Tristan MurailTristan Murail
(born March 11, 1947 in Le Havre
Le Havre is a city in the Seine-Maritime department of the Haute-Normandie region in France. It is situated in north-western France, on the right bank of the mouth of the river Seine on the English Channel. Le Havre is the most populous commune in the Haute-Normandie region, although the total...
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...
) is a French composer. His father, Gérard Murail, is a poet and his mother, Marie-Thérèse Barrois, a journalist. One of his brothers, Lorris Murail, and his younger sister Elvire Murail, aka Moka, also write, and his younger sister Marie-Aude Murail
Marie-Aude Murail is a French children's writer born in Le Havre on May 6 1954.Her father Gerard Murail is a poet and her mother, Marie-Thérèse Barrois, a journalist. One of her brothers and her younger sister also write: Lorris Murail and Elvire Murail, aka Moka...
is a French children's writer. Murail is associated with the "spectral
Spectral music is a musical composition practice where compositional decisions are often informed by the analysis of sound spectra. Computer-based sound spectrum analysis using tools like DFT, FFT, and spectrograms...
" technique of composition, which involves the use of the fundamental properties of sound as a basis for harmony
In music, harmony is the use of simultaneous pitches , or chords. The study of harmony involves chords and their construction and chord progressions and the principles of connection that govern them. Harmony is often said to refer to the "vertical" aspect of music, as distinguished from melodic...
, as well as the use of spectral analysis
Spectral analysis or Spectrum analysis may refer to:* Spectrum analysis in chemistry and physics, a method of analyzing the chemical properties of matter from bands in their visible spectrum...
In telecommunications and signal processing, frequency modulation conveys information over a carrier wave by varying its instantaneous frequency. This contrasts with amplitude modulation, in which the amplitude of the carrier is varied while its frequency remains constant...
Ring modulation is a signal-processing effect in electronics, an implementation of amplitude modulation or frequency mixing, performed by multiplying two signals, where one is typically a sine-wave or another simple waveform. It is referred to as "ring" modulation because the analog circuit of...
, and AM synthesis
Amplitude modulation is a technique used in electronic communication, most commonly for transmitting information via a radio carrier wave. AM works by varying the strength of the transmitted signal in relation to the information being sent...
as a method of deriving polyphony
In music, polyphony is a texture consisting of two or more independent melodic voices, as opposed to music with just one voice or music with one dominant melodic voice accompanied by chords ....
Following early studies in economics and classical and North African Arabic, Murail studied composition with Olivier Messiaen
Olivier Messiaen was a French composer, organist and ornithologist, one of the major composers of the 20th century. His music is rhythmically complex ; harmonically and melodically it is based on modes of limited transposition, which he abstracted from his early compositions and improvisations...
at the Paris Conservatoire from 1967 to 1972. He taught computer music at the Paris Conservatoire and composition at IRCAM in Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...
, where he assisted in the development of the Patchwork composition software. In 1973 he was a founding member of the Ensemble l'Itinéraire
The Ensemble l'Itinéraire is one of the main European ensemble of contemporary music, known in particular in spectral music. Spectral music alters "timbres by assembling orchestral masses." It was founded in January 1973 by Michaël Lévinas, Tristan Murail, Hugues Dufourt, Gérard Grisey and Roger...
. Since 1997 he has been a professor of composition at Columbia University
Columbia University in the City of New York is a private, Ivy League university in Manhattan, New York City. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the...
in New York City.
Among Murail's awards are the Prix de Rome
The Prix de Rome was a scholarship for arts students, principally of painting, sculpture, and architecture. It was created, initially for painters and sculptors, in 1663 in France during the reign of Louis XIV. It was an annual bursary for promising artists having proved their talents by...
(presented by the French Académie des beaux-arts
The Académie des Beaux-Arts is a French learned society. It is one of the five academies of the Institut de France.It was created in 1795 as the merger of the:* Académie de peinture et de sculpture...
in 1971), the Grand Prix du Disque
The Académie Charles-Cros, is an organization in France that acts as an intermediary between government cultural policy makers and professionals in music and the recording industry....
(1990), and the Grand Prix du Président de la République, Académie Charles Cros (1992).
Murail's works are published by Salabert and Editions Henry Lemoine. His music has been recorded on the Una Corda, Metier, Adés, and MFA-Radio France labels.
Major pieces by Murail include large orchestral pieces such as Gondwana
, Time and Again
and, more recently, Serendib
and L'esprit des dunes
. Other pieces include his Désintégrations
for 17 instruments and tape, Mémoire/Erosion
for french horn and nine instruments Ethers
for flute and ensemble, and Vampyr!
for electric guitar.
Murail also composed a set of solo pieces for various instruments in his cycle Random Access Memory
, of which the sixth, Vampyr!
, is a rare classical piece for electric guitar
An electric guitar is a guitar that uses the principle of direct electromagnetic induction to convert vibrations of its metal strings into electric audio signals. The signal generated by an electric guitar is too weak to drive a loudspeaker, so it is amplified before sending it to a loudspeaker...
is one of several works in Murail's catalogue that do not employ spectral techniques. Rather, in the performance notes, the composer asks the performer to play the piece in the manner of guitarists in the popular and rock traditions, such as Carlos Santana
Carlos Augusto Alves Santana is a Mexican rock guitarist. Santana became famous in the late 1960s and early 1970s with his band, Santana, which pioneered rock, salsa and jazz fusion...
and Eric Clapton
Eric Patrick Clapton, CBE, is an English guitarist and singer-songwriter. Clapton is the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: once as a solo artist, and separately as a member of The Yardbirds and Cream. Clapton has been referred to as one of the most important and...
