Commissioned by the Villa Noailles in Hyeres France, which houses the permanent archives of the family of the Vicomte and Vicomtess de Noailles --renowned for their patronage of the arts in the 1920’s-1940’s - I composed 4 pieces specifically for the building. Using the approach of traditional musique- concrete, I consulted sound archives in France to gather vintage recordings – voices, radio, machines, transportation, etc. – and then made current days recordings of the structure and environs. The base of the pieces is a mechanical wall clock of which was present in every room. In disuse, I recorded the still-functioning motors as metronome for the pieces that are concerned with history, time, evolution and the renowned punctuality and rituals of the nobles. There are voices of the artists that would stay at the Villa, the music that which was composed while in residence, the mechanisms of the building such as a mechanical shutter which was novel then but instituted with other electronic instruments by Mallet Stevens, a found modified gramophone, environmental wind. This organization material was very methodical so that conversations between artists (Artaud and de Sade) would take place but had not actually occurred, and reflections would occur simultaneously with the work itself. Much is about a certain reflection (the sound of the rain on the empty Salon Rose glass roof after the guests might have departed in the winter) and yet meant to capture a very specific joyousness where a group of artists flourished, namely Cocteau, Bunuel, Man Ray, Dali, Aragon, Balthus, Giacometti, Brâncusi, Miro, Dora Maar. And musicians such as (Darius Milhaud, Satie, Poulenc, Auric. offering an homage and bringing forth the rich yet neglected aural traces of this epoque. It is less a work of mine that is inner generated but rather an honouring of a time with its unheard traces.
¼ “ and ½” magnetic tape, digital transfer