College of Music Program Book 2011-2012: Ensemble & Other Performances, Volume 1 Page: 60
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PROGRAM NOTES (cont'd)
In today's music Nicolas Verin (b. 1958) has an original and unusual voice. Pop guitarist
at thirteen, jazz pianist but also a student in physics and musicology at Paris universities,
and in music at the Conservatories of St. Maur, Brest and at the Paris Conservatory (with
Pierre Schaeffer and Guy Reibel), he stayed five years in the United States, coming back
with a PhD in composition from the University of California, San Diego (Roger Reynolds,
Jean-Charles Fran9ois, F. R. Moore, Joji Yuasa, Bernard Rands, Julio Estrada, and Gordon
Mumma). Impassioned with musical gesture and the life of sounds, he explores in a singular
manner his fascination for time and its complexity. He draws in this large and open field a
plurality of languages, a synthesis beyond dogmas and fashions that feed his inspiration. His
compositions keep forcefully this very actual challenge. Nicolas V6rin was composer-in-
residence in the Midi-Pyrdn6es region (1993-95) and recently obtained the prix Villa M6dicis
hors les murs. He collaborated with such composers and institutions as Pierre Henry, Vinko
Globokar, Michael Levinas, IRCAM, and Groupe de Recherche Musicale (INA-GRM). He
is professor of composition and electroacoustic music at the Ecole Nationale de Musique et
de Danse in Evry, near Paris. He is also an improviser, giving concerts in particular with the
trio Daroux-Sclavis-V6rin. His music, performed in many concerts and festivals in Europe
and the Americas, is published by Jobert.
Solo Violin Piece I was composed in 1981 and constitutes V6rin's first instrumental
composition. The pitch space is organized around a scale in frozen notes of 9 sounds,
according to a curved trajectory. The fourth note, D, is a symmetry axis, articulating a
central motif turning around D quartertone sharp, D natural, D sharp and C sharp. This
trajectory governs the whole evolution of the piece's form: the first rising represents the
discovery of the central motif, whereas the following downward motion is the discovery of
the complete 9-sound scale, in the fashion of the Alap (introduction) in a raga from Northern
India. Numerous other elements are also organized according to this shape: dynamics, level
of complexity of the discourse, tessitura, color (from somber to brilliant, notably with bow
positions), and opposition pitch/noise. Furthermore, notes that are played can belong to the
scale (be within the norm), be in an octave relationship with degrees from the scale (slight
deviation), be ornamental (short deviation), or foreign (in opposition to the norm). Verin
uses in this piece several new performance techniques that are integrated in the pitch/noise
dialectic. Thus, a particular bow position allows the performer to obtain, while playing only
one string, three-note chords, coming, in addition to the ordinary portion of the string, from
the part located beneath the bridge, and from the vibration of the bridge itself, unless the
latter is a differential obtained by the beating of the first two.
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University of North Texas. College of Music. College of Music Program Book 2011-2012: Ensemble & Other Performances, Volume 1, book, 2012; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc114723/m1/61/: accessed October 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Music Library.