"The San Francisco Contemporary
Music Players in collaboration
with the Center for New Music and Audio Technology presented mixed
music by Kaija Saariaho, Nicolas Vérin, Laetitia Sonami,
Edmund Campion and Jonathan Harvey, conducted by Ms. Linda Bouchard.
... Nicolas Vérin's Instabile,
for nine players
and electronics, was perhaps the most exquisite work of the evening.
Mr. Vérin's pop, jazz and ethnic influences [are not as]
apparent as his training under Pierre Schaeffer. Vérin's
music exhibits all of the subtelty of a genre unconcerned with
the note, seeking to integrate instruments and electronics into
a single, natural sound world. Unlike the acoustic-electronic
dialogues of the music by Mr. Campion and Ms. Saariaho,
work created a single veil that seemed to lift away from the
and speakers alike. Multiphonic-based sections of the work as
elegantly fused as Scelsi at his best are intercut with angular
sections that highlight harmonies related to the multiphonics.
The electronics in question (realized at the Ligys studio, founded
by Nicolas Vérin) include sampled and synthesized sounds
as well as signal processing effects triggered by the pianist
and a technician following the score. The most complex work
it showed the benefits ot the evening's careful planning. The
work's cohesion owes to the careful correlation among timbre and
other parameters. Mr. Vérin draws the unstable, vacillating
quality of the multiphonics into all aspects of the piece itself.
The resulting sound world never fissions into discrete roles.
The work is in many ways exceedingly difficult, requiring virtuostic
control of pitches within multiphonics and an understanding of
the need for soloists to fuse, which the ensemble accomplished
Eric Marty, Computer Music Journal, Spring 1998.
" A great performance. The Association for electroacoustic creation and research of Québec (ACREQ) presented the integral diffusion of this monument of the French acousmatic repertory [l'Apocalypse de Jean by Pierre Henry] performed by Nicolas Vérin. Remember this name...The very great success of this audition was Nicolas Vérin's spatialization of the work. We're miles away from what was heard of this same at the Théâtre la Chapelle. The use Vérin made of space, his creation of axis and perspectives were properly prodigies ! Musically and artistically, despite the relative weaknesses of the piece, the performance was astounding on an orchestra of loudspeaker of very high quality. " Le Devoir, Montréal, November 6th, 1999.
"The Musicalta Festival gave
Saturday carte blanche to
Nicolas Vérin so that the concert hall of the Trois-Epis
Centre would sound with electroacoustic music. In front of an
audience no so likely to go on a jaunt outside of the main roads,
Nicolas Vérin, composer and professor of electroacoustic
music, offered a disconcerting concert. Leaning over his mixing
board and turning his back to the audience, he seemed more of
a sound engineer than a musician. Nevertheless, for those in the
hall who knew the key to this universe (more often, the ones with
their eyes closed) the electronician gradually transformed into
a magician of stereo, and from Cerbère into a Charron
of dreams. Through his compositions, such as Solo
Nicolas Vérin led us into a world
of the feedback king, of harmonics in shapes of revolving lights,
where the whispers of all languages were transformed into laughters
and cries from the tomb. Then bird whistlings marked the return
of quietness, before boarding a train towards the wind and the
To complete this exploration, Nicolas Vérin turned into a guide, becoming the sound projector of works by Wolfgang Motz or the Omaggio a Joyce by Luciano Berio, with a polyphony of feedback as well as remannts of jazz. Clarinettist Philippe-Olivier Devaux came to help for Jean-Claude Risset's Attracteurs étranges, and Jean-Marie Cottet came to act the samurai of piano, banging on his instrument before making it chirp on the difform score of Crystal Mirage by Daniel Teruggi. Coming in resonance with the stereo it exploits, electroacoustic music remains two-fold ; some come up against the feedback Cerbere, and find it dripping and frozen, other plunge into it and feel their conscience transcended."
E.L. Dernière nouvelles d'Alsace, 26-7-1999.
