Programme Note

GestaltE For Francois Bayles’ 70th birthday

All the rhythmical objects in ‘Gestalt’ are generated by physical models. Rhythms and dynamic values as well as envelopes are not created by adding single events to a score. Instead complete phrases containing series of rhythmical evolutions are entirely performed by a complex model. One part of the physical object performs like a player while the other generates the sound. A slow moving pendulum for example would generate the rhythmical structure hitting another physical object creating the sound. Inside of these objects the audio- and the subaudio time ranges are united as a continuum, like in the real world, in the world of mechanics.
The interesting aspect about this technique is the fact that such an object acts like a ‘sound object’ in the context of Musique Concréte. But instead of  just finding ‘ready mades’ and recording them onto tape the model can purposely be built and manipulated by the composers ideas.

In addition to phrase and timbre such an object generates a gesture identity, which would be encoded inside such a ‘pendulum’. Therefore it consists of a compositional cell, which can be transferred to other sounding objects with different spectral properties. But instead of reproducing an identical phrase with each of the timbre objects it would create slight variations each time since the interaction with the plucked or hit object is bi-directional: the ‘timbre object’ influences the ‘playing object’ and vice versa.  
The use of complex sound objects has of course consequences to the compositional strategy. Instead of defining single events, amplitudes and rhythms entire phrases have to be combined and modified to result in a complex musical phrase of several layers.
Structuring music by physical techniques opens an new way to compose and generate music with an exciting potential for the future and only a very few promising examples are created already.