Bruno Louchouarn, Composer

- PDF Scores and Parts Available on Request


As is true for much of my work, my investigation relates to the narrative qualities of music, its relationship to test and especially speech, and to the audience’s experience not simply of the music but also to all of the “theatrical” elements involved in a performance. The use of a manipulated film clip allows me to play with the linear reading of music and emotion. By using rhetoric as design element in the overall composition, my aim is to create a “dramatic” event that engages the audiences through aural, visual and emotional content.  My overall desire is to influence the delicate interplay between the aural and visual in the mind of the audience and through this to provoke fresh and vivid responses.


Arc-tension, for clarinet and piano

This piece is part of a cycle on the phenomenology and poetics of spaces and explores the idea of a linear space. In French “arc” means both “bow” and “arch.”  In both these artifacts there is a sense of contained tension and energy, even in their static state.  This particular contrast, present in the keystone—holding the arch together—and in the taut bow string, has prompted me to explore this kind of tension musically.  There is a sense of restrained movement in the constant interaction between fast figuration and slow pulse, flow and interrupting silence.  Like the bow, high strung but still, this piece is concurrently fast and slow, tense and restive.

Vivid Spaces, for violin and piano         (version for viola and marimba available)

This is another offering in the “space” cycle. In “The Poetics of Space,” French philosopher Gaston Bachelard analyses the spaces that surround us; spaces we live in and dream about.  Prompted and informed by this book, Vivid Spaces muses on the experience of inhabiting.  “Intimate immensity,” “interstitial and transitory spaces,” “inner spaces of memory,” “angular spaces”, and “retreat” are explored here in the brevity and evanescence of the musical experience.

Rapprochement,  for flute, viola, and harp   (version for flute, viola and marimba available)

A rapprochement is a bringing together, the establishment of harmonious relations between separate entities.  It  also denotes the moment when the mind draws a parallel between ideas or facts.  This bringing together is the architectural underpinning off the piece on several levels.  There are three “modes” of playing: warm, removed and energetic; three basic meters: 3,4 and 5 (often superimposed); and three instruments with very different characters and ranges.  The interplay and blending of these elements creates a sort of “independence under control” where personalities emerge but the ensemble prevails.

Échanges,  guitar duo  

Images Surfacing,  for 4 flutes and 2 pianos

                                                              (version for 4 flutes, and percussion available)

This piece was inspired by the work of American painter Lee Krasner.  Her style, originally stemming from abstract expressionism, evolved to incorporate collage and a personal brand of abstract minimalism with repeated small hieroglyph-like motives.  The expressiveness of her work at large, with its stunning balance between order and intuitive gestures is, for me, embodied in the title of a single painting entitled “Images Surfacing.” It prompted me to try to explore similar concepts in music.

In this piece the melodic gestures have a free and abstract quality, sometimes coalescing in seemingly familiar harmonic or rhythmic structures.  The freedom of the “brush strokes” is modulated by the fine canvass grid of the constant micro-pulse.  In the central section the pulse, although present, is silenced and color and counterpoint are in suspended time.  It comes back with insistent hesitations and reminiscences in the last section.

  April 12-16, 2009 - University of Akron

    Images Surfacing,

ballet with multimedia.

choreographed by

Cydney Spohn

Residency and Panel on

Art and Science

Made possible in part by a

Meet the Composer grant.