Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Brice Pauset


June in Buffalo always has a strong international flavor, drawing participants and faculty from around the globe.  French composer Brice Pauset travels from his home in Germany to join this year's Senior Faculty, bringing his unique musical and intellectual perspective to the festival. His background includes studies in piano, violin, electronic music at IRCAM, medieval philosophy (in which he holds a doctorate), along with Baroque musical practice and instrumental design.

Born in 1965, Pauset has studied with many of Europe's modernist heavyweights, including Pierre Boulez, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Gérand Grisey, Brian Ferneyhough, Franco Donatoni, Stefano Gervasoni, Klaus Huber, and Michael Jarrell, among others. Yet it's clear from interviews and writings that his Baroque forebears have had as profound an effect on his music as his contemporaries. A fascinating interview in Paris Transatlantic magazine illuminates his thinking. When writer Dan Warburton asked Pauset which century he would prefer to live in, given a choice, Pauset replied, "I think, of course, the fourteenth century. The Ars Subtilior. In the medieval epoch, there was no music as such--it was a part of a larger discipline including mathematics, philosophy, astronomy.. If you look around this room, we have mathematics--there are three computers (one of which doesn't work), and there is a philosophical dimension to this work.. (Pause.) Yes, I would go back to the fourteenth century. When music didn't exist." Pauset's moody, compelling Adagio Dialettico for piano and ensemble can be heard in this audio clip (with static image).

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