Attempts at Stillness
Pierre Alexandre Tremblay
CeReNeM / University of Huddersfield
Pierre Alexandre Tremblay (Montréal, 1975) is a composer and an improviser on bass guitar and sound processing devices, in solo and within various ensembles. He is a member of the London-based collective Loop, and his music is also released on Empreintes DIGITALes and Ora. He formally studied composition with Michel Tétreault, Marcelle Deschênes, and Jonty Harrison, bass guitar with Jean-Guy Larin, Sylvain Bolduc, and Michel Donato, analysis with Michel Longtin and Stéphane Roy, studio technique with Francis Dhomont, Robert Normandeau, and Jean Piché. Pierre Alexandre is Professor in Composition and Improvisation at the University of Huddersfield (UK), where he anchored the Fluid Corpus Manipulation project. He previously worked in popular music as producer and bassist, and has a keen interest for creative coding. He enjoys spending time with his family, drinking oolong tea, gazing at dictionaries, reading prose, and taking long walks.
Happy humans in troubled times. A privilege, and a recurring source of angst and guilt, as most of my program notes betray. Moreover, I am saturated, like most, by the incessant stream of stimuli: ads, social media, (curated) news of the unfair world, fascinating discoveries, and whatever else. It all resonates a little too much with the natural thunderstorm in my hyperactive head. // To cope, I attempt mindfulness. Actually, it is more to really enjoy my privileged life as is: an incredibly difficult task. I therefore share here a sonic musing on the pleasure of contemplating the complex ebb and flow of a million things that fight for attention, when I manage to lower the grip of its frenzy on my angst, guilt and powerlessness, and just observe it with an open curiosity. // Attempts at Stillness was written in the composer’s studio between April and November 2017. Thanks to Pavel Klusak, Édouard Levasseur, Maxime Levasseur, to have loaned their voices blindly, and to Michal Rataj for the absolute confidence and the stimulating discussions. Part of this research/project was supported by the FluCoMa project (European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, grant #725899). Links to practice-research in general, and to ISMIR in particular, available upon request.