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StreicherKreis for «augmented» string quartet and electroacoustic live (2007-2008), 25mn;

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Date : 2007 – 2008

Duration : 25 minutes

Commission : l’Ircam-Centre Pompidou

Editor : Editions Jobert

Nomenclature : "augmented" string quartet and electroacoustic live

Dédicated :
à mes amis musiciens, Serge Lemouton, Frédéric Bevilacqua, le Quatuor Danel et Nicolas Donin.
À Nicole, ma mère

Premiere by Quatuor Danel. The 13 november 2008, espace de projection, Ircam
- recherche et partie informatique de l'œuvre réalisée dans les studios de l'Ircam-Centre Pompidou
- réalisateur en informatique musicale Ircam : Serge Lemouton
- outils d'analyse et de reconnaissance du geste : Frédéric Bevilacqua
- système de captation du geste : Nicolas Leroy, Matthias Demoucron, Emmanuel Fléty

Notice :
This piece, commissioned by IRCAM, was realized in the studios of the Institute in collaboration with Serge Lemouton for computer music realisation, Frédéric Bevilacqua for analytical tools and gesture recognition and Emmanuel Fléty, Nicolas Leroy and Matthias Demoucron for motion capture system. This is the world premiere of the work.

If I had to literally translate in english the title I have given this quartet, I would write "The Circle of those who play instruments with strings bowed." For this reason, my intention is to highlight the chamber music aspect of this work written for string instruments whose resonance is set by the friction of the bow.

The musical form of this quartet follows the itinerary of a spiral that winds towards the center of the larger circle to the circle tighter and overlapping three sound cycles. This formal structure allows me to create common areas between cycles, is meant as memory echoes of the previous cycle or premises in resonance coming cycle. Game ambiguities and metamorphoses of the musical material, however favors the coherence of the work by the exercise of memory and perception of the listener.

This quartet is the culmination of a long period of research at IRCAM which focused on the concept of instrumental gesture. This concept of gesture is actually plural in StreicherKreis. It ranges from the analysis of the gesture as playing techniques, to collective musical gesture or even the compositional gesture. During the course of the spiral, this musical concept evolves from a successive enunciation of constituent micro-gestures of playing techniques, at a more global action requiring the participation of four musicians.

The instrumentalist is the interpreter of the musical text ; it strikes me as important that he also be allowed to be an interpreter/actor in the transformations of his own sound by the electronics, that he also be allowed to play the electronic part that we hear in the speakers.

For the string quartet, I wanted a greater degree of freedom in the "gestural composition" of the piece, along with a computerized system of gestural following capable of tracking the performers in real time, in order to create new modes of communication and interaction based on instrumental gestures. ( The bows are equipped with a sensor that weighs only a few grams, and the players can pick up these dedicated bows just before playing StreicherKreis, turn on the sensors with a small switch, then begin the piece. )

We developed a tracking and gesture recognition device allowing in an accurate and musical way, synchronization between instrumental score and electroacoustic score. This will be a first. In the area of interaction between acoustic instruments and live electronics, StreicherKreis certainly opens a new page of music.

I want to thank all the IRCAM team, who throughout this work, always supported me. The implementation means of this piece required a dual approach involving research and creation. I found particularly interesting and rich exchanges evolution of this unique and ambitious process that has settled over two years, combining the beginning to the end of the process all the players concerned by the work: researchers, director computer musical, engineers, musicologist and four interpreters Danel Quartet.

Florence Baschet