-Mariposa clavada que medita su vuelo  (17'15 - 1996), for flute and 4 track tape

        -Commission by INA-GRM

        -premiered by Cécile Daroux on February 22nd, 1996 at Maison de Radio-France in Festival Présence

        -many other performances in France, USA, Hungary, Germany, Spain ; several radio broadcastings

      - • CD INA-GRM "Nicolas Vérin - 4 pièces pour solistes et sons fixés"

        -• Score published by Editions Jobert/Henri Lemoine, available here

Listen to  an excerpt (mp3)  by  Cécile Daroux  :     Mariposa Clavada ... (extr.)

or download in Real Audio format by  Cécile Daroux  :     Mariposa Clavada ... (extr.)

Description :

The title is a verse (in parentheses in the poem, which reinforces its supended aspect, as if it were out of time) from the Oda a Salvador Dali by Federico Garcia Lorca, on which I had just written a piece for the Festival Aujourd'hui Musiques, una rosa... una rueda..., premiered in 1995 in Perpignan's train station.

"Pinned butterfly that medidates its flight", the epheameral agitation of a fluttering life is but our only possibility to take flight. Let's not wait until death, which alone is devoid of precariousness, to accept serenely the unstableness of the present. There is no contradiction, but a complementarity, between the sonic matter's internal micro-mobility, its swarming, and a curve unfolded and smooth, a flight free and broad. Proliferating energy is a source of life and allows to elevate oneself, towards an ample and blooming breath.

I will end with another exerpt from Garcia Lorca's same poem : "The rose... ignorant of the underground efforts which creates it".

This work, dedicated to Dominique, was realised in the studios of INA-GRM and at studio Ligys.


Commission from INA-GRM premiered on 22 February 1996 at Radio France's Auditorium Olivier Messiaen in the Festival Présence, by Cécile Daroux, flute, and the composer, sound direction.


Most sounds on the tape come from recordings of flute, although some are realized by computer synthesis. This recordings, which were made first comprise : one melodic phrase ; key clicks, tongue rams, pizzicati ; numerous multiphonics, some unstable and oscillating between several states, some very short, with a precise and instantaneous attack. I worked closely on those with Cécile Daroux before recording the ones I selected.

The transformation techniques which have been used the most are :

1- fragmentation : this was achieved mostly with the GRM "brage" program running in non real-time on SYTER. I had to perform hundreds of attempts to arrive to the 20 or so passages that were used in the piece. Some of these are fragmentation within a single soundfile, whereas most of them alternate between two sound files, resulting in a kind of stutter much in the line of the unstable flute multiphonics which were my starting point. Furthermore, they have a flittering quality which, once the title was found, made perfect sense and are the basis of the work.

2- proliferation : using a MAX patch which I wrote, I drove an AKAI S3200 sampler at the Ligys studio to produce very rich textures, found in the last section of the piece, constructed on a very large number of accumulations of very short flute sounds : key clicks, tongue rams, pizzicati.

3- filtering : using GRM-Tools on Macintosh (both at the GRM and Ligys studios), or SYTER, I worked extensively with filters, ranging from comb filters (used for their resonance) to extremely narrow bandwidth filtering (as in the beginning of the piece).

4- phase vocoder was used as a kind of opposite to fragmentation, in order to stretch and make longer and flutter some multiphonics or breath sounds.

After the phases of recording, experimenting and processing the sound, a long part of the work was editing (using Sound Designer II), done in both studios, and multi-track assembling on Pro-Tools III, using 16 tracks (sometimes needing a premix). Automated mixing in Pro-Tools was used extensively, including for spatialisation (left /right, but also front/rear, doubling some tracks when necessary) and reverberation (using a Lexicon D-Verb, as well as two external reverbs).

back to the top page