6 Caprices (2008-09) (Urbana 11)

For an instrument and electronic.

Commissioned by the IRCAM – Centre Georges Pompidou.

Caprices 1 & 2 for violin and live electronics.
Caprices 3 & 4 for bass clarinet and live electronics.
Caprices 5 & 6 for percussion and live electronics.

Caprice (noun). A purpose which lacks reason.

The idea about the caprices originated from a proposition of the deepening and investigation about synthesis through physical models, related to one instrument. At the beginning, this idea was close to the realization of a sketchbook. The virtuous character and the dreamy nature, the frequent and unforeseeable changes in the preparation led the composition towards this more adequate denomination of the facts: “caprices”.

These Caprices are doubly virtuosic. They suggest to the instrumentalist a fast piece, with fierceness (the odd caprices) and, by contrast, a slow piece, less virtuous and centered in the volubility and the timbre. 

With a duration of between four and five minutes each, these demonstrative pieces examine, each one in its own way, a specific aspect of the acoustic instrument and of the informatics. The musical situation is, however, of concertant nature: the soloist is surrounded and seconded (or contradicted) by a great number of virtual instruments.

The composition and investigation required around a year and a half of close collaboration with Ircam programmers and with Manuel Poletti (CMD Computer Music Designer) who provided an invaluable contribution to the design specific tools for the informatics part of the composition. 

These 6 pieces constitute a trio of “Diptychs”, each one dedicated to the instrumentalists for whom they were written: Laurent Korcia, Alain Billard and Florent Jodelet.

Once more, this mini cycle, is a piece of the puzzle of the Urbana cycle. In this general “net”, the sum of its parts is not the same as the whole. The necessary journey to reach the work, in its development, is vaster than the work itself.

The “6 Caprices” also respond, in a reduced way, to this proposition.


Caprice 1

Caprice 2

Caprices 1 et 2
Laurent Korcia , violon.
Création juin 2007

Caprice 5

Caprice 6

Caprices 5 et 6
Florent Jodelet, percussion.
Création octobre 2008

[ Urbana Cycle ]
[ Solo instrument / with or without electronics ]