28th October 2016
Contemporary Art Centre (CAC) | Vilnius | Lithuania
GAIDA festival is open to music and innovative art of all different traditions and all geographical sources. The festival reflects and presents a broad sweep of the latest creative processes and newest musical tendencies in Europe and the world.
GAIDA introduces Vilnius audiences to the finest achievements of world contemporary music, the most famous musicians are invited to the festival and the most impressive works are performed.
Matthias Leboucher | Underwards II
Simon Steen-Andersen | AMID
Michael Gordon | acdc | For Madeline
Gérard Grisey | Vortex Temporum I, II, III
Volume I, à Gérard Zinsstag
Volume II, à Salvatore Sciarrino
Volume III, à Helmut Lachenmann
Matthias Leboucher (b. 1985) began playing the piano at the age of 5. In 2011 he obtained his Bachelor’s degree at the Pôle Supérieur Paris-Boulogne-Billancourt (PSPBB) with Marie-PauleSiruguet. In 2010 he was awarded the Mention-Spéciale Maurice Ohana from the Orléans International Piano Competition. After studying harmony, analysis, and orchestration under Alain Louvier, in 2013 he obtained his Bachelor of composition at the PSPBB under Jean-Luc Hervé, and benefits from the teaching of Yan Maresz and Denis Dufour in electro-acoustic music. Since 2013, he is a Master student in Mozarteum University of Salzburg, studying with Tristan Murail and Achim Bornhöft.
In 2012 together with Arthur Pierre he created the Butcher&Stone band. In 2014 together with Josef Ramsauer he established the new music ensemble NAMES, which has already performed in Austria, Germany, Italy, South Korea and Lithuania. As an improviser and a jazz musician, Leboucher performs with different bands from duo to big-band. In Salzburg, he is regularly playing with the classical and jazz violinist Florian Willeitner, and creates his own bands and projects. His works are premiered and performed by several soloists and ensembles, such as Court-Circuit, Acouphène, Interface and Synaesthesis in France, Austria, Germany, Lithuania and China.
Underwards II (2016, premiere). The title is a combination of two English terms. In my idea, those prefix and suffix together are drawing a movement of going backward, in the direction of an unknown and hidden “under”. A satyr of how I see the world today, when I look at it through the eyes of medias. The structure of the piece is following this idea: the music is regularly coming back some steps on itself before being able to go on.
Firstly, the piece was written for an ensemble of Chinese traditional instruments and performed in Shanghai in September 2016. This new version with tape is written for and dedicated to Synaesthesis Ensemble.
Simon Steen-Andersen (b. 1976) belongs to the youngest generation of Danish composers, however, he has already left his mark both on the Danish scene and abroad. Steen-Andersen is one of the most innovative composers and states that he is “trying to approach the human behind the instrument, because then music can be about everything that is most important: communication, being, fragility and intimacy.” Despite his young age, he has lived and studied in such diverse places as Aarhus, Paris, Freiburg, Buenos Aires, Copenhagen and Rome.
Steen-Andersen has been granted a one-year residency under the DAAD program in Berlin (2010). His oeuvre primarily encompasses works for small constellations, but also includes works for larger ensembles, orchestras, electronics and various multi-media setups.
The composer first drew attention in 2000, when he won a national composer competition with his String Quartet. The latter presented a gestic and extrovert universe, and since then his music moved in the direction of extremely hushed nuances, which at the same time maintain the colourfully complex and energetic virtuoso expression.
Amid (2004). The movement of sound/the sound of movement; condition for the essential/essence of the condition; object as space? Music of the up-bow and inhalation.
Michael Gordon (b. 1956), a New York-based composer and co-founder of the Bang on a Can Festival, was born in Florida and grew up in an Eastern European community near Managua, Nicaragua. He studied composition with Edward Troupin at the University of Florida and with Martin Bresnick at Yale. His music is an outgrowth of this formal compositional training and experience with underground rock groups in New York City. Audiences literally erupted after recent performances by the Ensemble Modern Orchestra of Gordon’s Sunshine of Your Love. His opera Chaos, a science fiction spectacle with a libretto by Matthew Maguire, premiered in New York to rave reviews and packed houses. Gordon’s early compositions demonstrate a deep exploration into the possibilities and nature of rhythm and what happens when rhythms are piled on top of each other, creating a glorious confusion. John Adams, who has conducted Gordon’s works, calls these raw and complicated sounds “irrational rhythms.” Recent pieces pursue even further the mysterious divide between consonance and dissonance. His CDs include Timber (2011), Van Gogh (2008), [purgatorio] POPOPERA (2008), Trance (2004), Light is Calling (2004), Decasia (2002), Weather (1999), Big Noise from Nicaragua (1994).
acdc (1996) is based on a simple, almost pop, chord progression that somehow found its way into 11/8, the basic time signature that runs throughout the whole piece. I layered oddly phrased melodies on top, with the cello playing a pizzacato bass groove.
acdc was commissioned by the Alternate Currents ensemble, which made me think about electricity. I’m not a scientist or engineer, so I was free to imagine that alternating currents were something like two different speeds or rhythms going on simultaneously.
For Madeline (2009). I spent most of 2009 going in and out of synagogues to say Kaddish, the Jewish prayer of mourning, for Madeline. Of course she wouldn’t have approved. She was a communist. Madeline lived in a different world, a world of transplanted Yiddish secular culture. I realized all of this only much later. There’s plenty of time to think about these things in synagogue because there are numerous prayers and who can concentrate on so many of them? Madeline loved music and she would take me to concerts when I was little. I would fall asleep but that didn’t deter her. She wanted me to love music as much as she did but she certainly did not want me to be a composer. Madeline, are you listening? I dedicate this piece to your memory.
Gerard Grisey’s (1946–1998) music is often considered to belong to the genre of spectral music, which he is credited with founding along with fellow composer Tristan Murail. He spent much of his career exploring the spectrum of tone colour between harmonic overtones and noise. In addition, he was fascinated by musical processes, which unfold slowly, and he made musical time a major element of many of his pieces. The French spectral music composer studied at several eminent French and German institutions, such as the Trossingen Conservatoire, the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique, l’Ecole Normale Superieure de Musique, the Paris Conservatory, IRCAM, and the Darmstadt Summer Courses. While working as a freelance composer, Grisey co-founded the ensemble L’Itineraire for the purpose of promoting and playing new music. Dérives, Périodes, and Partiels are considered his first pieces of spectral music.
Grisey completed Vortex Temporum I, II, III – his magnum opus for six musicians and a meditation on sound and time – in 1996. In Vortex Temporum, Grisey has turned time into something tangible by listening to how sound, as a physical phenomenon, behaves in space, much in the same way air may only be perceived when the wind chases leaves through it. A short motif of four notes – an arpeggio from Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé – snowballs from simplicity to complexity and back. Vortex Temporum draws its inspiration from the rhythmic loops of the American minimalists, the symbiotic harmony of French music, and the robust architectural approach of the German classical period.
From the programme notes, cap.ucla.edu