Tuesday 27 November 2007

Bernard Parmegiani - L'Oeil Écoute (1973)


An enduring reflection of the essence of time perceptible in its own right, can be established through the act of intimate listening where the self becomes immersed in re-living the experience of a journey or the immortalised passing of something disclosed as streaming images. As with all concrete music composers B. Parmegiani yields to this charm and in his works, it takes on the forms of continuous temptation marked throughout by a sense of the forbidden and by a certain fear. The listener is brought to wonder whether the composer actually intended to finish once and for all with the power of Orpheus.
In any case the train emerges as mans best friend and so it is here for Parmegiani the musician exploring and recasting dreamlike intricacy. Both through the effect of continuum and streaming images time is transformed into space literally transporting us.



The musical creation of Parmegiani is bounteous and broad in nature When not delicately distilled, brought in closer from afar or yet again built up from infinitely unprepossessing elements it is often boldly unveiled. We only need listen to the opening of l’oeil écoute, a sustained swirl and flurry emerging as a wave about to break, which we only just manage to glimpse at its approach, just like this train which we take at full speed surging forward headlong at the opening of the piece. At the very outset, on the one hand, everything is given in a single act, the music is already moving forward; and on the other the ghostly realm into which it takes us is already amply filed out.
We note that the large arbitrary breaks in tone Parmegiani achieves in l’oeil écoute and indeed throughout all his musical compositions, arise as searching encounters. As such they are gestures deriving from the sculptor himself. The blocks used are very imposing and the matter extremely dense...
The composer’s preference for this generously developed ghostly realm or space is also based on a specific creative foundation: it enables him to conceal things and thus especially allows him to disclose them to play on and with the ambiguity of their presence. Through its momentary and background quality the rather dense and complex matter in the piece gives rise to remarkable and constantly renewed perceptions of appearance and concealment able to assume utterly surprising forms since the interplay, mixing, blending and transparency of elements remains ever changing and is often highly unforeseeable. The surging fight of the potentiometers and balanced crescendos are all gradually chipped away at, carved out, transformed by the matter from which they are intended to extract specific essence. The entire work of B P. is imbued with such games of hide and seek and disclosure.

Philippe Mion, L’oeil écoute: An Analytical Commentary




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10 comments:

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Anonymous said...

thank you for this. I'm going to see Bernard at ATP in a few weeks time.

bravo juju said...

Lucky you!

I saw him some 4 or 5 years ago, for a "live" performance of some old works, including, I think, this one.

His performance consisted in managing the distribution of his pre-recorded music through some 20 hi-tech speakers in the room. It turned out, of course, to be a completely new experience.

Enjoy the concert.
JR

Tulpule said...

Merci!

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