" If you give a carte blanche
to Nicolas Vérin,
it is likely that the chamber music usual to Musicalta will have
little room in his program. Saturday night at the Trois-Epis,
the young composer, after a very interesting conference about
electroacoustic music, put the theory in practice. As listener
engaged in such an adventure, many great interrogations come to
your mind. Fortunately, after listening to all these pieces, answers
were not altogether missing. This may be the merrit of such
Sounds that one is subjected to, ambiances that one shapes, sound
onomatopoeias that are being spread with science and art, where
does the word music hides ? Mozart, Stravinsky or even Berio in
his best days, how can they be forerunners ? The positive answer
from the explorers of this new world, the negative of its disparagers,
can only open the debates, whose assertions will arouse yet many
passions. At the end of the night, the audience understood that
they had just lived two hours of strong intensity, floating in
a world not so unreal, in which one could draw energy, dream or
even a fragment of poetry. "
"Only in a couple of cases Monday, you could forget about the "how" and concentrate on the "what". The two pieces for multiple instrumentation afforded more satisfaction. Vérin cites so many influences in the program notes, you begin to wonder. Yet Instabile, for nine instruments puts the player through all sorts of trials, from multiphonics to unpredicatble rythms, and evokes a hazy, dreamy atmosphere. Vérin integrates hi technology in quest of a larger statement. Violin bows are drawn across percussion instruments. Brushes are inserted into the piano. And the ear detects a rising arc and a gradual subsiding." Allan Ulrich. San Francisco Examiner, February 11, 1998.
"The musical show
Arrêts fréquents ("frequent
stops") makes it wonderfully to the CD. Aside with Anton
Webern, nec plus ultra of concentrated expression, and Kurt Schwitters,
unspoken reference of this dadaist-spirited project, are found
some new masters of the musical aphorism. Though the instrumentation
varies from piece to piece, three tendancies can be spotted, with
notable successes : anecdotal pirouette (Nicolas Vérin,
Bruno Giner), abstract picture (Jean-Luc Hervé, Aurel
and humorous sketch (Richard Dubelski, Dominique Clément)."
Pierre Gervasoni, Le Monde. Samedi 30 mai 1998.
"The young composer Nicolas Vérin has written his cycle Chassé-croisé to the intention of his friends performers. We discovered last night Chassé-croisé I, for alto clarinet then clarinet and viola. Starting from abysmal depths, the alto clarinet is soon joined by the viola, in playful exchanges. Spasmodic hiccups, glissandos, surprising doubles-sounds, great leaps to extremes, constant contrasts and avant-gardetechniques : a work that one wich to hear again so as to better pick up all its details and intentions." A.M. Meyer, L'Alsace. 21 juillet 1997.
The piece by
Nicolas Vérin, Chassé-croisé III,
violins - Francis Duroy and Nathalie Geoffray - was a great success
in terms of musical commitment and sonic balance. Not
a drop of tension in this stange work, haunted by
a criss-cross that sometimes resembles a bumping race and whose
rhytmical energy never weakens".
Mathias Heizmann, Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace. 23 juillet 1997.
the Musicalta festival was dominated by the presentation of
a new piece by Nicolas Vérin.
It's become almost
a habit, the Musicalta festival premieres each year
by Nicolas Vérin. Last year we discovered
II, for piano and violin, the second piece of this cycle dedicated
to the performers, works that stage two
craftily exploits the expressive potential of these encounters.
This year, Nicolas Vérin focused on clarinet and
clarinets rather since one could find also a
Three instruments then, three protagonists for a strange
game that is as much an exchange of words that it is a dialog
of deafs. Becauseif the two performers are indeed developing a
way of discourse,their meeting points are not at all that frequent.
In fact, this Chassé-croisé I has everything of
an oratory joust and the discourse of its musical characters
is all the more captivating that it reveals itself, as the piece
unfolds, completely multiform."
Mathias Heizmann, Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace. 21 juillet 1997.
"Pierre Guignon had the
internal swing, magnificently
improvising on a tape by Nicolas Vérin, of permanent poetry.
Percussion is no longer the hitting spirit but sound that is caressed,
rubbed, modulated, with multiple timbres, a material that a composer
can grab to build his own world : Nicolas Vérin, very fine
electroacoustician, young, talented, working in our region, splendid".
about Vent du Sud, Jean-Louis Roy, Euridyce délivrée (Dijon).
"An unmoderated taste for life.
For its third musical
evening, the Festival Musicalta, at Trois-Épis, turned
towards contemporary music with a work by Nicolas Vérin
given in world première. Chassé
II for violin and piano is part
of a cycle of duets dedicated
to the performers who instigated the piece. By choosing a
the organizers of Musicalta showed their taste for the living,
followed by a frankly enthousiastic audience, largely composed
of adolescents. This work, particularly difficult for the performers,
was played admirably by pianist Jean-Marie Cottet and volonist
Francis Duroy. Perfect dialog and astonishing vitality, the multiple
aspects of this chassé-croisé were well
as these slightly disquieting recurring harmonies or these implacable
rythmics, which were not without recalling certain pieces of
Mathias Heizmann. Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace. July 1997.
song of souls. Then
II for violin and piano who came
to make the shadows dance
onto the immaculate whiteness of the sacred walls. Jean-Marie
Cottet, pianist and concertist throughout the world, concentrated
on the difficulty of this contemporary work, a world
by Nicolas Vérin. True interplay of hide and seek in which
the two musical characters are at times aliens one to another,
sometimes sketching a dialog, this piece surprised the audience
by the eloquence of its rhythmic nature."
