Sunteți pe pagina 1din 20

Can the Avant-garde Music meet Chant?

Questions and answers about new dimensions of sounds joining Medieval liturgical monodies and modern musical Avant-gardes by means of electronic technologies. A Preliminary Essay in Anthological Style ( Sintesi in Italiano in Annex I, by Rsum en Franais a lAnnexe II )

Giuseppe Caserta
Engineering and Music Scholar
I am an engineer but, at the same time, I gained experiences as a Choirmaster with special focus on Gregorian Chants. Some years ago I was acquainted with some editorial initiatives all over the world concerning the meeting of Jazz with Chant. I was impressed by the fascinating contaminations realized by some eminent jazz composers and I decided to carefully examine the subject. I involved in the discussion some friends of mine and published my personal considerations on the web site www.gregorian-jazz.it (Italian and English version). Now I am trying to include Chant and Jazz jointly in the streams of the Ambient Music and of the Computer Music, paying attention on two aspects: emotional moods and technical features. This joining is not intended for liturgical service: it would be out of place. It is rather for the profane musics world that draws inspiration from a religious feeling. I will be pleased to share on line discussions, suggestions, proposals for joint composing. Giuseppe Caserta, Roma, Italy, December 2013 email: caserta.g@libero.it casertag32@gmail.com

Foreword
"We live in an era that could be defined as three-dimensional for music, a time in which Gregorian Chants and electronic beats - manipulated by the disk-jockey - live at the same time. An extraordinary opportunity to create a cultural policy that works on local languages in relation to Global communication. What in economy goes under the label of glocal" (Giorgio Battistelli in an interview edited by Aldo Lastella reported by the newspaper La Repubblica, October 1st 2011). As a matter of fact, during the 20th and 21st century, the world of music both art and pop music has been enriched with lots of new music styles, trends, currents and composing techniques. Fishing in this pot and finding stimulus for new combinations and contaminations also with ancient music is a very stimulating challenge. In this context, re-shaping the ancient medieval music in a modern musical language may play an important role. This is not an original idea. It is well known that the Chant, especially Gregorian chant, is at the origin of all Western music, but it is less known that it has inspired, even in the modern era, scholarly or popular music composers. For example, in the last 15-20 years eminent composers and performers of jazz have used Gregorian melodies to create a special atmosphere of sounds, both vocal and instrumental, where the structure of the Chant, modal, melismatic, verbally rhythmic, merges with the large swirls of the jazzs soloists or with the multi rhythmic nature of the supporting jazzs structures (Giuseppe Caserta, www.gregorian-jazz.it ). Moreover, from the paper Music for the Ages: The influence of Gregorian Chant Through Today (www.samedaymusic.com/libraryinfluenceofgregorianchant) we learn: Gregorian chanting was also used in the famous animation series known as Vision of Escaflowne and also for and xbox game with HALO as main theme. The New Age music and world music movements (1980-90) showed new signs of Gregorian chants revival. Classical music influences of Gregorian chants include the four chants coral settings as noticed in compositions of Maurice Durufl (Quatre motets sur des thmes Grgoriens), Peter Maxwell Davies and Arvo Prt. Recently, music score composed by Marty O'Donnell and Michael Salvatori for the Xbox game Halo had Georgian chant as the main idea. German Band Gregorian, headed by Frank Peterson, performs Gregorian chant inspired versions of modern pop and rock music. Mikael is considering using some "Gregorian chants" in his upcoming Opeth opus. In the animation series of Death Note, a theme named Kyrie has the Gregorian chant style. Furthermore Simone Preuss posted, on suit101.com (nov.2013), a piece titled Use of Gregorian Chants in Popular Music since the 1990s, explaining, among other things, that: In 1990, German music project Enigma not only popularized electronic and synthesizer music with their first album MCMXC a.D., the group also introduced

Gregorian chants into mainstream music. The public loved the unusual combination and catapulted first their single Sadeness and then their debut album to the top of the charts. Canadian world music and New Age singer and songwriter Marcome used chants and Latin lyrics in her songs "Memoria" (Seven Seas, 2006) and "Nostrie Tiempo" (River of Soul, 2008). So, the idea of joining ancient and new musical languages is spreading, but before launching out into new projects many questions need to be answered: 1. 2. 3. Why is the Chant still relevant today? Is the avant-garde music a well-founded genre in the present society? Can an ancient musical language, dated early centuries of the Christian era, fit those of 20th and 21st century? Is it possible to discover common elements between Chants and some new musical currents such as Ambient music, Jazz, Fractal music and Computer music? How can a sound architecture, which embeds modern and ancient styles, be built up?

