2[pic.2] 0 1 0 — 2 3 [1/pic.2.3] 3 2 — 5perc — pf — doublebass
In three continuous sections / en trois mouvements enchaînés
Commissioned by Vancouver New Music
BRASIER est une commande du VANCOUVER NEW MUSIC et a été composée grâce à l’aide généreuse du Conseil des Arts du Canada.
San Francisco, automne 2001
Oeuvre déposée au CMC Québec
For me each piece starts with the instrumentation: what can these instruments do together, what is their inherent qualities, how can I bring out the most eloquent and compelling sounds out of those instruments. Having three woodwinds, ten brass, five percussions with a piano and a contrabass, this was an exciting project with great potential for power, density and expressiveness.
The word "brasier" in French stands for combustion, violent fire or passion, fired up, being consumed. Divided in three continuous sections expressing three states of mind or psychological perspectives as metaphorical material for the work: to witness from afar, to be consumed and to remember.
These sections are defined by strict parameters controlling the orchestral palette. Part one, for percussion only is characterized by constant activity, metal and white flares, thundering crashes and virtuosi ''timbales" solo. In the middle part, the tutti appears at once. All activity is organized in blocks with layers upon layers, appearing and overlapping each other. Within a very defined language (tessitura, contour of phrasing, number of notes, rests etc), the instrumental groups create a mass of energetic sounds, a density of organized chaos. The closing section is a subtle variation on the harmonic and rhythmic material of the previous sections as if in a mirage.
Many thanks to composer Ronald Bruce Smith for his tremendous help while using Max-MSP to produce some of the material for the piece.
Vancouver New Music commissioned this work with the help of a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts.
It was composed in San Francisco during the fall 2001.