Fiestas, for 12 percussionists.

Fiestas is conceptually inspired by the "Feasts" as social rituals. The musical process and form mirror aspects of group dynamic in these gatherings.  Although a few individual players may at times dominate, the ensemble has to "conduct" itself with several sub-groups emerging and disappearing.  The main theme, introduced by hand claps, is an oscillation slowly quickening to a fast trepidation, giving way to a stable polyrhythm.  The degree of synchronization between players or groups of players varies and generally increases toward more order as the piece unfolds. 

I wanted to impart a sense of “orchestra” to the group with relatively stable stations and functions assigned to each player, combinations of timbres within and between choirs as well as solos. Another goal was to explore “sustain,” that elusive component of percussion music.

Bruno Louchouarn, Composer

- PDF Scores and Parts Available on Request

Percussion - Solo and ensemble

Les structures du Rêve, for two marimbas and multipercussion.

Recent studies have likened dreams to virtual reality.  They are much closer in nature to our conscious life than previously thought.  In many ways the apprehension of dreams parallel that of music.  In both case a stream of virtually real events is pieced together and accepted by the mind in a very intuitive fashion, with similar suspension of disbelief, and similar level of aesthetic responses from the beautiful to the disturbing.  Their structure is clear from moment to moment but less precisely felt globally

Mémoires de l’eau, for Eight Percussionists.

“Mémoires de l’eau” means water’s memories or memoirs.  I am, like many, fascinated by that element and the importance of its three states (liquid, solid, and gaseous) in nature.  The different properties of water in each state are linked to the type of bond between the molecules.  I wanted to explore this concept in music.  Rhythmically the elemental motive of this piece - the polyrhythm 5 against 4 against 3 - presents a varying balance between order and freedom.  At different tempos it behaves differently: very fast it is fluid and free, very slow it is open and intangible, and at mid tempo it has a crystalline stability with a tinge of unpredictability.  The harmonic choices, driven by micro-heterophonies also fluctuate between freedom and order in an abstract-impressionist exploration between complexity and simplicity, evocative of the essence and character of water.

Vox Populi, for timpani and electronics.

Vox populi is the voice of the people, the crowd.  It expresses our basic feelings, emotions, or demand, often in a quasi-verbal fashion.  These are utterances we share and understand spontaneously--something raw, intuitive but also capable of subtle changes.  The tape represents these collective voices, the immediate rhetorical mode of address.  The timpani matches the raw power of the voice and the sonic dimension of the tape.  They cover a wide emotional range.  The drums also have a ritualistic framing function bringing order to human utterances.

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.

De una piedra de gracia, for marimba and chamber orchestra.

Text:  “Y sucedió que incontables gracias nacieran de una piedra de gracia.”

Libro de los espíritus Mayas

“And it so happened that countless graces were born out of a stone of grace.”

Book of Mayan Spirits

In the cosmology of the Mayas there are various cycles of creation starting from simple elements and building upon themselves.  The sober poetry of this fragment was the starting point for the piece.  Through the three sections there is a increase in the complexity in the material and in the interraction between the players. Concurrently the degree of independence and stratification decrease all the way to the final homophonic unison.  The text itself is the rhythmic and melodic seed that generated the work.