4.

5.

These topics will be briefly addressed in the following pages, quoting experts sentences from the current literature. However a detailed reviewing of the current literature is avoided; only specific items useful for the aims of this essay will be highlighted. I will examine those different genres from both emotional and technical points of view. This trajectory will hopefully lead to define, design and implement new sound architectures based on the incorporation of medieval liturgical monodies (Gregorian, Ambrosian, Beneventan, Byzantine chants) into the styles of the musical avant-gardes of the 20th and 21st centuries, using electronic technologies. Some original music products will hopefully follow in the future.

1. Why is the Chant still relevant today?


The inflationary expansion of the technological civilization has improved, without any doubt, the level of living standard of most people but, at the same time, it has imposed to everybody a frantic rhythm of life. The modern Western Society is full immersed in a multiform background noise. Rushing, shouting, overcrowding are the present dimensions of human life where silence, relax, meditation, introspection are banned. The capacity to be touched while watching Nature or while listening to own inner space has been lost, and the emotional state tied to the perception of a beauty has been clouded. The richness of technical tools for politics, economy, science, is contrasting with the smallness of deep emotional moods leading to an impoverishment of all arts including music. Very often the modern music reflects (and it often causes) the present situation: most of the musical revolutions of 20th century - especially those moved under the banner of atonality before being a product of a refined and rarefied intellectualism, was the most obvious

manifestation of a psychological condition reflecting a widespread mood: the state of existential angst. Some music is made up of sobs, here and there interspersed with sighs and cries, generating pain and sadness. Re-evaluating a style of poetry inspiring quiet and silence is the pre-condition for the renascence of fine arts and music. Many trends of avant-garde music have been tempting, since the last century, to convert this need into a musical shape currently defined as Ambient Music which spreads in a wide varieties of genres, sub-genres, styles, including modern jazz. The inclusion of religious and intimate components into this avant-garde music style has produced some masterpieces of music showing, in particular, that the medieval monophonic chants used for liturgical services are well suited to be included in modern relaxing and meditative music. Some prominent examples could be found in fascinating compilations such as: Officium by Jan Garbarek and the Hilliard Ensemble, Infinity by Dino Mariani and Musices Officina, Gregorian headed by Frank Peterson, etc. As a matter of fact, the Chant, born in the turbulent Middle Ages plagued by wars, famines, plagues, invasions, diseases, represented at that time an island of peace and restoration of the soul. On this island clergy and laity, friends and enemies, believers and agnostics, landed in desperate search of a wash of the turmoil of everyday life. So Gregorian Chant (as well as other similar chants) gained and keeps today a trans-religious meaning which satisfies the need, innate in man, to stop from time to time the everyday run, to shake off the dust of the life and get naked in the rooms of the Mystery or Myth, whether personified in a transcendent God, or represented by a deified phenomenon of the Nature, or assumed as a symbol of national identity. Simone Preuss (see above) wrote: In closing, Father Karl Wallner, spokesman for a Viennese group of Heiligenkreuz monks who was in the press in 2008 after securing a lucrative recording contract with Universal Music, may have a good explanation as to why the medieval Gregorian chants resonate so strongly with listeners today. He says: "[The] Gregorian chant has an incredibly distinctive, immediate sound. My feeling is that when people hear it, in whatever context, they react immediately. This music is incredibly calming and spiritual, and people do tend to listen to it more in times of heightened anxiety (as we are all feeling right now)." Furthermore, from Music for the Ages (see above) we may read: The Benedictine monks of Santo Domingo de Silos recorded the iconic album named Chant with a theme of music that could inspire timeless calmness and serenity. It is believed that listening to Gregorian chant increases the production of beta waves in the brain. Gregorian chant has gained the reputation of tranquilizing music. A new dimension of life involving music and all arts is more and more popular.

