Philipppe Manoury et Christophe Desjardins


Born in part out of the curiosity and the force of the suggestion of violist Christophe Desjardins, Philippe Manoury's Partita I (2006) is a piece of fascinating experimental music. This effect was achieved as much through its construction as its electronic treatment of sounds and its "real time" technology, thanks to a sensor attached to Christophe Desjardin's finger that responds to the movements of his bow and changes in pressure on the strings.

The concert could be followed by a question-and-answer session with the performer and composer on their experimental work and the very special way that the duo conceives of beat in musical creation.

In collaboration with the Grame Association in Lyon (Centre National de Création Musicale) and Ircam in Paris (Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique).

Philippe Manoury

Born in 1952 in Tulle, Philippe Manoury began playing music at the age of nine. Very quickly, he taught himself how to compose, and at the beginning of the 1970's, definitively embarked on the path towards being a composer. His first musical influences were Karlheinz Stockhausen, Pierre Boulez, and Iannis Xenakis.

Participating in major contemporary music festivals and concerts since the age of 19, Philippe Manoury made a name for himself with the performance of Cryptophonos. Upon his return to France in 1981, he was invited to be a researcher at Ircam. From 1983 to 1987, he was in charge of pedagogy at the Ensemble inter-contemporain. He went on to be a professor of composition and electronic music at the Conservatoire National Supérieur Musique et Danse de Lyon (1987-1997).

From 1998 to 2000, he was an official of the Académie Européenne de Musique at the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence. His works include every genre: solo pieces, mixed electronic music (most recently On-Iron for a choir, video and electronic music, and Partita I, for viola and electronic music), chamber music, and choral and orchestral works.

Since fall 2004, Philippe Manoury has lived in the United States, where he teaches composition at the University of California at San Diego. His career has been marked by numerous awards: the Sacem award for chamber music (1976); grand prize for composition by the city of Paris 1998); the Sacem grand prize for symphonic music (1999); and an award from musical critics in 2001 for K

Christophe Desjardins

Violist Christophe Desjardins is consistently and passionately involved in two complementary areas: performing, for which he is highly sought-after by world-class composers, and spreading his instrument's repertory to a wider audience.

He has done solo performances of works by Berio, Boulez, Boesmans, Jarrell, Fedele, Nunes, Levinas, Harvey, Stroppa and Rihm. He performs as a soloist with orchestras such as the Amsterdam Concertgebouw; NDR, WDR and SWR Sinfonie Orchestern; Toscanini Foundation Orchestra; Orchestre National de Lyon; the Portuguese Symphony Orchestra; and many other ensembles and orchestras in Europe.

He is a member of the Inter-Contemporary Ensemble, after having been the viola soloist at the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels. His album Voix d'alto (Voice of the Viola), dedicated to Luciano Berio and Morton Feldman, came out in January 2005 on the AEON label. It won prestigious awards: Diapason d'or, 4F from Télérama, Choc du monde de la musique, and the grand prize from the Académie Charles Cross.

Partita I – An original idea

In line with the programs led by Grame, founded in 1982 by Pierre-Alain Jaffrennou and James Giroudon, centered on computer-assisted scientific musical research, this 45 minute piece makes use of the innovative technique of movement capture. By allowing the musician to interact on the electronic end and modulate directly certain parameters, this technique opens a new era in the world of mixed music. The capturing and amplification of a musician's every moment allows for a total synthesized result, an incredible dive into infinite subtlety.

In the Press

Carried by the intense bow of Christophe Desjardins, this extensive work re-establishes Manoury's talent in marking his territory. In seven sections that are also auditory expressions, the listener follows a path that is as ardent as it is rigorous: rarely have real-time electronics and the instrument seemed to deliver as equals, side by side.
La Lettre du Musicien

Link to Christophe Desjardins's web site: 
Link to a more complete biography of Philippe Manoury:

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