vagues / fenêtres (which translates as ‘waves / windows’) was written while on a French American Cultural Exchange fellowship at the Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional de Nice and CIRM. It was premièred during the 2009 MANCA Festival in Nice, and revised for the Eco Ensemble for a concert at Hertz Hall on the UC Berkeley campus 6th Feb 2011.
This piece reflects my interest in the intersection between natural and musical structures, and the nuances revealed by close listening. It also, I think, bears traces of the many hours I spent wandering with camera and recording devices through the old town and along the promenade in Nice, absorbing color, shape, movement, reflection. As with most of my pieces, the title came late, but revealed preoccupations that had been partly unconscious; a multiplicity of waves, from gentle ripples to tsunami; the notion of a window as both barrier and connection; conflicts of scale; and tensions between line / mass, movement / stasis, narrative / fragmentation.
A row of windows along a sea wall; dirty, misted, broken, reflecting waves back again at crazy angles. A wall of sound which breaks open to reveal a delicate layer, previously hidden.
The electronic part is made entirely from string sounds, recorded during studio sessions with Victor Huguenin (violin), Nils Bultman (viola) and Ambre Tamagna (cello).