Double Bind? -
I only partly share the fascination that many of my colleagues have for live electronics. A composer taking up the challenges of modern technology frequently finds himself in the situation of a sorcerer's apprentice, because the spirits she or he conjures may break free. I reject the fashion for "open form" since I view the structure determined by the composer as an indispensable ingredient of a music work. The tension between the composer's intention and performers' interpretation is of fundamental importance also in the era of electronic music. Sounds in live electronics live their own life, and this definitely has its attraction. The enormous possibilities of metamorphosing sounds, and the numerous associations that they evoke, suggest the use of elements of music theatre in composition, which can contravene the phenomenon frequently described, not without justification, as the inaccessibility of new music.
Double Bind has a hidden programmatic layer, suggested already by its ominous title and evident in the soloist's actions on stage. The composition sheds light on various aspects of the musicians' attitude to their own instruments. It is not, however, a narrative piece; rather, the following words spoken by Alice could be applied to this piece: "Somehow it seems to fill my head with ideas - only I don't exactly know what they are!" Even though the stage action is important, the work may also be listened to as absolute music that demonstrates the molecular structure of the string instrument sound. Dedicated to the violinist Hae-Sun Kang, the piece was first performed on 12 February 2007 at the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord in Paris. In my work on the electronic layer I was assisted by Benoît Meudic.