Entre ici et là
A radio piece in eight movements
Produced in collaboration with Mario Gauthier of the programme L'ESPACE DU SON
of the cultural network of Radio-Canada.
Composed using six elements:
- Au dernier vivan les biens (1997-98)
49 electroacoustic environmental meditations for ambient random listening by Claude Schryer
- Sensations d'arbre (1998)
Sound installation sonore on the theme of trees by Claude Schryer
- Interview by Mario Gauthier with Claude Schryer (1998)
Realised in March 1998 as part of the programme L'Espace du son at Radio-Canada
- Au dernier vivant les biens, avec piano (1998)
Piano music composed and performed by Jacques Drouin
- Two excerpts from the poem Je n'ai jamais vu un son (I have never seen a sound) (1991)
Written and read by R. Murray Schafer
- Six poèmes for Entre ici et là (1998)
Written and read by Geneviève Letarte
Thanks to Mario Gauthier, Jacques Drouin, R. Murray Schafer, Geneviève Letarte and Diane LeBoeuf for their precious collaboration.
Entre ici et là was realised in my home studio and at Maison Radio-Canada between July and October, 1998.
This piece is dedicated to Mario Gauthier.
Genesis of the project
The idea for Entre ici et là originated in March, 1998 when I proposed to Mario Gauthier (producer of "L'Espace du son" experimental radio programme at the FM network of Radio-Canada) to realise a radio version of my electroacoustic composition Au dernier vivant les biens (ADVLB) (see Sound Letter II CD liner notes for details). We decided to perform the piece as I suggested in the programme note : "These meditations were conceived for ambient listening using the random or shuffle mode of your CD player. They are open to numerous listening and broadcast possibilities, including in four tracks (with two copies of the piece playing simultaneously) or as a concert performance with improvisations with and around the pieces. I invite you to play and listen with them."
At a studio at Radio-Canada, Mario and I played two CD's in random mode in "real time" and added an additional layer consisting of a dialogue between him and I (layer 3). Frédéric Trudel recited a few quotations from R. Murray Schafer's poem I have never seen a sound (layer 5). The result was quite successful, but ultimately unsatisfying. We realised that a radio version of ADVLB needed to be more "composed" and deserved more thought. We left each other saying that "we should do this one day"...
The next step in the evolution of ADVLB came when pianist Jacques Drouin asked me to write him a version of the piece for piano and tape. My proposal to him was that I compose an 8 voice tape version of ADVLB and that he write the piano part, which he did brilliantly. The result was premiered on May 23, 1998 as part of "La Semaine de musique québécoise pour le piano" in Montreal. Subsequently, with the kind permission of pianist/composer Jacques Drouin, I have freely integrated Jacques' piano music into Entre ici et là (layer 4).
In May, 1998, I composed another 8 track acousmatic version of ADVLB, Au dernier vivant les biens, à Stockholm, for an electroacoustic soundscape concert as part of the "Hor Upp Stockholm" international conference of acoustic ecology in Stockholm. This mix became the basis of the ADVLB tracks of Entre ici et là (layer 1).
In July 1998, I approached Mario Gauthier about the possibility of creating an "ideal" radio version of ADVLB. Mario agreed and we re-listened to our March 98 mix. Indeed, some elements were missing... We needed a greater variety of rhythms and textures, and possibly an "outside" poetic voice to unify the piece. We decided to introduce elements from my sound installation, Sensations d'arbre, into the mix (layer 2). Also, we decided to commission poet Geneviève Letarte to write a few poems (layer 6) and recorded her reading her texts at Radio-Canada on September 18, 1998. On September 27, 1998 in Toronto I recorded R. Murray Schafer reading excerpts from his poem I have never seen a sound. Finally, in early October, 1998, I invited sound designer Diane Leboeuf to help me with the mix of the piece.
Some thoughts about my work
I think and compose sound in circles.
I listen to stories, anecdotes and everyday soundscapes and try to make music with them.
I think and meditate about listening as a way of life.
I like the poetry of sound and the sound of poetry.
I'm enchanted by the inexplicable beauty of recorded soundscapes and the way the electroacoustic medium can bring all of these elements together, layer upon layer, so as to challenge our perceptions of reality.
Native Americans believe that some sounds have spirits hidden within them. I share this belief by virtue of my experience as a listener. Sometimes, I think that I can actually "hear" spirits in the fold of a soundscape. I listen to what these voices are telling me, about myself and about the world around me.
A defining moment in my life came while driving alone, from Ottawa to Montreal, in a blistering snow storm. I was listening to the radio and the program that was playing literally "lifted" my spirit into another level of perception. The work carried me into listening. I don't remember what this particular piece was about, but I clearly remember and cherish the impression it has left me. Ever since, I have been trying possibly re-create such an extraordinary listening experience.