sounds and more of an emphasis on combining layers of abstracted sounds (sometimes sampled environmental sounds) with simple melodies and chord progressions played on musical instruments. I think of these recordings much in the same way as Henri Matisse making his paper cutouts. He describes working in this medium as drawing directly in color or cutting into color. That’s what I do with sound. It feels very much like sculpture.
If a piece is to become something for a live performance application I’ll likely try to achieve timbres as much as I can with traditional acoustic instruments primarily because this makes me feel more connected with the composers that I hold in high regard, the composers that achieved amazingly complex and fragile sounds without using electronics such as Anton Webern, György Ligeti, and Arvo Pärt. Also, on a practical level, using more common instruments makes it that much more likely that the piece will actually get to be performed at some point. Mostly, though, I am interested in combining these instruments with electronic sounds and electric instruments in a live setting via amplification in the same way that a contemporary Rock & Roll performance uses amplification to blend electric / electronic instruments (Electric Guitar, Synthesizer) with acoustic instruments (Drums, Acoustic Guitar, Voices). This treats the live performance setting very much like the recording environment in that it allows for detailed manipulation of the sound by way of electric processing and makes possible a more agreeable, more natural (ironically) blending of two sometimes-incongruent tonalities.
- Arvo Pärt - Fratres for Violin, String and Percussion (performed by I Fiamminghi & Rudolf Werthen)(Album "Arvo Pärt: Fratres", 1995)
- Anton Webern - 5 Pieces for Orchestra, Op. 10: I. Sehr ruhig und zart (performed by Ensemble InterContemporain & Pierre Boulez)(Album "Boulez conducts Webern", 1995)
- Anton Webern - 5 Pieces for Orchestra, Op. 10: III. Sehr langsam und äußerst ruhig (performed by Ensemble InterContemporain & Pierre Boulez) (Album "Boulez conducts Webern", 1995)

Lately, I have taken cues from Futurist music theorist Luigi Russolo and have begun inventing and building new instruments. One such instrument (heard in this featured piece Inchoate) is an electric guitar with metal tines instead of strings that are plucked with the fingers and/or struck with a metal beater. It is essentially an electrified, solid-body Kalimba with the signal run through stereo multi-delay + reverb to create a more immersive sound and to make the overtones of each tine more obvious. Other instrumentation for this piece includes Electric Guitar, Suspended Cymbals, Concert Bass Drum, Floor Tom Drum, French Horn, Baritone Horn, and Tuba. It will be part of a larger collection due to be released in 2011 on Asthmatic Kitty records.

Alfred Brown, a composer and audio engineer living and working in Buffalo, NY, USA.
His myspace
His blog

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