Transmutations is the story of three ideas with changing characteristics arranged in complexly interrelating elements throughout the work.

1) A harmonic material deducted from the first section (about 36 seconds.), enriched or diminished by the addition or subtraction of harmonic units operated on a « matrix » aggregate (8 aggregates in all).

2) A temporal structure also derived from the first section, the others being in a continuous relation with the pre-preceding one in the form of a permutated Fibonacci series ( etc...).

3 ) A type of composition structured around certain constants (combinations of instruments or phrases with thematic character) that makes it possible to relativize the events with regard to this apparent « fixity ».

Finally, the timbre of one of the instruments (the bass) is modified by « live » electronic material : a repeated sweeping of the harmonics of a sound, whose turning point (ambitus) varies throughout the piece.

This temporal structure would be a formal constraint, if it wasn’t deviated by its internal rules ; here it is to be used as a working « time ambitus », in the sense that the musical deduction includes a numerical breakdown (in some way a material of non-serialized durations) among its formulating operators.

My preceding works have led me to consider two sorts of perceptions in this work (as an allusion, a purely semantic indicator, and not encompassed by a pseudo-aesthetic that does not exist today). One is directional perception, where foreseeability remains possible. The other is statistic perception, where each event is not connectable to a foreseeable organization, but rather will be perceived by quantity. The compositional style is linked to the presentation of objects that can not be perceived as part of a development.

Just as some of the objects in these « fixed » slots can be perceived as belonging to a longer-term directionality, so do some of these developing cells create a momentary break, a transition, in (or between) one (or many) statistical spaces. This kind of work makes it possible to fit the slots onto (or into) each other, to organize a superimposition of events capable of belonging to different « currents ».

It is less the addition than the interaction of these figures that constitutes the musical objective of these « Transformations ».

From the premiere productions and recordings of Transmutations, and at the first approach, one can clearly perceive this stretching of discourse, of time, due to the exhausting of rhythmic, harmonic and contrapuntal solutions and of combinations of timbre within sections that are progressively longer towards the last third of the piece. This is somewhat of a « Moment-Form », balanced and put in danger by an underlying continuity, offering the challenge of two listening experiences : the moment, on the one hand the enjoyment of the present moment, and on the other its past (its reconstitution) and its future (the desire of its projection).

D. Cohen