2. Is the Avant-garde music a well- founded genre in the present society?


The world of the avant-garde music both classical and pop music - is very complex and sometimes it looks like an inextricable puzzle, full of contradictions and unacceptable deviations. But in some cases, for example in the case of the Ambient music or of the spiritual jazz, philosophical and aesthetical principles could find correspondence with other music styles both from emotional and technical points of view. Consider first the kaleidoscopic world of the Ambient Music. The starting of the Ambient Music can be traced back to the beginning of the last century with Erik Satie and Claude Debussy, but it was in the '70s, with Brian Eno, that the search for sound spaces based on timbre effects (also "mixed" with the sounds of Nature ) rather than on a programmed sequence of notes, diagrams and compositional rhythms, had its most explosive event (for an exhaustive compendium of Ambient Music see: Ambient Music. The complete Guide, by Paul Muljadi, www.scribd.com). Furthermore, from the essay by J. A. Sanchez Albuja, History of Ambient, www.scribd.com we learn: One of ambient music's prime sources is the classical avant-garde. Among the pioneers were two late-19th Century composers, Claude Debussy and Erik Satie. Satie's concept of "furniture music" for solo piano or small ensembles now seems surprisingly congruous with Eno's concept of ambience: creating a sound environment that complimented the surrounds rather than intruded upon it. More musically direct but just as subtle and suggestive was the work of Debussy, who's wandering, impressionistic tone poems like "Prelude To The Afternoon Of The Fawn" (1894) heralded a new openness in Western music and broke all kinds of rules in structure and linear composition. By the middle of the 20th Century the American composer John Cage had blown stuffy notions of "proper" music right out of the water. He pre-empted world music with pieces that evoked the sounds of Africa, India and Indonesia; he invented and composed for the 'prepared piano' with objects stuck in piano wires to create Asian-like tones and percussive textures; and he outraged and perplexed his audiences with collisions of randomly created noise and, most infamously, his piece "4'33" which challenged listeners to consider silence as a perfectly valid form of musical expression. After Cage, the floodgates opened. The 1960's saw the rise of a school of American composers with classical backgrounds who became known as the minimalists. They took the idea of repetition and explored it over long distances, whether with orchestras, electric instruments or non-Western instrumental combinations. In turn minimalism was to inform music as diverse as techno dance and new age relaxation music. It was also during the 60's that non-Western sounds and modes of composition seeped into classical, jazz and popular music to an unprecedented degree. And German composer Karl Stockhausen further explored Cage's tape experiments with his radical tape collages, a precursor to modern digital sampling.

This was also a time of absorption of avant-garde ideas into rock music. In the late 1960's rock was enriched enormously by a combination of electronic music technology, psychedelic drugs, ideas from the classical avant-garde and the innovations of jazzmen like Miles Davis. The Beatles showed what could be done in recording studio within a pop framework; art rock bands like Pink Floyd and Tangerine Dream then took the next step by downplaying pop's emphasis on lyrics and taking audiences into totally new spaces. The tracks were instrumental, often improvised, spacey and long. Rock was undergoing its own avant-garde and the open-ended sound of one instrument in particular - the analogue synthesiser and its digital successors - has become such an important tool of expression that much dance, ambient and experimental music that's been released since simply wouldn't exist without it. In popular music one of the names most crucial to the evolution of synthesiser technology - and thus to most of the electronic music that followed - is German band Kraftwerk. They developed drum pads and used synthesiers in an explicitly rhythmic way to create a minimal style of pop that was purely electronic in origin. Consequently they shook the rock world out of its mid1970's complacency and set music off in all kinds of unexpected directions. As Kraftwerk's Ralf Hutter told Billboard in a 1977 interview: "Electronics is beyond nations and colours...with electronics everything is possible. The only limit is with the composer". We may nowadays take synthesiers for granted, but to challenge such a guitar-dominated culture at the time was revolutionary. Kraftwerk's vision was urban, technological, post-industrial. Their futurist ideas combined with their equally futuristic sound was enormously influential, particularly on UK synth pop and on the black musicians of Detroit from whom modern techno emerged in the 1980's. And in turn, that legacy reaches into the various ambient and downbeat spin-offs of electronic dance music that have emerged since. The bases of the Computer music The different genres of the Ambient music, as well as most of the other avant-garde styles, are strictly linked to electronic devices. Computer music and electronic music are a powerful tool for innovation and progress. They are able: To generate an infinite series of unusual timbres which, among the other things, can be resonant with the sounds of Nature or with the noises of our daily life; To stimulate the creativity of users both from emotional and technical point of view; To ensure a symbiosis between the composer and the instruments he uses.

