Sul Segno

Année de composition
20 minutes
Quartet and electronics (live) : guitar, harp, cimbalom, double bass and electronic device

Sul Segno, for harp, guitar, cymbalum, double bass and electronic device is the re-elaboration for the concert of materials coming from the piece “Al Segno”, composed in 2000 at the IRCAM for a choreographic performance by François Raffinot.


The musical material of the piece evolves in an ebb and flow of moving figures that are resolved in introspective solos and duets or in rhythmic structures that progressively free me from the delicacy of the instruments’ timbre in order to create an energetic musical expression, deliberately in contradiction with the visual image of the small ensemble. The acoustic field of the resonant instruments is extended to the level of the electronics by the principle of synthesis by resonance model. The raw material for these models is a bank of analyses of instrumental sounds, which serves as the basis for the synthesis. The attack transients of these sounds were then separated from their harmonic body, to obtain a whole series of noisy impulses, called to serve as exciter to these modeled harmonic bodies.

At the level of the instrumental writing, the maintenance of the sound by the use of various modes of play, creates a granular universe, characteristic of the general color of the piece, but also, identifiable formal imprint.


From a more global point of view, the paradigm of the action on the string making the body of the instrument resonate is applied to all the electronics, world of resonances by extension of the instrument in Sul Segno. Thus, this principle also governs the long musical periods sampled on the fly and treated in a continuous way in the piece, creating a number of traces and shadows and constituting the complementary universe of the transformed, or sometimes, deformed instruments.


I would like to thank the musical assistants who worked on this project with me: Denis Lorrain for the first phases of work, and finally Manuel Poletti for his help and his listening, as well as for all the superb computer tools he developed for this piece.


Yan Maresz

Création mondiale
June 6th, 2004 | Festival Agora | Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France
Durand – D. & F. 15418

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