Its just like running naked in the forest, hunted by a gang of ninja, under a rain of napalm !
This is yet another work that i designed in 2004. Its made out of video game BMG samples and Stravinsky works (including “bird of fire” and “rite of spring”). This is a real exception in my work since this is the most narrative and figurative of all of my early works. Yet its an open door on the recent ones and the key to the “Requiem remix” project. Heavy drumming and horns … high and loud contrast with tremendous use of hyper amplified harp over some giant cymbals, sound of some lashes over soft piano running over a few violin and some silence… An hysterical dream… Not a nightmare but a fast, violent and vivid experience !
Listening to music in a contemplative way is useless its for pedagogic or melancholic purpose and can easily be compared to masturbation unless the listened material is produced live. On the other hand, buttons tickling , recorded streams alteration, slicing and recomposing without indulgence for the broadcasted work and thus building a new space and a new time around it, opening new aural and musical perspectives on an exhausted tune is a much more enjoyable source of interest.
To remix the Requiem is to make a cover of a work so often heard and so seldom listened to that it became decorative, meaningless, senseless… The point is then not to simply rephrase Mozart, but to play with him, trough its performers. Built up a new acoustic entity whose body would be the recorded audio supply, known but with the symbolic and temporal coercion inherited from the original. Recording is an archive if, and only if, it is used as a mean of remembrancer. The point is not the way you listen to music, but the way it is broadcasted.
The requiem isn’t a remix in the canonical way. The point with it is not to rephrase the original work in order to add to its meaning. Neither is it to produce extra content or to extend the original work’s duration. It is not a way to produce a more fashionable or enjoyable version of Mozart’s masterpiece. Anyway, its not about the work and neither it is about Mozart. Its all a matter of medium, media and era.
I personally can’t write music score like “real musicians” do. Its not that i don’t know how or I’m not able to … its just that there is no real point for me in writing music this way. Neither can i use traditional (analogical) instrument since they don’t fit my needs either.
I need to work on complex sounds and to be as close as possible to the semantic essence of sound to make it somehow usable in my work. I don’t sample, I use, I exploit, I rework, I develop, I play Mozart played by Bohm. I use the requiem as the soundtrack to a new musical performance. The original work is a starting point and could have given birth to various different designs. Actually, the design is the only thing that matters. Yet the requiem in itself sounds with its really identity in my work and is identifiable in all of my work but reshaped in a way that makes it obvious for the listener to endeavor it as a real new aural experience
The Requiem is used as a word in a sentence, as a pronoun. Depending on the other words and meaning of the sentence, its position and the implication meant by the usage of this word may be different, more or less literal, accentuated or derelict. The verb is the score and the score is a program, an electronic program. Nopthing is automated, only the way the source can be played is controled by the coded score.
I work with a computer from electronic sounds only. They are two main ways of acquiring such sounds. Computer assisted synthesis or recording. Ripping audio from CD is the same as recording one’s voice trough a microphone… its a recording in a numeric format. The sounds i use in my work are not used simply as sounds but rather as instruments, characters. That’s where the big difference lies. I’m not a deejay, I’m not a remix artist, I’m kind of a computer assisted instrumentalist. Where some add & merge sounds from various sources to make a genuine work relying on the “memory” of those sounds in a positive way. I tends to hack into the identity of such sounds and works in order to generate a neutral work. Independent from the original.
Considering Mozart’s requiem as a musical instrument is obvious to me. Each section of the work being considered as a tonality and a general “mode” of playing lets me, the instrumentalist, play on those modes and give the audience the opportunity to hear a performance of Mozart’s requiem. Not a performance based on the score but one based on the recording that have been made of it & spoken in a foreign language trough a computer assisted interface. In the end, its all a question of what is “listening” to music ? I’m kind of an active listener!
The Agnus Dei is a trance prayer sung / said by the congregation / mass during any mass. Its the most hypnotic of all chants in ht requiem. It aims to put the audience deep in condition for the mystical ritual that will take place later during the celebration. Repetition is the key ! (this movement is usually the fifth of the work but was the first i worked on so i decided to introduce it earlyer which doesn’t means it will be performed the same)
Agnus Dei :
This article is the fourth out of 14 which will document the progress of this project. Requiem Remix feat. W.A. Mozart is more than remixing but an usage of an given sound work as the material for a completely new one. So it aims to be more than interpretation and may sound very different from the original. The only restriction i gave myself in this exercise are :
1) : only use material from the W.A. Mozart’s requiem recordings
2) : stick as much as possible to the original duration.
The General Instruction of the Roman Missal, § 83, states: “The supplication Agnus Dei, is, as a rule, sung by the choir or cantor with the congregation responding; or it is, at least, recited aloud. This invocation accompanies the fraction and, for this reason, may be repeated as many times as necessary until the rite has reached its conclusion, the last time ending with the words dona nobis pacem (grant us peace).” — Excerpted from “Agnus Dei” on Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.>