Déclives (1992) (Urbana 23)

For tuba (and bass trombone), percussion and electroacoustic device.

Commissioned by the Interface ensemble

Déclives premiered in June, 1992 at the Chapelle Auguste Perret, Arcueil by Gérard Buquet and Daniel Ciampollini.

For Gérard Buquet and Daniel Ciampollini.

Duration: circa 18 minutes.

At the beginning of this work, I thought about relating two series of short pieces. The first one, a new version of a former Déclives, rewritten for baritone saxophone and percussion. The idea was to make it have a dialogue with Alto Voltango for vibraphone and alto saxophone.

Déclives, created for Gérard Buqut and Daniel Ciampollini, was commissioned by the Interface ensemble for a Carta Blanca in June, 1992.

This is the note that accompanied the programme of that creation:

In these times, when each composer tries to forge their own style, I have wanted to explore them and appropriate them. I deeply believe that a system is not more than a basis to work from, where the creation has to follow its due course. From the moment when the system becomes a corset, one must get rid of it. In this piece a different notion of limit is introduced, that which exists between instrumental and electroacoustic music.

Finally, and to pay tribute to the man who has guided me and continues to do so through his work, I cite his own comment when his complete works appeared in 1977’s edition: “Fortunately, we do not have to be tied to one culture, we may aspire to all of them.” I also have one of his verses to thank for the title of the piece:

“Declines of the music, the most docile of time’s shape”
(Jorge Luis Borges Mateo XXV – 30)

That multiplicity in the unit, which is at the centre of that poem, has been to me a recurrent obsession through these years. I think that when I talk about the multiplicity of musical discourses, the simultaneity of lines and realities what I really mean is those “things” that Borges mentions.

Although it is only a duo, the writing and the general texture of this piece has orchestral dimensions. The magnetic tape’s universe is always very dense and soloists enter into that weave as though they were voices whose tone is slightly higher.

For the final version, where several tracks are left unexplored, I only keep I – III – IV and VI from the original six.

Créée à la Chapelle Auguste Perret Arcueil
Enregistrement Publique 1992
Daniel Ciampolini, percussion et Gérard Buquet, tuba.

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