Emmanuelle Bildstein. L'Alsace. July 1997.
"Nicolas Vérin used
sound icons which become for
him an essential part of this 'temps perdu' (lost time) ; he attempts
to transmute his intimate experience in a communicational fact
to make it objective, common to all and near the listeners. 11,
avenue du Midi is even more
striking when one listens to it
at home, because in interferes with the sounds of one's own house,
a very rich and paradoxical interference".
José Igès, in the broadcast Le rythme et la raison, France-Culture, 25-1-96
"This piece succeeds in making
us participate in a quasi
everyday movie. One could follow his quest for the "temps
perdu". This produced in me many visual associations that
I liked very much."
Marion Fiedler, about 11, avenue du Midi, in the broadcast Le rythme et la raison, France-Culture, 25-1-96
"To the répertoire
of interesting pieces for instrument
and tape, one has to add Mariposa
clavada que medita su vuelo
by Nicolas Vérin. One
can find an all classical ease,
a tone that is not at all laborious and a love marriage between
Cécile Daroux's flute and the tape in which the instrument
is mirrored in an apparently harmonious relationship, made of
complex polyphonies, seductive and elusive. This said, I wonder
if the major interest of the piece would not lie primarily in
the flute part, to which Vérin gives an incantatory
like one finds in Debussy or Jolivet, with the indispensable mixture
of traditional and modern performance techniques."
Jacques Bonnaure, La Lettre du musicien no. 175, mars 1996.
clavada que medita su vuelo :
nostalgia of life after death ; we are going to see what this
gives in music (nostalgia of life near death). The author writes
about it well : I recognized -in the best moments - this game
of imbrication-disimbrication of the flute, which 'mariposa clavada'
sometimes s'englue (and is tragically bathed in the glue, deliciously
too), and at other times, in one stroke of wings, takes off in
a curvacious and lyrical way. This flute enters breath first -
a breath from the back ot the throat - and then later discreetly
mixes its fraying and its colour like a camaïeu to the texture
of the tape's sounds (which we suspect to be also full, shining
like aluminium, of dissolved flute). Game of hide and seek, of
the zebra and the grid, in which the flute looses itself and is
diluted in the saturated ambiant medium it is part of. A timid
yet insistant motif (in conjunct degrees : C-Db, Db-Eb) wanders
and paddles about, and succeeds to emerge nicely"
Jean-Christophe Thomas. Recherche-Musique. Mars 1996.
"Around computer music, which
he handles remarkably, he
offers the music of an enigmatic yet near drama. He likes to transform
voices, sounds, to make a nascent sonic stream, tracing the outline
and describing the hollows and the prominences of the scenery.
His music carries a trapped narrativity, connotative to the extreme,
and always it transmits a nostalgic and emotional charge."
in La musique contemporaine en France en 1994. Chroniques de l'AFAA No. 5
: Nicolas Vérin shows here that,
beyond his interest for electroacoustics and the most contemporary
performance techniques that usually mark his productions, he enjoys
also to share the pleausre of a group of performers, animated
with a beautiful energy. One will perhaps find in this piece an
influence of American music, from the rhythmic rebounds peculiar
to jazz to the brassy timbres that he obtains here with the woodwinds.
This is a truly communicative piece, "audience-oriented"
in the best sense of the word !"
David Lacroix, catalogue of Éditions du Visage, 1994.
"Solo Violin Piece I : from very soft hissing sounds to the most violent impulses, the violinist is required here as much as an "inventor" of his/her instrument - sometimes close to an improviser -as a rigorous and attentive performer ; Vérin brings us once again the surprise of the yet unheard. A piece that has already been included in the repertoire of famous virtuosos, such as János Négyesy, who plays it regularly in his solo performances throughout the world. " David Lacroix, catalogue of Éditions du Visage, 1994.
"I heard Projections
obliques for the first time
on June 10th, 1993 by the CMC ensemble from Chalon-sur-Saône
led by Philippe Cambreling. Something undefinable instantly seduced
me in this piece. During the course of this analysis work, I discovered
two very different aspects of the composer : a great care for
structure, and a great liberty in the use of materials. I can
recall my emotion after the concert, with regards to the beauty
of sounds (two other musicians shared my point of view). Live
sound processing, when done in an intelligent way, in tune with
the music rather than for the sheer simple effect, gives an added
dimension to this score. It is a rich and complex work, that I
wish will be added to the répertoire of numerous ensembles.
