Environnements Improvisés


This is the first of a series of pieces depicting what I call "musical environments" and is also the first one to use a notation where pitches are partially irrelevant (the instrumentists have a certain liberty in the choice of the pitches). The piece follows the mathematical models for competing species (first part of the composition), logistic growth (second part), and so-called predator-prey equations (last part). The idea I had was to create some sort of laboratory where I put different musical "species" (small objects, like for instance two staccato notes) in a superposing counterpoint, and see how they interact together in the three different dynamic systems described by mathematical models. These models are extremely sensible to the initial conditions (for instance a little two few preys will likely make a predator species go extinct) and so I experimented with different "recipes" until I found the ones that had interesting survival equilibriums; the result is a mixture of evolving counterpoints of objects, where each species has periods of emergence followed by quasi-extinction, and so on. Eventually, most species go extinct before the second, slower, part of the piece, where the clarinet takes almost all the available space, but eventually the other musical gestures come back and a new dynamic population is formed out of its ashes, in the closing section of the piece.

André Ristic CA

André Ristic was born in Quebec city, completed his studies in Montreal (piano, harpsichord, composition, mathematics), then was pianist at the Ensemble contemporain de Montréal and the Trio Fibonacci.  He is currently pianist and keyboardist at Musiques Nouvelles (Belgium) and European contemporary orchestra (France), and splits his time between Canada, Belgium and eastern Montenegro. As a composer he has been frequently recognised by distinctions, and his catalog sports 6 major orchestral works, 7 string quartets, one opera (soon, another...) and many works for piano and chamber ensemble.  His music stands stands somewhere between process/repetitive-minimalism and multi-genre collage, with a preference for irony, humour, and unnecessary simplicity and complexity.

André Ristic