Clairière (2002) (Urbana 14)

For clarinet and fixed sounds in 5.1

Duration: Circa 12 minutes 30

Commissioned by the French State and CNCM La Muse en Circuit

for Philippe Berrod

Premiered in the monographic concert on 11th June 2002 in Carré Sylvia Monfort in the frame of the programming of “La Muse en Circuit” −Festival Extension du domaine de la note.

Audio file:
Philippe Berrod, clarinette
Recorded for the CD Sainte Nitouche et ses satellites. Transaural Version 

Clairière is the first work born directly from a 5.1 system.

Creating from the beginning a work with these premises allows one to imagine and to “write” the sound space knowing that spatial instructions will be reproduced identically.

The recording and mixing experience of Diabolus Urbanus guided the configuration of the real performance space of the space in Clairière. This piece takes on an amplification with four microphones for the clarinetist who, in this way, sets the sound in space without using any live system treatment.

Many composers have used the issue of acoustic space in their composition. Let us mention Thomas Tallis’  “Spen in alium” motete in 40 real voices, in which the singers are placed in a circle around queen Elizabeth for her first birthday. Another case worth mentioning is Giovanii Gabrielli’s double chorus space imposed by San Marco of Venice.

We can also rethink the dynamic issue that appears during classicism as a movement in space of the sound: a crescendo is an approach to sound, a diminuendo is its withdraw, turning the space into a component linked to music abstraction.

For many years, the spatial approach to sound has been generalized and intensified. We can suppose that the technical development will tend to keep to itself this component which is becoming more important in current music, thus, turning the spatial approach to music into a premise for composition.

The idea for Clairière, closely related to the Urbana cycle, was to establish a play ground completely alien to this urban universe. It is precisely, as the title remarks, a clearing in the urban woods, a sudden space in which the only rule is made by the instrument and its surroundings.


Edited in Babelscores.

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