The word sixen or sixxen (a percussion instrument) is a combination of "six" (the number of players) and "xen" for Xenakis.
The instrument will be featured in Philippe Manoury's Le Livre des Claviers.
FOR THE TICKET GIVEAWAY:
Please send your full name and phone # to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your pair of tickets will be available at the Alice Tully Hall Box Office by 7 PM on the night of the concert.
Tuesday, November 12, 8 PM, Alice Tully Hall
Juilliard Percussion Ensemble
Daniel Druckman, Director
“The Strasbourg Legacy: Celebrating 50 Years”
ONDŘEJ ADÁMEK Fishbones (2007)
STEFANO GERVASONI Bleu jusqu’au blanc (1995)
PHILIPPE MANOURY Le Livre des Claviers (1987)
For the calendar of events, go to: Juilliard Percussion Ensemble
For the full press release on the concert, go to: Juilliard Percussion Ensemble on November 12, 2013
Philippe Manoury: Le Livre des Claviers
Premiered: September 27, 1988 in Strasbourg
Duration: 25 minutes
Commissioned by Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication France
Born in 1952 in Tulle, France, Philippe Manoury began playing music at the age of nine. Very quickly he taught himself how to compose, and at, the beginning of the 1970s, definitively embarked on the path toward being a composer. His first musical influences were Karlheinz Stockhausen, Pierre Boulez and Iannis Xenakis.
Participating in major contemporary music festivals and concerts since age 19, 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 Intercontemporain. 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 UC 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….
Le Livre des claviers (“Book of the Keyboards”) includes six relatively brief pieces designed to exploit the various possibilities of tuned percussion instruments laid out in the style of a keyboard and played with mallets. The techniques associated with these instruments were greatly developed during the course of the 20th century. If one compares Debussy’s use of the xylophone with that of Messiaen, and later Boulez, one observes a clear progression that brought mallet percussion (from the marimba to the xylomarimba) into a true soloist’s role.
In recent years, techniques employing perpetual motion with four mallets have pushed the possibilities even further. It is not just about developing a technique, however, but rather actualizing musical configurations that would have been impossible even a few years ago: polyphony, and the succession of chords of different natures at great speed. This strongly motivated my choice of mallet percussion.
Moreover, the construction of new acoustic instruments like the sixxens permitted me to tackle new scenarios in this sense: the notion of pitch is no longer predominant, but rather, it becomes more complex.
Pièce III: For sextet of sixxens: As the instruments are not tuned to the same pitches, nor are they capable of producing precise pitches due to their inharmonicity, it is on the level of melodic movement (ascending and descending) and of rhythmic configuration that a sense of unity emerges at times. Polyrhythm and homorhythm are the extreme axes of this piece, which plays upon the disintegration of rhythms (a superposition of six rhythmic layers derived one from the other, going from the most equal to the most irregular).
Pièce VI: For sextet of sixxens: More complex than Pièce III, this work plays principally with the notion of “depth of sound,” where the same sound multiplied in two, four, or six parts creates an effect of “restraint” on the harmony of the instruments. Homorhythmic sequences, polyphonic states and global textures are continually enriched, passing from the simplest condition to the most complex.
(trans. Rebekah Ahrendt)