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Prix 1987 - 2007

ORF Oberösterreich

... et ainsi de suite ...
Jonty Harrison

In the composition "... et ainsi de suite ..." by Jonty Harrison a wide variety of sounds are produced from one single sound source.

I had wanted for some time to compose a "French suite", rather in the manner of the "musique concrète" tradition. Sounds from some rough textured wine glasses which had been transforme in the Studio Numérique of the Groupe de Recheres Musicale, using predominantly time-dominant manipulation (ETIR), brassage (BRAGE and BRAGGE) and programs, provided a promising starting point. These individual sounds were onwardly transformed in the Electroacoustic Music Studios of the University of Birmingham using a variety of digital signal processors (Publison, Yamaka, AKG), combined with a number of other sound sources, further transformed, recombined ... and so on. p I ventured into this pool of material from time to time in order to compose short, but essentially self-contained movements. The reassembling of new, specific musical utterances from the same source matertia1 led to the idea that, by analogy, complete movements (which would inevitably contain a plethora of cross-references) could be assembled in various ways to create pieces of different lengths and pacings for different occasions, spaces ... and so on.

Over a dozen movements have been composed to date. Their different functions are characterised, to continue the link with the 'musique concréte' suite, by French titles: "à propos" and "résumé" are, respectively, expository and recapitulatory statements of the basic array of sound-types found in the work, and the longest and most elaborate musical movements are designated "commentaire"; the first version of the work (Version Bourges 1990) contained only these movement categories. From 1991, with access to a Sound Tools system, I was able to achieve the seamless continuity of material needed for the family of gentler, more reflective and static movements which offset them. These interspersed movements are grouped under the general heading of 'parenthèse', though some carry additional, descriptive titles such as "réflexion", "resonance" and "souffle d'insectes". The Birmingham Version 1992 has eleven movements, whosedurations range from 40 seconds to nearly 4 minutes.

A characteristic of this version is the overlapping of movements (movements 6 to9 form a continuous whole, as do the final two movements), emphasising the more dramatic potential of the material overall, however, the work is not a vehicle for a dynamic or dramatic musical argument; I am more concerned to create a network of connections within a sound world more conducive to dalliance than discourse.