IRCAM Forum in Montreal: Music meeting science

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This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)

Scientific research and musical creativity will be honored at the next IRCAM Forum Hors les murs, which will be held for the first time in its history in Canada in April. Researchers, composers, performers and music lovers are invited to a series of workshops and concerts that take place in Montreal around the themes of spatialization, orchestration and perception. The forum is organized in partnership with Le Vivier, CIRMMT, the Society for Arts and Technology (SAT), McGill University and the Université de Montréal and will take place in various venues around the city. A veritable high mass of new music, the event constitutes a space for exchange and reflection for those involved in the field, in addition to offering the public a showcase on the current challenges of research and creativity in music.

Founded in Paris in 1977 by the conductor and composer Pierre Boulez, the Institute for Research and Acoustic/Music Coordination (IRCAM) is one of the main world centres of scientific research focused on creativity, research, dissemination and transmission in new music. The institute brings together specialists from various fields of study, as well as professionals from sectors as varied as music, video games, computers, film, sound design and the performing arts, placing interdisciplinarity at the heart of its activities. The Hors les murs forums adopt the same formula and bring together each year in a designated city a community of researchers and creators in order to present new technologies, the result of research work and original compositions.

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This year, the forum will be launched in music on April 2 at the Salle Claude-Champagne with a free concert by the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne (NEM) and students from the UdeM Contemporary Music Ensemble under the direction of Lorraine Vaillancourt. The public will be able to hear d(Tourner) by Philippe Leroux, Récifs by Serge Arcuri and Gone by Jérôme Combier. The next day, the forum will move to the Gesù amphitheater for Rex (Voix) presented in collaboration with Le Vivier. The Paramirabo Ensemble and the singer Vincent Ranallo will perform, under the direction of Guillaume Bourgogne, another work by Leroux, Voix (Rex). Composed at IRCAM, this masterpiece for six instruments, electronics and soprano processing will be rearranged for baritone on this occasion. The Phonograph by Zosha Di Castri will also be presented, as well as Alone and unalone by rising star James O’Callaghan, this work having been the subject of a recent recording with the Paramirabo Ensemble.

On April 4, it will be the turn of the McGill Contemporary Music Ensemble to present, in collaboration with CIRMMT, a concert under the direction of its conductor and artistic director, Guillaume Bourgogne. On the program, a work by composer Jean-Luc Hervé based on the development of vegetable seeds (Germination), as well as Namenlosen by Sasha J. Blondeau and It is nothing but water slipping through my fingers by Jonas Regnier. Two concerts will be presented on April 5 for the closing of the forum. The first takes place in the afternoon in the Wirth Opera Studio of the Schulich School of Music and will stage two guest performers (Alexandra Tibbitts and Gearóid Ó hAllmhuráin) who will present works by five composers for solo instruments and electronic processing. A second concert in the evening, organized in partnership with Le Vivier, this time in the Gesù amphitheater, will see the percussion ensemble Sixtrum perform four creations that promise to offer listeners a highly immersive experience. The aquatic games of composer Tan Dun in Water Music constitute a fascinating exploration of the timbral possibilities offered by water. Fishbone by composer Ondřej Adámek is inspired by the tragic fate of a fish in the ocean, the history of which is illustrated through timbre research with striking contrasts. The composer Carmine Emanuele Cella will also present his creation Inside-out, for which musicians will use his own instruments, called xulons. Originally designed for his piece Kore, these augmented instruments modify the sound produced in real time according to the performer’s actions. Sixtrum musicians will end the evening with East 11th St. NY 10003 – Nine Rivers 1 for six percussionists by composer James Dillon.

If the musical programming of the IRCAM Forum Hors les murs allows participants to experience music in concert, the series of conferences organized from April 3 to 5, for its part, lifts the veil on the musical universe of creators. Hosted by forum members, IRCAM composers and researchers from SAT, the Université de Montréal and McGill University, these workshops and demonstrations also offer the public a rare window into the world of creation, allowing us to grasp the artistic approaches of composers and to study their composition tools. Invited as part of the prestigious CIRMMT conferences, the composer, mathematician and Berkeley professor Carmine Emanuele Cella will give a presentation on April 5 at the Schulich School of Music entitled “Can Picasso think in shapes?” The eminent researcher will present the fruit of his work on the creation of a new typology of sounds based on a geometric model and its musical applications, including extended orchestration and augmented instruments.

The IRCAM Forum will be held in Montreal from April 2 to 5, 2020.

This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)


About Author

Arnaud G. Veydarier est actuellement étudiant en musicologie à l’Université de Montréal et nourrit un intérêt prononcé pour le jazz, la musique contemporaine et les liens entre musique et développement urbain. Il est pigiste pour La Scena Musicale depuis septembre 2017.

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