The Computer music is strictly linked to the use of mathematics and algorithms in music compositions. For centuries, the algorithms have been used, though often unconsciously, in music especially in the West, but only with the advent of computer music and the theories of fractals, they have found a framing well represented by numerous studies, projects and productions undertaken in recent decades (http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algorithmic-composition ). The Fractal Music (a subset of the fractal art and fractal theory) uses mathematical algorithms to discover and study, in particular genres of music, the similarities between individual

nuclei of sounds and the overall structure of the composition, and opens the way to the art of improvisation, even random, and variations. The Fractal theory of music has been applied also to Gregorian Chant, discovering important elements of the musical structure such as: self-similarities, attractors, fractal dimensions etc. (Charles Madden, Fractals in Music, Second Edition, 2007, High Art Press, Salt Lake City USA. See also: Pietro Di Lorenzo, Chaos Structure in Gregorian Chant, Proceedings of the Conference "Musical Creativity - 10th Anniversary ESCOM" Liegi,Belgium, April 2002). Lets us turn now to the Jazz The Jazz lasts for over a century and a half without showing signs of fatigue or failure, even showing a vitality that only a few musical genres showed in the past. This, thanks to its extraordinary capacity for renewal, revival, evolution, branching and ability to remain deeply rooted in the territory. Jeff Perry, a Minneapolis-based jazz guitarist, wrote in his paper: Jazz & Innovation: How the Jazz Culture Fosters Creativity,( www.scribd.com ): The jazz model is historically new and musically is a radical innovation. It is not that frequent in history that a new music is born. Since the time of Bach 300+ years ago, Western music has seen Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Avant-garde musical forms emerge 4 sub styles in 300 years. In the United States, we had unique ingredients to not only provide the possibility for a new kind of music but a music so innovative it would produce at least double the number of sub styles in less than 100 years. It has also produced a long list of players who have developed a unique and personal sound, changed the way instruments are played, and invented new ways music is played. Musically, the combination of two ingredients, European and African musical traditions, led to the opportunity for the birth of jazz. These two traditions melded European harmonic and melodic concepts with the rhythmically advanced musical heritage of Africa. By fusing aspects of both traditions, taking the strengths of both, new possibilities emerged and a musical innovation began. This word that is so omnipresent in the American lexicon is what leads to innovation in jazz and what leads to innovation anywhere. Business leaders talk about the need to get out of the way of people so they can do their best work to take away boundaries that prevent creativity. Jazz, through its values and processes has minimized boundaries and maximized freedom for a hundred years. As long as that doesn't change it will continue to be reinvented. Organizations and people that want to be more creative and innovative may wish to look to the jazz model for ideas especially because it has proven itself for so long. By allowing freedom, balanced by rules, guidelines and values, the culture necessary for innovation may be possible for you to attain. By encouraging the Process of Fusion, the Process of Reinterpretation, and the Process of Improvisation you and your organization may find its unique sound and with it see new ideas, new services, and/or new products. Now the next time you hear the word jazz, think innovation!

3. Can an ancient musical language, dated early centuries of the Christian era, fit those of 20th and 21st century?
The first question that arises when exploring a cultural past like the one that flourished in the first millennium - apart from the cultural curiosity that this exploration can raise - is: what can it offer an ancient musical structure to modern composers of classical or popular music? And how it can be taken as a reference for new musical languages which must take into account the trends of the twentieth century and beyond? Leopoldo Gamberini in his book La parola e la musica nellantichit, (L. Holschki ed., 1962) gave a persuasive answer to this question. "To know intimately a musical work one must seize the spirit in it fully realized. In fact, the moods are like the needs and necessities of man, always immutable and eternal; man will always need to eat, drink and sleep, love, pray, cry and laugh, sing, etc. So from a particular musical expression we can discover the fantasy world of an individual at a certain time, or even after, and then feel the value of a constant expression that has gained it, absolutely complete, in a universally valid form, perpetually, eternally valid, with a force that reminds us of the divinity This is true with regard to the intimate nature of moods or emotions, but what about the technical languages which are used to express these emotions? Can they be preserved in time and space so that they sound recognizable and viable also today? Again Leopoldo Gamberini: "There are two general aspects of the music of the ancient world. The first one, used later, is seen observing the way of composing of the ancients: the way to bring near formula to formula, neum to neum, and I think we can say that it is very modern indeed for modern composers (followers of Webern ). In fact, as happens for the latest trends of modern composers, what mattered for the ancients was not the simple note but the melodic structure; today the extremists tend to abolish the measure and to compose according pure melodic lines, the so-called structures, where a single note has no longer the absolute value of the past epochs, because the structure is the important thing, the melodic line in relations with other melodic lines. In this sense the antiquity we can say us many things because all the old music is structural. The other aspect, oldest but yet topical, it is this: the use on the vowels of the individual neums and single notes, depending on the poetic meter, means that the musical note has no value since it is linked to next and previous ones but in and of itself, as a sound that has and creates its own poetic autonomy. Different aspects almost opposites that intertwine over time, and complement each other. In fact, if we change a few notes, the poetic effect does not change because the note is not in a relationship of absolute value with the others, because what matters is the sound effect made the most of the general line of melodic structure, and in some Jewish

