Sonate en triOhm, for percussion trio and live electronics (2011)
Premiered September 27, 2011, Paris, France, Conservatoire national de musique, Salle d’Art Lyrique, by Rémi Durupt, Stanislas Delannoy and Clément Delmas
Folie en traitement
Gigue à octets
On March 11, 2011, three of the six reactors in the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant failed as a result of the tsunami caused by the Tōhoku earthquake. Large quantities of radioactive material began emitting the following day, creating the largest nuclear incident since Chernobyl in 1986. On this same day, French composer Laurent Durupt (b. 1978) began composing his master’s thesis, Sonate en triOhm, a 7-movement, 40-minute work originally intended to illustrate the history of electronic composition. The work gradually expanded to include a musical discourse on nuclear energy and contamination.
The seven movements are analogous to the construction of a Baroque trio sonata, in particular the sonata da camera of Arcangelo Corelli. Each of the movements explores a different interaction between electronics and percussion instruments.
The Praeluradium keeps the idea of improvisation in a prelude, but it is the electronics which improvise on manipulated snare drum sounds. Hidden loudspeakers become a fourth instrumentalist in the Allemande, before a multi-metronome track enables a microscopic, calculated exploration of rhythmic phasing in the Courante. Air nucléé looks at the microtonal capabilities of the vibraphone via the aid of electronics before giving way to the ghostly, funereal landscape of the Sarabande. In the Folie, electronics randomly proliferate the marimba’s notes to points of excess and loss of origin. The Gigue concludes the work as a summarizing illustration of electricity’s contribution to the groove-based musical idioms of today.