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The Weather Pieces (Mode 333)

by Carol Robinson

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Nacarat 30:04


The set of The Weather Pieces are reflections on the perception
of meteorological phenomena. The listener is immersed in a
hybrid sound world, as the line between the live performer and
the computer-generated propositions becomes blurred. The musician
follows a score that leaves room for interaction with the computer’s
ever-changing proposals. The works also use the performer’s voice,
using spoken texts to convey inner thoughts and feelings.

Les si doux redoux for basset horn grew out of an idiomatic French
expression. Sometimes, during the harshest winters, there are
moments of sudden warmth, strangely mild days that are called
redoux in French. Les si doux redoux explores discrete changes in the
acoustic field, alternating between icy high notes and lower, more
tender sounds. It evokes the movement from a static rigid cold, to a
warmer, more relaxed and supple state. Unlike the other compositions
on this recording, Les si doux redoux is never violent, but like
them, is related to personal perception.

Black on Green explores the power of the elements which fascinate us, sometimes leaving an imprint of internalized terror. It grew out of the Robinson's recollections of childhood in South Dakota, remembering how the sky would sometimes turn green. Against this murky background, small black clouds would skitter by. This ominous sky became the theater for tornados and supercell storms, as all sorts of energy seemed to come together in a vast whirling motion. Nothing could be done to stop the progression. A person was either lucky and the destruction passed elsewhere, or not.

Robinson was inspired to write Nacarat, a long virtuosic piece, for guitarist Serge Teyssot-Gay after playing with him for many years. As a rock musician who had always created his own music, he had never experienced this way of working, namely, having someone else write for him. This time Robinson imagined a fantastical hurricane filled with colors. The guitarist moves through a violent mass of sound, gradually reaching the absolute calm of the eye, before being pulled into an increasingly turbulent vortex.

All are first recordings.

Liner notes by Carol Robinson and the performers.

Carol Robinson, a Franco-American composer and clarinetist, is not someone who likes the middle ground, preferring the edges, the extremes. Her music is situated in those places of tenderness and rage that come from commitment and mastery. Trained as a classical clarinetist, she graduated from the Oberlin Conservatory in the US before continuing her study of contemporary music in Paris thanks to a H.H. Woolley grant. Fascinated by the compositional possibilities offered by electronic sound manipulation, she often composes pieces that link acoustic instruments with electronics. Her on-going integration of aleatoric procedures is one of her signature techniques. She has recorded works by Feldman, Scelsi, Nono, Berio and Bancquart for Mode Records.


released July 11, 2023

Carol Robinson, composer, basset horn

Charlotte Testu, double bass

Serge Teyssot-Gay, electric guitar

Carl Faia, Charles Bascou, computer music design


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