songs is very obvious, as in the Greek p. and. Delphic hymns. The characteristic of a new modern trend, stretching all the way to the beauty of the single sound, in a sound's moment thin and evanescent, is one of the modern composition having a certain similarity, even in the need of expression, with the ancient ones . In confirmation of that, some examples may be provided. Jazz's phrases of famous composers - not intentionally inspired by Gregorian Chant show surprising consonances with themes traceable in the Gregorian Chants books, especially with those belonging to some Masss Kyrie. Comparisons could be made between musical themes taken from: - House of the King of guitarist Jan Akkerman (70) and Mass IX Cum jubilo; -Carinhoso by flutist Alfredo da Rocha Vianna (1928) and Mass XI Orbis factor, -Mother by flutist Rosario Fug (2007) and Mass I Lux et origo. Moreover, Higini Angls discovered Relations of Spanish Folk Song to the Gregorian Chant Author(s) (Journal of the International Folk Music Council, Vol. 16 (1964), pp. 54-56 Published by: International Council for Traditional Music Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/835076).

4. Is it possible to discover common elements between Chant and some new musical currents such as Ambient music, Jazz, Fractal and Computer music?
Ambient music Ambient Music is defined by Brian Eno as "music designed to induce calm and space to think." Beyond some extremist forms of this kind of music, its basic purpose is to provide a sound support to forms of meditation and relaxation without interfering heavily with the emotional states of the listener. It is quite impossible to describe in details the several ramifications of the Ambient music. What is coherent with the spirit of the present essay is well summarized in the following sentence by J. A. Sanchez Albuja in: History of Ambient,(www.scribd.com). Sitting, listening, chilling. Music for background or foreground. Music for tripping, for relaxing, or for making us uneasy and challenging us with a new perspective. At the start of the third millennium music to chill-out to makes perfect sense. As the Western world becomes faster, more complex, more rife with nervous energy, the joy of listening to instrumental music that expresses both our external environment (both man-made and natural) and our inner spaces (both emotional and mental) is now more popular than atany other time in the history of recorded sound. Also the minimalism style could be included in this complex world: The idea of minimalism is much larger than most people realize. It includes, by definition, any music that works with limited or minimal materials: pieces that use only a few notes, pieces that use only a few words of text, or pieces written for very limited instruments, such as antique cymbals, bicycle wheels, or whiskey glasses. It includes pieces that sustain one basic electronic rumble for a long time. It includes pieces made exclusively from recordings of rivers and streams. It includes pieces that move in endless circles. It includes pieces that set up an unmoving wall of saxophone

sound. It includes pieces that take a Minimal music 40 very long time to move gradually from one kind of music to another kind. It includes pieces that permit all possible pitches, as long as they fall between C and D. It includes pieces that slow the tempo down to two or three notes per minute. (Paul Muljadi, Ambient Music. The complete Guide, www.scribd.com ) Chillout, Downtempo, Minimalisms etc. are mental attitudes more than a music style. This attitude may be found in different musical eras, from Gregorian chants to post-romantic avantgarde music, and expresses a sort of a state of grace far from both a languid sentimentalism and an indefinite technicality. One of the characteristic of these music is a sort of indeterminacy that seems to confine emotional states on the skin of listener. An indefinite vagueness surrounds this style of music suggesting a lack of psychological insight of a particular mental and spiritual situation. But this musical structure - similar to other genres, styles and composers including Mozart - is the result of an extraordinary ability to not totally enslave the music at a certain emotional image, but to let it roam freely in a multidimensional expressiveness open to all possible introspections of our consciousness. So, as in a mirror, we look at ourselves in the music with all the characteristics of our ever-changing and fluctuating mood. Jazz Jazz has its roots in African-American spirituals, and even if subsequently gave rise to various forms and types of essentially secular nature of pure fun even of orgiastic type however, has always kept alive the religious and spiritual component, especially the one that goes back to the Bible and uses music to express "the words of comfort and hope that from year to year are handed down to their colored brethren (Duke Ellington). A brief but efficient sketch of religious component of early jazz may be found in A Brief History of Music in Europe and Africa and The U.S.A. uploaded to www.scribd.com by georgecolligan: Spirituals (or Negro spirituals) are religious (generally Christian) songs which were created by enslaved African people in America. Although numerous rhythmical and sonic elements of Negro spirituals can be traced to African sources, Negro spirituals are a musical form that is indigenous and specific to the religious experience in the United States of Africans and their descendants. They are a result of the interaction of music and religion from Africa with music and religion of European origin. Further, this interaction occurred only in the United States. Africans who converted to Christianity in other parts of the world, even in the Caribbean and Latin America, did not evolve this form. There is also a duality in the lyrics of spirituals. They communicated many Christian ideals while also communicating the hardship that was a result of being an African-American slave. The spiritual was often directly tied to the composer's life. It was a way of sharing religious, emotional, and physical experience through song.

