new to stock as of
june 22nd, 2009
|ina-grm (france) #ina c 2027 cd|
bernard parmegiani “plain temps” compact disc
- le présent composé (23:50) 1991
- entre-temps (22:29) 1992
- plain temps (24:29) 1993
|october 2006 release ; a single, three-part early 90s suite by bernard parmegiani, centered around his perception of events in time/space ...|
while the quieter bits of the last “movement”echo the “ambient” electronic music of the decade in an eerily prescient manner (listen to the sound-sample) & the density / complexity of sound-arrangement on offer here is classic parmegiani, the pieces are somewhat bogged down with tell-tale early 90s granular & digital resonance timbres that haven’t exactly aged well (unlike the timeless coupigny modular bleep that dots his 70s work) ...
but then again, complaining about lesser parmegiani work is akin to criticizing the westvleteren 8 ; it’s still entirely remarkable and worthy of your full attention / investigation ...
|le présent composé|
1991 - version 2006
this piece is the first of the suite entitled plain temps
|a title that could applied to a good many works. here i shall be more radical : the present mentionned on the title is, in fact, the instant. that instant which bachelard describes as being the only reality of time, and which, in large numbers, forms the duration, a duration that we make intimately our own by the way we experience it, compose it. « i » compose the instant, the instant composes me. things we do automatically or deliberately, the aim of which is the inflect the instant towards a composed continuity. death and resurrection of the instant ! intertwining of actions and reactions. another aspect of this instant/present that of the daily reality of sound. |
from familiar sounds to the most anonymous, those we make or are subjected to, we are a place of resonance for both sorts. we should like this resonance to continue indifinitely. we would ask time to stop its advance, to immobilise the future, as vladimir jankelevitch would say, the bathe in this illusory situation in which time is « frozen ». frozen time consumes time but we must go on. on the other hand, the ephemeral, the flesh of the present, the kernel of the instant. its strength lies in its brevity. like a spike, it unconsciously makes its way inside us, and at the same time revealing to us, large underground expanses, from which, the past burst forth, a paradoxical echo of the present.
second part of the plain-temps series
|the gradual slowing down of the tick-tock sound of a pendulum with which this piece opens provides us with not only the most symbolic but also the most illusory image of the passing of time. this is followed by a constantly changing continuum, apparently homogenous and harmonious yet ultimately fragile. in the ever wider intervals that open up between these carefully-timed happenings, soundscapes appear. these resemble certain image-memories of everyday events, some close, some distant. these images are often somewhat misty, like the ones our memory throws up when we grow weary of an immediate reality that holds no interest for us and from which we are trying to escape. |
in contrast, the playing in the second movement of a body of sound that is constantly bouncing back and forth fastens itself to what is immediate, in spite of the silences that separate the stylistic devices and the trajectories. these constant variations no longer allow us the chance to escape from the development that is «already underway». expectation attends every silence and the times in-between seem to dissolve.
a counterpoint is then introduced to vary this game, a kind of distraction created by bodies of sound cast adrift.
harmonic meanderings, their movements distended and slow, momentarily shift away from their context before reintegrating themselves in the form of a rhythmic counterpoint, propelled towards a space beyond time. these happenings (more familiar when their meaning, if they turn out to have one, goes beyond the purely musical), i would call sound-symbols. the combined game, where those elements that have been introduced up until now are melded, where tiny moments blend together in an attempt to conjugate themselves ... now constitute those in-between times that are ultimately - and all the more - determinant in the uninterrupted, irreducible and irreversible unfolding of time.
this work was awarded the "golden nica", price ars electronica, 1993
1993 - version 2006
plain temps ..... plenitude?
plenitude ..... pleine étude?
|this work is the third section of a trilogy in which i sought to show how my sounds, which have become living beings over the years, are now linked to my perception of the times of my life - present, past as well as the times to come. |
i first spent time, then, gathering the noises that punctuate my working day as a composer. taking moments from everyday life, i thus drew on the audial symbols of a familiar ritual and used them in my compositions with the sole aim of prolonging their immediacy.
then «in the meantime» i opened sound brackets which, being outside the present, feel like memories that are beyond any time frame. they surge up from the regular impulses that mark out the length of the notes by from time to time playing with the first sound that happens to be made: the sound, for example, of a teasing ball as it returns in a series of bounces.
in retrospect, i noticed that the first two sections constitute a sort of intimate sound diary made up of living sound beings mine - as i would have wanted them to have been perceived at that time. but, with the passing of time, it strikes me that some of them could have been a rough draft for other forms. in fact, it was a time when the real interest in the play of sounds resided in its topicality. certain sounds, already heard in the two previous pieces, reappear but their development is halted, «paused» in the same way as an image is paused on the cinema screen. it is as if they have been «frozen». and the fact that they are not developed tends to make the listener forget for a second that there is any uncertainty about how they might evolve. time passes, but the act of listening is fixed; by giving the illusion of abandoning what comes next, the act of listening seeks to extend time, to stretch it, so why not hold it back?
i experience this sense of plenitude when i listen to certain sounds that suddenly change my temporal perception - does this not stem from the energy that endows the often inert body of sound while in return, and on the rebound, adding to our own? the encounter is made exquisite. it is enough to savour this game which involves neither winners nor losers, but which instead allows each to share their field of action with the other. is this not another way of achieving plain temps?
plenitude - pleine ecoute. these sounds used to be, they are and they will be; for me they are what shapes the conjugation of sounds.