d'Escrivan, Julio (2016) Séance: Interventions on Ravel 2017. [Audio]

Séance: Interventions on Ravel[CD] published by ZAWP records, Bilbao, Spain

1. Improvisaciones sobre "La Vallée de Cloches"
2. Respuesta
3. Fantasmas de Pájaros
4. Intervención sobre "Le Tombeau de Couperin"

Written for Ensemble Klem with funds from the Dirección de Cultura del Gobierno Vasco, with additional support from the Music Department and the Sound•Music•Image•Collaboration Centre of the University of Huddersfield, United Kingdom.

Maurice Ravel - pianola

& Ensemble Klem
Victor Parra - violin
Ainara Zubizarreta - flute
Iñigo Ibaibarriaga - saxophone
Julio d´Escriván - soundpainting

All music by Maurice Ravel intervened by Julio d´Escriván

These interventions on the pianola rolls performed by Maurice Ravel are presented here as a sort of spiritist exercise or Séance, as I try to follow the trace of his musical energy through re-animating his performance. The performance data comes from Miroirs (1904/05): Oiseaux Tristes, Valleé de Cloches and Tombeau de Couperin.
The work I have done consists of the manipulation of the rolls themselves and a guided instrumental improvisation for Flute, Violin and Tenor Saxophone – via Walter Thompson’s Soundpainting sign language – in reaction to the new rolls. A similar principle guides Thompson’s Soundpainting Haydn of 2006.
Firstly, Through computer manipulation of the pianola rolls, which have been scanned optically into MIDI files, I asked: can I make ‘New Ravel’ by preserving the micro-temporal fingerprint of his live pianola recording? How much transformation can it suffer before it is no longer Ravel’s own playing? This unique method that ‘lifts the fingerprints’ off a historical performance offers a novel understanding of Ravel as a seminal early 20th C. composer. Thus, new music ‘by Ravel’ could be mined from his existing performances. I tested this through applying algorithmic transformations via C.A.C. software like the Lisp based OpusModus and by randomisation approaches in existing DAWs.
Secondly, I arranged the new rolls to support a further intervention by soundpainting; in this way the ensemble performs with Ravel at the piano.
As a result of this work, not only did I gain insight into Ravel but developed new approaches to composition and improvisation in line with remix culture, yet at the deeper level of the artist’s trace. Going further than Richard Beaudoin’s microtiming of 2009-17, instead of working with measurements of time, I have developed my 21st Century cantus firmus from the composer’s actual performance: Ravel plays new Ravel.

1st Piece from Seance: Interventions on Ravel
1 Improvisaciones sobre _

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2nd Piece from Seance: Interventions on Ravel
2 Respuesta.aiff - Published Version

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3rd Piece from Seance: Interventions on Ravel
3 Fantasmas de Pájaros.aiff

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4th Piece from Seance: Interventions on Ravel
4 Intervención sobre _

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