10

Gregorian chants The most appropriate definition of Gregorian Chant was coined by Edgardo Carducci in his Trattato di Composizione e Studio delle Forme Musicali (Edizioni De Santis, Roma 1972): The Gregorian Chant is similar to a soul absorbed into oblivion of the whole earthly world. Summary of Christian spirituality in singing, the Gregorian melodies blossom from the creative energies of an immense religious world, which provides intensity and complexity of content, concentrative strength, attitude to the propagation and stimulation of prayer. Furthermore, Father Raffaele Baratta OSB (in various personal writings) made clear that Gregorian Chant displays: a) Ambience dimensions in the field of: Education. It cultivates refinement of human sensitivity showing the choicest part of that: the gentle one; moreover it mitigates and affects the domain of the senses. Social life. It communicates through communion; it promotes and facilitates the human embrace, the love of the neighbours without discrimination, taking it on the level of understanding, of harmony, of the individual renunciation for the sake of Community. Medical sciences. It as a particularly effective means in the branch of psychophysics and in that of voice. b) An intrinsic music potential It is the oldest, richer, more perfect musical heritage of Western civilization. All Western music arose from it; in addition to writing western music, almost all forms and melodic compositional procedures derived from it. From Gregorian chant the first vocal and instrumental polyphonic forms were created in which the use of the Gregorian melodies is the source or creative starting point. The Monastic Premonstratensian Community of S. Antimo (Montalcino, Italy) considered the minimalism style of Gregorian Chant: "Confronted with the glowing richness of the orchestra and polyphony, Gregorian chant will not have to offer but a line, only one. It uses only small intervals: the second and the third; the fourth and the fifth are already more rare, the sixth is almost ignored, and the eighth unknown in the apogee of Gregorian chant. Gregorian chant, which renounces to split tones in semitones, also rejects split times, his first time, flexible, moreover, as the syllable Latin, is indivisible. His pace ignores the extent isochronous, squaring, the symmetries that put systematic order and

11

clarity in classical composition, the strong beats, syncope, in short, all the other achievements of the music back .... Our line Gregorian is simple, flexible and free in its movement, lively movements, direct essential elements, detached from the superfluous, even when it is lush with ornaments: in a word, a beautiful style, embracing all the beauty of a frank and direct art absolutely self-possessed Summarizing, Gregorian Chant is a diaphanous and aseptic singing style, embedded in a musical structure where the rhythmic, tonal, agogic constraints of a complex structures are ignored, and where the melodic line is exactly modeled on the poetic sense of the words, the syllable or the vowel in an extraordinary symbiosis of faith / poetry / music. Gregorian chant is therefore: Minimalist, Dynamic, Random, A-temporal; it embraces various systems of styles, trends, fashions, staying in a space / time dimension which is found, surprisingly, inside the theories and trends of the musical avant-garde of the twentieth century. It is therefore not out of place even imagine a fusion of the technical bases of Gregorian chant and Avant-garde music. In fact, many of the productions of ambient jazz, inspired by Gregorian Chant, show clear links to some streams of Ambient Music, i.e. Minimalism and Chill-out. This short survey has disclosed some common threads that can be found among the above cited musical genres, although very different each other. These threads are essentially: an aspiration to silence, to inwardness of the thoughts, to a spiritual elevation, and a quiet exchange of emotions with the human and natural environment surrounding us.

