Luc Ferrari

Ear to the Earth:
Ports of Call 1

Produced by
Electronic Music Foundation

Ear to the Earth 2006
Ports of Call 1

Monday, October 9, 2006 at 8pm
Judson Church
55 Washington Square South

The title of the concert was meant to suggest the relationship between a place and the sounds that identify it. Jean-Claude Risset's music was based on the sounds of the sea near Marseilles, Cécile Le Prado presented the sounds of the European Atlantic coast from Holland to Spain, and Luc Ferrari, in a musical newspaper, conveyed his travels in the American west.

PROGRAM


Sud...............................................................................................................................Jean-Claude Risset
Le Triangle d'Incertitude.......................................................................................................Cécile Le Prado
Far West News...........................................................................................................................Luc Ferrari J

ABOUT THE MUSIC

Jean-Claude Risset: Sud
Composed in 1985, Sud is based on a small number of sound sequences recorded in the Calanques range near Marseilles, including the sounds of the sea, insects, and birds, and other sounds that were then combined electronically in various ways to merge them into abstractions, 'chimeras' as Risset put it. The composition is in three sections: the sea in the morning, a call - like a bell buoy animated by the sea, and the sea's profile becoming increasingly colored and changed until, at the end, one hears the splashing of the surf.

Cécile Le Prado:Le Triangle d'Incertitude
Based on recordings of the Atlantic coast of Europe from Holland to Spain, one hears the ocean, birds, voices, wind, all as if through a delicately shifting fog. As Michel Thion put it, "Imagine the coast seen from the Atlantic Ocean . . . Now close your eyes and slip into the universe of sound." Le Prado's work is panoramic in its scope, haunting in its moods, and exquisite in its tonal qualities.

Luc Ferrari: Far West News

In September 1998, Luc Ferrari with his wife Brunhilde travelled through the far west of the United States, documenting his trip in sound. This is the first of three episodes. The composer wrote:

"At the beginning, the idea was something like: a composer having had a bizarre life, filled with instrumental and electronic compositions, specialist in field recording, plans to wander randomly through the American southwest.

"The trip took place in September 1998.

"Day after day, the road opened, the dates of the recordings were noted, the places indicated from a rented car, day after day, audio recordings made, people encountered, life intertwined.

"On our return, and after listening to what we'd done, it became clear that the contour was in three parts, each constructed in the same way but with different events.

"What else can I say? This is not a report, nor a soundscape, nor an electronic work, nor a portrait, nor an example of documentary recording, nor a distortion of reality, nor an impressionist narration ... It's a composition. At first I thought it was a manifesto, but a manifesto that was soft and silly. I thought also that my 'radiophonic' compositions were a new way of writing biographies. Finally, I called it a sound poem about a real trip, thinking that poetry plays with reality like an accordion - as does composing in some cases, above all in the case of my composing, and more and more in my life as a game that perverts the truth.

"What more can be said? That the subtitle could be 'sound poem about life.'