- 1969, Couleur de mer,
- 1970, Altitude 8000, for orchestra,
- 1970, Où tremblent les contours, for 2 violas,
- 1971, Les miroirs étendus, for ondes Martenot and piano,
- 1971, Ligne de non-retour, for seven instruments,
- 1971, Mach 2,5, for deux ondes Martenot,
- 1972, Au-delà du mur du son, for large orchestra,
- 1972, Estuaire, 2 pieces for piano,
- 1972 (rév. 1992), L'attente, for seven instruments,
- 1973, Cosmos privé, for orchestra,
- 1973, La dérive des continents, for viola and string orchestra,
- 1973, Les nuages de Magellan,
- 1974, Tigre de verre, for ondes Martenot and piano,
- 1974, Transsahara express, for bassoon and piano,
- 1974-1975, Sables, for orchestra,
- 1976, C'est un jardin secret, ma sœur, ma fiancée, une fontaine close, une source scellée for viola solo,
- 1976, Mémoire / Erosion, for french horn and nine instruments,
- 1977, Tellur
Tellur is a classical guitar composition by Tristan Murail dedicated to Rafael Andia. It is an example of spectral music.-Bibliography:* Tellur: an analysis, by Rafael Andia, 1984. -Recordings:...
, for guitar,
- 1977, Territoires de l'oubli, for piano,
- 1978, Ethers, for flute and ensemble,
- 1978, Treize couleurs du soleil couchant,
- 1979, Les courants de l'espace, for ondes Martenot and small orchestra,
- 1980, Gondwana
Gondwana is a defining musical composition of spectral music for large orchestra composed by Tristan Murail using simulated synthesis to create a harmonic interpolation between an orchestrally synthesized chord derived from a simulated bell sound and a chord derived from a trombone sound...
, for orchestra,
- 1982, La conquête de l'Antarctique, for ondes Martenot,
- 1982, Désintégrations, for 17 instruments and electronic sounds,
- 1984, Vampyr!, for electric guitar, from Random Access Memory,
- 1985, Sillages, for orchestra,
- 1985, Time and again, for orchestra,
- 1986, Atlantys, for 2 DX7 Yamaha synthesizers, from Random Access Memory,
- 1986, Vision de la cité interdite, for 2 DX7 Yamaha synthesizers, from Random Access Memory,
- 1984-1987, Random Access Memory,
- 1988, Vues aériennes, for french horn, violin, cello and piano,
- 1989, Allégories, for 6 instruments and electronic sounds,
- 1986-1988, Les sept paroles du Christ en croix, for orchestra and chorus,
- 1990, Le fou à pattes bleues, for flute and piano,
- 1990-1991, La dynamique des fluides, for orchestra,
- 1992, Attracteurs étranges, for cello,
- 1992, Cloches d’adieu, et un sourire... in memoriam Olivier Messiaen, for piano,
- 1992, Serendib, for 22 musicians,
- 1993, La barque mystique, for five instruments,
- 1993, La mandragore, for piano,
- 1993-1994, L'esprit des dunes, for ensemble,
- 1995, ...amaris et dulcibus aquis..., for chorus and electronic sounds,
- 1995, Unanswered questions, for flute,
- 1996, Bois flotté, for piano, trombone, string trio, synthetic sounds and synthesized sounds,
- 1996, Le partage des eaux, for large orchestra,
- 1998, Comme un oeil suspendu et poli par le songe..., for piano,
- 1998, Feuilles à travers les cloches, from «Portulan», for flute, violin, cello and piano,
- 2000, Winter fragments, for flute, clarinet, piano, violin, cello, MIDI keyboard and computer,
- 2001, Le lac, for orchestra,
- 2002, Les travaux et les jours for piano,
- 2003-2004, Terre d'ombre, for large orchestra and electronic sounds,
- 2005, Pour adoucir le cours du temps, for 18 instruments, MIDI keyboard and computer,
- 2006, Les ruines circulaires, from «Portulan», for clarinet and violin,
- 2006, Seven Lakes Drive, from «Portulan», for flute, clarinet, french horn, piano, violin and cello,
- 2006, Légendes urbaines, for 22 instruments,
- 2007, Contes cruels, for 2 electric guitars and orchestra,
- 2008, Liber fulguralis, for ensemble, electronics and video,
- 2008, Garrigue, from «Portulan», for bass flute (or alto flute), viola, cello and percussions,
- 2009, En moyenne et extrême raison, for ensemble and synthetic sounds,
- 2010, Les sept paroles, for orchestra and chorus,
- 2011, La Chambre des cartes, from «Portulan», for 8 instruments,
- 2011, Dernières nouvelles du vent d'ouest, from «Portulan», for viola, horn, piano and percussions,
- 2011, Lachrymae, for alto flute and string quintet,
- 2011, Paludes, from «Portulan», for alto flute, clarinet, violin, viola and cello.
- Humbertclaude, Eric (1999), La Transcription dans Boulez et Murail : de l’oreille à l’éveil, Harmattan, ISBN 273848042X