Art of metal
28/01/2007 - Lyon (France), Chapelle de la Trinité - Ensemble Orchestral Contemporain, Dominique My (conductor)
Art of metal, for metal contrabass clarinet and an ensemble of 17 musicians, inaugurates a three piece cycle for this instrument, and is the result of a close collaboration with Alain Billard, clarinettist and soloist of the Ensemble intercontemporain.
The cycle's connecting thread, the driving idea, is a metaphorical approach to what metal brings to mind, this alloy often synonymous with strength, power, solidity, energy, brilliance, shine... The instrument itself is totally made of metal - Selmer designed a special metal mouthpiece for the piece to replace what is usually made of ebonite. In addition to researching powerful metallic sonorities, the other important concern was the sound produced by the voice in the metal contrabass clarinet as well as in the various wind instruments that comprise the ensemble. This blend, this hybridisation, provokes acoustic perturbations and modifies the instrument's timbre considerably. The voice is used in either a singing or shouting manner. These shrieks, produced simultaneously with split sounds, augment the sound's distortion and saturation, timbres seem to burst, to explode, creating violent energy. These playing techniques call for precise control from performers and an intense physical engagement in the sound that will have obvious consequences on the perception of the musical discourse.
Art of metal is dedicated to Alain Billard.
1 CD Kairos (KAI0013262)
Yann Robin: Vulcano - Art of Metal I - Art of Metal III
Alain Billard (metal contrabass clarinet)
Susanna Mälkki (conductor)