EMS Proceedings and Other Publications

Analysis of Incidences,résonances by Bernard Parmegiani with an acousmatic score (acousmoscribe)

Jean-Louis Di Santo

Jean-Louis Di Santo, SCRIME


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The works I presented in previous EMS (EMS06, EMS09, EMS11), about the augmentation of the precision of sounds typology and their notation, based on Pierre Schaeffer’s reduced listening, were a necessary stage but not a purpose in themselves. The goal is to write or analyse acousmatic works using a score made with this notation, like one can do with an instrumental score. To realise the first score using the symbols describing sound parameters, that I call acousmatic score, I choose Incidences/resonances by B. Parmegiani because this work has already been transcribed by Parmegiani himself and has already been analysed by P. Mion, J.-J. Nattiez and J.-C. Thomas with the help of Parmegiani. Does my sign system enable to see and understand some elements that this transcription and this poïetic analysis do not? Is seeing all of the sound’s parameters in two dimensions on a score more efficient than to locate some of them with a sonogram? On the other hand this very rigorous work which purpose seems very clear is particularly adapted to our goal: does fixing the sound in two dimensions in a visual simultaneity and keeping it out from the linear and irreversible flow of time enables what a purely hearing analysis does not? In other words, does an acousmatic score that aims to describe sound parameters allow a better comprehension of a work?
My sign aims to favour a formal approach of electroacoustic works. I mean to describe the sound morphologies that the composer used and the structure of the over all form. Through this, I hope it allows a semiotic approach and can show TSU (Temporal Semiotic Units). Here the analysis no more depends on the sound itself, but depends on the possibilities that the transcription offers, transcription that itself depends on the precision of the parameters that are chosen to be written. Thus, my sign is based on the linguistic model of the minimal unit made of a set of distinctive features. The distinctive features described here are those described in the TARSOM. This model is very efficient because it is based on a few numbers of elements that allows both a great number of combinations and a great flexibility of use.
To make the analysis of this work, I used several methods: the one used in traditional analysis of instrumental score, taking into account that each sound has its own track, the one used in hearing analysis, and the one that emerge of the sign I used, that depends on its possibilities and on its limits, that I should develop. Due to the fact that this was never done before, a certain number of questions must be answered: how to list all the sounds that are used in composition? How to organise them on the score? Is it necessary to copy the instrument disposition in an instrumental score, classifying them by family and then from the lower to the higher from bottom up? Or is it more efficient to put them in order of appearance?
From there it is possible to elaborate a “key signature” that can show what I called “soundality” and “soundulation”, looking towards instrumental music and adapting it to “sound based music”. Besides, acousmatic score allows seeing the different parts of the overall form and their proportion, morphological figures that I called “phase”, “entité” or “groupe”.

EMS14 Proceedings