5. How to embed ancient and modern music styles?


It could seem unrealistic - if not extravagant to join musical systems born and developed in extremely different eras, continents and cultural spheres, that are distant thousands years in time and thousands of miles in space. Yet someone has tried this adventure, with results nothing short of amazing. Considering the case of the Ambient Jazz that meets Gregorian Chant. The musical forms that has been adopted by prominent composers such as Jan Garbarek, Dino Mariani, Gregorian Band and others, can be grouped into four categories. Contrast: a Gregorian melody, performed by a choir or a singer, is set against a dissonant jazz structure creating a rhythmic and harmonic contrasting atmosphere; Variations: a short Gregorian theme, often proposed by a soloist in jazz style, is reworked according to the usual pattern of "variations on a theme" adopted in classical music especially in the nineteenth century; Dissolution: the ambience mood of the chant is completely dissolved in a pop structure; Descant: two melodic lines, one reproducing a Gregorian theme and the other its reshape, are performed by two different musical instruments including the singers voice. Which of these forms is more effective in achieving a perfect symbiosis between Gregorian Chant and Jazz? It is clear that the choice of a particular form depends on the sensitivity and

12

inspiration of the composer, but it must be said that not all the musical composition forms have the same effectiveness. But what does it mean by the term "effectiveness"? All the transpositions must be made taking into account: The particular " trans-emotional flavor" of Gregorian chant, able to transport souls in the regions of the spirit where the humans' moods, although complex, are distilled into an ineffable serenity and joy; The vocal nature of the Chant: the "color" of the sound of the instruments - especially solo instruments should fit the color of the human voice; The fractal dimension of Chants melodic forms which must be reproduced in the geometrical structure of the new product; The perfect fusion of the melodic forms to be joined, avoiding extreme situations such as: the simple juxtaposition of a Gregorian melody vs. a little affine jazzs line, or the complete dissolution of a melisma in an extraneous structure; The cure of the phrasing, which is of extreme importance in Gregorian chant which is based: on a free rhythm according the rhythmic-melodic structure of the verbal text, on the legato of the neums groups, on the melodic accents, and on the musical phraseology (clause, member , phrase, period). These elements, if properly executed, make fascinating the singing, avoiding melodic flattening and emission of amorphous and lifeless sounds.

All these prerequisites can be found in two main operas: Officium by Jan Garbarek and Hilliard Ensamble, and Infinity by Dino Mariani and Musices Officina. In particular, the descant form has been adopted largely by these composers showing that this structure is more suited to attach the Gregorian melody on other musical lines, like a ivy mantling a wall.

Following up
As a follow-up of this preliminary study, a Project will be developed which will explore the possibility, theoretical and practical, to reshape some themes of the plainchant in new specific sounds architecture following the schemes of the Ambient music and Jazz. The tools offered by electronic technologies will be used for the analysis and the creation of new sound bodies. Pursuing new dimensions of sounds able to enhance common moods, avoiding excessive technicality of the composition formulas, searching links with the past and basing the performance on a dialogue and open communication, all of that is feasible and fruitful and may represent the challenge for the musicians of the 21st century.

