Mono no aware (2013)

Mono no aware is a musical work written by Pierre Alexandre Tremblay (Canada – UK) for Babel table (Laporte’s new invented instrument) and Live Electronics.

To Jean-François Laporte

On empathy towards transient things

Making tea: what a nice way to contemplate various life cycles at a glance! Listening to the trembling water, gazing at the unfolding leaves, smelling the extracting aromas. Then, exploring the taste, the texture, the after-taste. Finally, observing the many imperfections of the earthenware, and of the hand that holds it, and of the passing moment that erodes everything: so much beauty within these infinite nuances, when one takes the time to dwell upon them.

As Okakura Kakuzō said so eloquently in The Book of Tea (1906): “The heaven of modern humanity is indeed shattered in the Cyclopean struggle for wealth and power. The world is groping in the shadow of egotism and vulgarity. Knowledge is bought through a bad conscience, benevolence practiced for the sake of utility. The East and the West, like two dragons tossed in a sea of ferment, in vain strive to regain the jewel of life. We need a Niuka again to repair the grand devastation; we await the great Avatar. Meanwhile, let us have a sip of tea. The afternoon glow is brightening the bamboos, the fountains are bubbling with delight, the soughing of the pines is heard in our kettle. Let us dream of evanescence, and linger in the beautiful foolishness of things.”

Mono no aware was realized in 2013 in the composer’s studio and the studios of the University of Huddersfield (England, UK) and premiered by Jean-François Laporte on June 1, 2013 during the concert Totem électrique V in Salle multimédia of the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal (Québec). The piece was commissioned by Productions Totem contemporain. Thanks to Sylvain Pohu and Jean Piché to have made the sound recording possible. The current version was recorded by Jean-François Laporte in the multitrack studio of the Faculté de musique of the Université de Montréal on June 2, 2013.

Mono no aware : for Babel Table and Live Electronics
Composer : Pierre Alexandre Tremblay
Performer : Jean-François Laporte
Created : June first 2013, as part of Totem Électrique V

Pierre Alexandre Tremblay is a composer and a performer on bass guitar and sound processing devices, in solo and within the groups ars circa musicæ (Paris, France), de type inconnu (Montréal, Québec), and Splice (London, England, UK). He is a member of the London-based collective Loop. His music is released by 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 Tremblay is Professor in Composition and Improvisation at the University of Huddersfield (England, UK) where he also is Director of the Electronic Music Studios. He previously worked in popular music as producer and bassist, and is interested in videomusic and coding.

He likes spending time with his family, drinking oolong tea, gazing at dictionaries, reading prose, and taking long walks. As a founding member of the no-tv collective, he does not own a working television set.

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