Chants contre champs
10/09/2005 - Royaumont (France), Festival Voix Nouvelles, Abbaye - Ensemble Contrechamps
This trio unites an English horn, a contrabass clarinet and a trombone. The project consisted of working with harmonic fields made from single octave scales, as well as exploring the timbral possibilities created by singing, meaning the resonance of the voice within the instrument itself. We thus find ourselves confronted by a "six voice" trio. It is very easy to sing unisons and to displace the voice slightly to create beating of different speeds. It is also relatively easy to sing a fifth doubled above the fundamental being played because, this being part of the natural harmonic series and being the first differentiated interval, reinforces strong relationships of acoustic resonance with the fundamental.
This piece is not at all spectral - it simply uses certain properties belonging to the natural resonance of a sounding body. A low instrument, like the contrabass clarinet, is rich in partials, and some of these partials can be heard easily and thus sung by the instrumentalist. The mix between the voice and the sound of the instrument produces a vast range of timbres each more interesting than the next. Singing into a wind instrument has always existed and is found in numerous sorts of traditional music.