Cahiers Trouvés

for electric guitar and effects

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for electric guitar and effects

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Year of Composition 2008
Duration -

Instrumentation Electric Guitar
Categories (all composers) ,
Catalogue ID ce-ck1ct1


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Cahiers Trouvés is inspired by the Cahiers du Cinema and French Nouvelle Vague films of the 1950s/1960s. The guitarist adds his own splash of colour to the score which allows to customise and adapt it to the set-up of pedals and sounds he wants to use. The score consists of a central line of pitches running down the ‘Champs Elysées’ framed by ‘buildings’ of musical structures, all of which are references to films by Godard, Truffaut and Malle amongst others. During his stroll up and down the avenue, which may take between 9 and 23 minutes, the player can also choose to ‘cross the road’ by using a so-called ‘ascenseur’.

For a composer, the score and, in particular, the notation of music is an all-important means of communication with the performer and a way to ensure that the musical result keeps as close possible to what the composer has in mind. Most of the time, the score is the only bearer of these intentions. It not only provides pitches and rhythms strung together to create musical events and phrases, but it can also convey the character and the atmosphere of a piece, as well as offer clues on the composer’s personality if the score is hand-written for instance.

Following in the tradition of graphic notation and mobile form works by composers like Earle Brown and John Cage, I explore and search for different types of musical notations that might enhance the composer-performer-audience communication process. I always try to integrate all aspects, visual and musical, into the concept of a work. In addition, I like to leave the performer a certain amount of freedom and scope for spontaneity and creativity. In Cahiers Trouvés, for instance, I ask the guitarist to adapt the score to his palette of sounds and effect pedals as well as to contribute to the piece by freely choosing the order of musical events. I believe that creating a score is about the balance of providing the right amount of information while leaving a breathing space for the performer to put his own mark onto the work.

I very much enjoy the practice of hand-writing, drawing and making a score like Cahiers Trouvés and I believe that the added graphic and visual dimensions help the performer to give a more inspired performance.