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ELOY, JEAN-CLAUDE - Etude IV

Format: CD
Label & Cat.Number: Hors Territoires HT-14
Release Year: 2012
Note: first in a row of new release by this amazing French composer, contains: ETUDE IV - electronic piece from 1979 created on the UPIC (early graphic interface to create sound & compose), which was a unique tool at that time; OF A FORGOTTEN STAR (1986) - unrealized part of "Anahata" ,using metal percussion instruments; THE GREAT WAVE (1991) - piece using vocal material as a homage to Hokusai, produced at the WDR in Germany; comes with 28p. full colour booklet
Price (incl. 19% VAT): €18.00


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" 'Etude IV: points-lines-landscapes' (1979). This work is designed as an all-electronic piece without considering any configuration with soloist parts for later use (unlike the two following pieces featured on this CD). It was realized by Jean-Claude Eloy in 1979 on the CEMAMu's UPIC upon Iannis Xenakis's invitation to whom this work is dedicated as a friend. The UPIC (Unit Polyagogique Informatique du CEMAMu) is an electronic tool invented by Iannis Xenakis in the 1970s. It is a graphic interface designed to create sound and compose music, whose first version featured a big drawing board (a sort of architect desk) equipped with a ballpoint electromagnetic pencil, surrounded by a computer (mini-computer solar 16/55 ESMS - memory of 32 K) and a monitor. All kinds of forms could thus be drawn with the electronic pencil based on time parameters (moving from left to right) and frequency spaces (from bottom to top, from the lowest to the highest register). Before each drawing (or for every line or arch - from an architectural point of view) the appropriate banks would be successively selected with the electromagnetic pencil: a waveform bank, an envelope bank, which could also be drawn and stored in advance. Piling up such arches you could obtained more or less complex drawings filling a page that could be calculated by the computer upon completion. Today, such operations are widely used by every computer (including consumer computer) whiz. However, in 1979 (when this work was produced) such opportunities were unique and, as Eloy said ... were like a miracle for the instrumental and orchestral composer that I mostly was.
'Of a Forgotten Star' (1986), electro-acoustic part alone from Sappho hiketis. Originally, this work was part of Anhata but did not end up in its final production. It was later used as a supporting structure for the Sappho hiketis piece with the solo vocal parts especially written for Fatima Miranda and Yumi Nara. During the electro-acoustic production of Anhata this mixing was entitled Indian-Plates. The basic material is exclusively made of prerecorded sounds from metal percussion instruments (sampled in 1984 in the early stage of the production of Anhata with Michael W. Ranta, Asian Sound, Cologne).
'The Great Wave' (1991) (a tribute to Hokusai), electro-acoustic part alone from She (from the Gaia-Songs cycle). This work was originally realized to fit into Erkos but was not used in the final production. It was later integrated into the Gaia-Songs cycle for the fourth piece: She (The consecrating mother) based on Anne Sexton's poem (integral part of Two American Women) serving as a backbone for a written piece completed in keeping with the sung-spoken voice technique (Sprechgesang). During the production of Erkos this terminal mixing was entitled Biwa-Tutti because of the various Biwa sounds and glissandi that were stacked and sampled at the studio by Junko Ueda, solo performer for Erkos. This work was completed in 1990-91 at the WDR (Westdeutscher Rundfunk) Electronic Studio of Cologne." [label info]

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"... The next one opens up with 'Etude IV', but it's an all electronic piece of music, using the tool invented by Iannis Xenakis, Upic, 'a graphic interface designed to create sound and compose music, who first version (1979) featured a big drawing board equipped with a ballpoint electromagnetic pencil, surrounded by a computer', which had a memory of 32K (the plain text version of this week's Vital is bigger!). The drawings were set to music using all sorts of parameters, using various banks of sound (the whole explanation would be too long too!). Now, this, me thinks, is a great work of electronic music, very dynamic, flowing about, in the best tradition of the 60s electronic music, although this is from 1979 too. A strong, evocative piece, very visual indeed, with lots of moving about. ' D'Etoile Oubliee' is perhaps more like the Eloy I already know. Slowly enveloping drone like sounds and heavily processed metal percussion flying in and out of the mix. 'La Grande Vague' is also an
electro-acoustic work, originally intended for 'Erkos', but not used in the end. I believe the input here is all to do with voices, but it's so strongly modified and changed that this can hardly be heard. It's however hardly a left over piece, I should think, as it's multi-layered sounds, with carefully placed glissandi work in a very dense way, but it sounds great." [FdW/Vital Weekly]