Restricted access

This content is exclusive to members of the International Journal of Music.

Join now for as low as $1.67 per month…

…or get FREE access if you are a student or teacher!

Claude Delangle — “Noûs” (Bis, 2020)

Abstract:

Collaborating with composer Philippe Leroux on the album “Noûs” has been transformative for our identity as contemporary artists. Leroux’s compositions, shaped during the global pandemic, offer a nuanced blend of traditional and contemporary techniques, resembling a “single brushstroke” in Chinese painting. In particular, the piece “Conca Reatina – Ruban de Möbius” challenges norms by breaking the soprano saxophone range, unveiling the instrument’s genetic blueprint. Leroux’s exploration of the piano pays homage to Debussy, enriching the overall musical experience.

Our three-decade collaboration with Leroux, evolving since the formation of the trio Phonie douce in 1991, has been marked by significant milestones. “Noûs” is not just a collection of compositions but a celebration of Leroux’s brilliance and the unity forged through the language of music.

Reflecting on the journey within “Noûs,” the profound symbiosis between composer, interpreters, and listeners emerges. Leroux’s compositions transcend notes, becoming conduits of emotion, intellect, and shared experiences. The album stands as a testament to the enduring power of artistic exploration and the boundless connections forged through the universal language of music, with echoes that inspire future sonic journeys.

Cite this:

Publication date:

ISSN: 2792-8349

Copyright ©

International Journal of Music

Embarking on the artistic journey with composer Philippe Leroux has been a profound experience that has deeply influenced our path as contemporary artists. The music Leroux has crafted for our album, “Noûs,” not only reflects his genius but has become an integral part of our artistic identity. In the midst of the global Coronavirus pandemic, receiving the master of this album ignited a familiar enthusiasm, reminiscent of our initial encounter with Leroux’s compositions.

Conceived with an inexhaustible joy, Leroux’s works on this album are akin to children’s songs and games, a testament to the playful spirit embedded in the music. The virtuosity exhibited in these compositions is subtle, avoiding any overt displays. Leroux masterfully blends traditional and contemporary techniques into a singular gesture, echoing the concept of a “single brushstroke” in Chinese painting. This approach, witnessed earlier in Leroux’s saxophone concerto, “L’Unique trait de pinceau” (2008), encapsulates the paradox where each artistic element can either enhance or diminish the final sonic result.

One notable piece, “Conca Reatina – Ruban de Möbius,” sees Leroux intentionally breaking the soprano saxophone range, challenging conventional norms without extending the register. This audacious move, marrying intellectual rigor with spontaneity, serves to unite body and spirit. Leroux exposes the saxophone in its entirety, revealing both the beautiful and the bestial aspects, decoding the genetic blueprint of its acoustic reality. Simultaneously, Leroux’s exploration of the piano’s possibilities, employing half-pedals and subtle resonances, pays homage to Debussy and elevates the overall musical experience.

Our collaboration with Leroux, spanning back to 1991 with the trio Phonie douce, has been a transformative journey. Milestones like “Airs” (1994) and “Un lieu verdoyant” (1999) have created emotional echoes in response to significant moments, such as the passing of Gérard Grisey. The successful premiere of “L’Unique trait de pinceau,” commissioned by Radio France, marked a pivotal point in our friendship. Subsequent compositions, including “AMA” (2009), “Dense… Englouti” (2011), “SPP” (2012), “Conca Reatina – Ruban de Möbius” (2015-17), “Répéter… Opposer” (2018), and “Noûs” (2019), further deepened our connection. The spirit embedded in Leroux’s music resonates profoundly, participating in the living unity of the world.

Our unwavering artistic fidelity to Bis for three decades serves as a testament and a chronicle. It forms a musical continuum, illustrating our friendship as music and music as friendship. Art, at its essence, seeks to bring people together, and this enduring collaboration encapsulates that purpose. The “Noûs” album becomes not only a collection of Leroux’s compositions but a celebration of the unity forged through the language of music.

In essence, “Noûs” is a testament to Leroux’s compositional brilliance, our interpretive artistry, and the enduring power of friendship expressed through music. As the saxophonist behind these interpretations, it is a privilege to navigate Leroux’s sonic landscape, and I anticipate that the echoes of this musical odyssey will continue to resonate, inspiring both our creative endeavors and forging connections with listeners for years to come.

Conclusion: A Sonic Tapestry Unveiled

As I reflect on the journey encapsulated in “Noûs,” I am reminded of the profound symbiosis between composer, interpreters, and listeners. Leroux’s compositions, meticulously woven into this sonic tapestry, transcend mere notes—they become conduits of emotion, intellect, and shared experiences.

In navigating the intricate landscapes of Leroux’s musical realm, the saxophone and piano cease to be instruments; they become vessels, carrying the essence of our collaboration and the living unity of the world. “Noûs” is not merely an album; it is a testament to the enduring power of artistic exploration and the boundless connections forged through the universal language of music. May the echoes of Leroux’s compositions continue to resonate, weaving threads of inspiration for those who embark on this sonic journey with us.

Did you enjoy this content? Please consider sharing it with others who may find it interesting: