Monday 10 December 2007

Iancu Dumitrescu - Pierres Sacrees / Harryphonies / Grande Ourse (1983 - 1991)

Pierres Sacrées (1991) 17'25''
[pour pianos préparés, plaques et objets métalliques]

Harryphonies (alpha) (1985) 18'10''
[pour contrebasse solo et ensemble]

Grande Ourse (1983) 15'30''
[pour deux bassons, piano préparé, percussion et bande]

Harryphonies (epsilon) (1986) 19'00''
[pour contrebasse solo et ensemble]

(all music composed by Iancu Dumitrescu and performed by the Ensemble Hyperion, except Harryphonies (epsilon) performed by RTV [Orchestre National de Romaine], directed by Losif Conta)

linkpart1 | linkpart2 @256

"Iancu Dumitrescu's music is spectral, is electroacoustic, but above all is a coherent totality grounded in a different conception. Of all living composers, Dumitrescu is the one who has most exploded sound. Dumitrescu's work is a negation, from the depths, of everything in contemporary music symptomatic of distraction, of banalization, and of a radical loss of purpose. His music is not a new convolution in the knot of modern music, but an unravelling of the curse.

Dumitrescu, composer, conductor and musicologist, was born in Romania in 1944. From the age of seven to twenty-two, he pursued conventional musical studies leading to an M.A. in Composition at the National Conservatoire in Bucharest. Towards the end of this period he met Alfred Mendelsohn, who introduced him to the music - then forbidden in Romania - of Schoenberg and Webern. A slight liberalisation of the regime beginning in 1968 catalysed a move towards more personal work amongst a group of composers that included Dumitrescu, Niculescu, Stroe, Vieru, and Olah. In 1973, Dumitrescu met Sergiu Celibidache, who made a profound impression on him and who introduced him to application of Husserlian phenomenology to music. In 1976, Dumitrescu founded the Hyperion Ensemble. With Ana-Maria Avram, he set up the Edition Modern record label in 1990.

Q: One of the first pieces I heard was Pierres Sacrées; I was very struck - as were many other people - by the sound of this music. It seemed quite unlike the usual sound of contemporary composed music. It had far more distortion, noise and violence. There seemed to be a shift away from stable fundamental frequencies, and a greater emphasis on the unstable aspects of sound. Do these characteristics of the sound have a special significance in your musical thinking?

D: First of all, you are quite right to say that there is this distortion, and secondly, it is absolutely deliberate. I myself was in a way surprised by it. When it first came - and during the development of this piece Pierres Sacrées there was a brief but intense period of experimentation out of which came this new sound - I wondered from what part of myself it had come. But I also knew that I needed it. You could say that this distortion in the sound comes from the attempt to release or unveil the god that is living in every piece of base matter. Pierres Sacrées placed me not only in the avant garde but also in the avant garde of deliberate and progressive use of distortion as an integral and necessary part of music...

On the technical level it comes from a kind of artisanal production. In Romania we had, and still have, a poverty and lack of equipment as compared with, say, IRCAM in Paris. Evidently - and this is not intended as a criticism - in the West, composers have at their disposal a massive array of technical possibilities. Unfortunately this tends to produce very conventional, very impersonal music. Music demands a process of introversion, of isolation and introspection. You have to go alone into your corner and concentrate. You can't be always looking around at what's happening, with your attention dissipated. But I don't want to say that this technology is inherently bad - simply that it was my fate to be poor."

in: interview from Tim Hodgkinson [AMM] to Iancu Dumitrescu (this article originally appeared in Resonance Volume 6 Number 1).


Lucky said...

this is mindboggling. thx, juju for this.
i'm not much around at blogs nowadays, quit my own for good for pers. reasons - but i do enjoy visiting some, and your are always good for a surprise, ain't you?!? ;D


bravo juju said...

Dear Lucky;

Thanks for your words, it's for your own satisfaction that we maintain Bravo Juju.

We love music, and we shall continue to share with all of those, like you, are open to experience difference through a creative perspective.

So please, drop by once in a while, we appreciate your visit.

Kind Regards;

wightdj said...

Beautiful post, thanks.

rickets said...

amazing, thanks for this