Jean-Luc Girard, final paper for the Prix d'Analyse, École Nationale de Musique de Chalon-sur-Saône, 1994.
vino musica. The music of
Mauzac, light, earthly
without excess, with a slight taste of stony river... the Lenc
de l'elh proposes a point of harshness softened up by distant
little bells. A somewhat exotic sound, low and dry, and an electronic
bird complete the tableau. It is as one of these memories that
evades one as you capture it, auditive and gustative notations,
too brief and yet that leave an indefinable impression... The
Syrah is a music/wine that is anchored, strong, which attacks
with an acidity that disappears right away. Far away sounds or
words, whispered, liquid, deep, it is rough and real like jute
linen. The Duras is a wine whose sound has travelled much, garnered
many a scent of herbs, of liquorice roots heated by the sun, of
dews and autumn haze. It is a tale narrated as if by the fireside.
Finally, the Braucol is an elaborated music, reflective, with
electronic bamboo breathings, it's a wine of today, with vocal
sounds, in which each instant makes one bite in handfuls of bitter
and fragrant berries, makes one travel."
Michel Thion, Révolution no. 673, 21 January 1993.
"Commissioned by LIMCA, Circuitio
is the first
volet of an experimental work with the possibilities of the Quatron,
a digital instrument that gives, according to Nicolas Vérin,
a truly electronic expression, far from any imitation of classical
instruments, and furthermore, that allows for improvisation, freedom
of expression in real time. This round about an instrument, with
autonomous tempi, timbre variations, was performed and improvised
by Gaigne on the Quatron, Riessler on saxophones and Siracusa
on percussion. With a very syncopated beginning, the music took
some fullness. At the end of the piece, before a very thick applause,
a silence glided, like in the beginning. But in between, a whole
different world had been sketched."
Marie-Laurence Wernert, Sud-Ouest, 4 October 1993.
"In the second part, the event
was of course the première
by Nicolas Vérin. A very elaborate
experimental works that makes use of the Quatron. Pascal Gaigne
reveals to us its extraordinary palette of sounds and performing
possibilities. A steep path, to the well-spring of music and life".
Pierre-Jean Pyrda. La Dépêche du Midi, 3 October 1993.
Lueur et la fumée,
one will remember
the feeling of hanging, in a vacillating balance between word,
sound, spoken voice, shadow and light. Nicolas Vérin has
conceived a scenography, a real staging and lighting in collaboration
with Daniel Laloux and Jean-Marc Colonna d'Istria, to give himself
all the freedom allowed to the poet. In mirror with these texts,
opposing an internal universe to a urban rambling, a dream of
ideal beauty to the daily reality, Nicolas Vérin plays
on multiple facets. The score translates in a fundamental way
the poet's obsession with time : incessant contrasts of rhythmic
plays around regular or irregular pulses, hammerings, stretchings,
repetitions, "senza tempo" passages that knock against
or wrap up around the voice, creating a subtle staggering, over
the tension-release of words, phrases. He multiplies effects of
distance, of proximity, giving the meaning to hear from a voice,
at times soloist, sometimes in polyphony with the instruments.
He oppposes melody to a sonic magma, weaves a tight thread with
synthesizer, magnetic tapes and acoustic instruments. The score
is nourished with these shifts, with all kinds of ruptures, with
moments of real poetry, in complete independence, or joining,
ahead of, breaking, following the word, the rythm of the poems
told by Daniel Laloux."
Elisabeth Pistorio. Révolution, No. 723, 6 January 1994.
by Nicolas Vérin joins
to the quite "roaring sixties" charms of percussion
those, more moderns, of Syter. Percussion writing is always daughter,
grand-daughter even, of Varèse's Ionisation , although
the use of vibraphone introduces melodic fragments. This works
reintroduces theatrical and virtuosic gestures in the midst of
the Acousmonium's void, and this dialectic, dramatically efficient,
opens up a fertile track."
Jacques Bonnaure, La lettre du musicien no. 98, January 1991.
"...When my complete works were
given at the Paris Musée
d'art moderne in 1988, Nicolas Vérin had been with me for
three years. If I should have a successor, he would be one of
the best. "
Pierre Henry, quoted in Cécile Gilly, Claude Samuel, Acanthes An XV, Van de Velde, July 1991.
déformants by Nicolas
a solo oboe and a magnetic tape, quite beautiful and dramatic,
shows a certain sonic imagination."
Jacques Longchampt, Le Monde , 3 June 1989.
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