This project aimed to document and question the specificity of a set of modern compositional techniques, via a thorough and coordinated study of several creative processes representative of the music of 20th and 21st centuries, documented through archives of the creative process (sketches, drafts, etc.) and/or in- depth interviews with the composers (for practicing composers). The method and the references of the program have roots in a range of complementary disciplines: musicology, genetic criticism (in relation to the genesis of a work), and cognitive sciences. The project develops a pioneering methodology based on the concept of "reenactment of the activity of composition".nThe different creative processes selected cover a period of about 60 years, from the mid-20th century to contemporary works: music for a film for Cartier-Bresson by koechlin, Pli selon pli by Boulez, Requiem pour un jeune poète by Zimmermann, Les espaces acoustiques by Grisey, Traiettoria by Stroppa, Trei II by Jarrell, L’Esprit des Dunes by Murail, a recent sound garden project by J.L. Hervé, and work in progress, Gramigna, by Gervasoni. Each work uses a specific technology such as a montage of sound recordings, music mixed with synthesized sounds, or a sound installation with real-time treatments. The empirical study of interaction between an artistic project and its technical tools makes it possible: to understand differently a group of works that are references for contemporary music, to better understand the relationship between technical systems and creativity, to shed light on certain characteristic traits of musical cognition via an in-depth analysis of one of its forms that demands the highest level of expertise; a form that is seldom researched.
The program organized the circulation of the notions and themes of transversal analysis through consecutive case studies. This circulation was facilitated through the design and use of a shared computer platform (developed by the team, based on a preexisting prototype of "genetic navigation" within a musical work) that enabled the digitization of different genetic corpora and hypermedia browsing within these corpora, including their annotation and variations in their forms of representation.
Start date : 2009 / End date : 2012