(for tape)

TERRA (1997-98) (for tape)

Jean-Claude Risset

Laboratoire de Mécanique et d'Acoustique of CNRS


Terra is a section of Elementa, a work commissionned by the French Ministry of Culture for the fiftieth anniversary of musique concrète and realized at INA-GRM, Paris.

The piece was realized with Pro Tools and GRM Tools. It includes sounds synthesized with the Music V program and the Synclavier synthesizer, but a substantial proportion of the sound material consists of recordings. The nature of the sound sources is not hidden: the composition relies upon their connotations and their symbolic implications. The recorded sounds are weaved into figures, phrases, developments and sections: a compositional processing, careful to preserve the autonomy of organic sound objects and their dynamics of flux, duration and energy.

Terra evokes our vital sphere, with the mineral, vegetal and animal order. The solid state of matter is illustrated through its different forms of vibration: rolling, friction, percussion, creaking, plucking, explosion ... After a long expectancy and a passacaglia of pebbles, everything is rocked: in an avalanche, even earth and stones flow.