13

ANNEX I
Sintesi in Italiano
Giuseppe Caserta un ingegnere che ha anche acquisito esperienze professionali nel campo della musica sacra e in particolare del canto liturgico medievale. Lidea portante di questo breve saggio la convinzione che anche nella musica non c progresso senza innovazione e non c innovazione senza radici anche remote. Punto di partenza del saggio una intervista - curata da Aldo Lastella - che Il M Giorgio Battistelli rilasci al quotidiano La Repubblica il 1 Ottobre 2011. In quella intervista il M Battistelli si chiede come e dove possa essere trovato un linguaggio musicale che distilli loggi Viviamo un presente che potremmo definire tridimensionale per quanto riguarda la musica, unepoca in cui convivono nello stesso momento il canto gregoriano e i ritmi elettronici manipolati dai disk-jockey. Unoccasione straordinaria per realizzare una politica culturale che lavori sui linguaggi locali in rapporto alla dimensione globale della comunicazione. Quello che in economia va sotto letichetta di glocal. Una risposta alla domanda di Battistelli la si pu trovare nell uso diffuso di monodie sacre medievali, soprattutto quelle che fanno parte del repertorio gregoriano, nei pi svariati generi della musica moderna. Consultare per esempio in: www.samedaymusic.com/libraryinfluenceofgregorianchant Music for the Ages: The influence of Gregorian Chant Though Today; o anche: Use of Gregorian Chants in Popular Music since the 1990s, di Simone Preuss , www.suit101.com , Novembre 2013). La strada quindi aperta anche per nuovi itinerari. Prima per di lanciarsi in altri possibili progetti occorre chiedersi: 1) Perch il passato remoto ancora attuale? 2) Le moderne avanguardie musicali sono ben radicate nella odierna societ tecnologica? 3) Pu un linguaggio musicale antico trovare corrispondenza con quello delle avanguardie musicali del XX e XXI secolo? 4) Coshanno in comune queste ultime con il Canto gregoriano? 5) Come si pu costruire unarchitettura sonora organica ed originale che non sia una semplice giustapposizione di temi musicali di diversa provenienza? Stralci estratti da numerose fonti letterarie e discografiche consultate (e riportate nel testo man mano che se ne presenta lopportunit), rappresentano, unitamente a considerazioni di carattere personale, tentativi di risposte a queste domande, risposte che sono sintetizzate qui di seguito. 1.La vita del mondo occidentale caratterizzata, oggi pi che in passato, da un ritmo frenetico imposto da un inarrestabile progresso tecnologico che, se da un lato ha migliorato il tenore di vita di moltissime popolazioni, dallaltro ha reso necessaria unorganizzazione di vita dove il silenzio, la calma, la meditazione, lintrospezione sono banditi. Le arti, inclusa la musica dotta o popolare che sia, non potevano non riflettere questa situazione. Alcune espressioni darte contemporanea manifestano in maniera evidente uno stato di profonda angoscia esistenziale. Negli ultimi decenni, correnti musicali che fanno parte della estesa e multiforme famiglia della Ambient Music, hanno cercato di contrapporre a queste esasperate espressioni darte uno stile ispirato alla calma e al silenzio. Luso poi di un linguaggio musicale mutuato sia dal Canto gregoriano che dal Jazz ha prodotto alcuni capolavori discografici quali: Officium di Jan Garbarek and the Hilliard Ensamle, Infinity di Dino Mariani e Musices Officina, Gregorian, serie curata da Frank Peterson. Il Canto gregoriano si rivela quindi, ancora dopo molti secoli, una fonte di ispirazione sia per la musica darte che per quella popolare.

14

2. Il mondo delle avanguardie musicali del XX e XXI secolo popolato da una molteplicit di stili, generi, tendenze che rendono complessa una visione globale del fenomeno. Tuttavia alcune correnti della Ambient Music e dello Spiritual Jazz si sono ben affermate negli ultimi decenni e possono essere prese come paradigma per lo sviluppo delle idee che sono alla base del presente saggio. Alcuni esempi. Gli esordi della Ambient Music si possono far risalire agli inizi del secolo scorso con Erik Satie e Claude Debussy, ma negli anni 70, con Brian Eno, che la ricerca di spazi sonori basati su effetti timbrici (anche mixati con suoni della natura) pi che su una programmata successione di note, schemi e ritmi compositivi, ebbe la sua pi esplosiva manifestazione (cf. Ambient Music,The complete Guide, di Paul Muljadi, www.scribd.com) Le successive manipolazioni di questa tendenza sono poi sfociate nella musica elettronica, soprattutto nella computer music, che ha aperto le porte, in maniera pi consapevole che in passato, alluso di algoritmi matematici e dei frattali. La Musica Frattale (un sottoinsieme dellarte frattale e della teoria dei frattali) usa algoritmi matematici per scoprire e studiare, in particolari generi musicali (tra cui anche il canto gregoriano), le similarit tra nuclei sonori singoli e struttura complessiva della composizione, ed apre la strada allarte della improvvisazione, anche casuale, e della variazione (cf.Charles Madden, Fractals in Music, Second Edition, 2007, High Art Press, Salt Lake City USA; e poi: Pietro Di Lorenzo, Chaos Structures in Gregorian Chant, Proceedings of the Conference "Musical Creativity - 10th Anniversary ESCOM" Liegi,Belgium, April 2002). Daltra parte, per secoli gli algoritmi sono stati usati, anche se spesso inconsapevolmente, nella musica soprattutto occidentale, ma solo con lavvento della computer music e delle teorizzazioni dei frattali, hanno trovato una loro sistematicit ben rappresentata dai numerosi studi, progetti e realizzazioni degli ultimi decenni. Se poi diamo uno sguardo al mondo del Jazz notiamo come questo genere, pur frastagliato in una infinit di rivoli, dura da oltre un secolo e mezzo senza mostrare segni di stanchezza o di cedimenti, anzi facendo sfoggio di una vitalit che pochi altri fenomeni musicali hanno mostrato in passato. Un fenomeno musicale che dura da cos tanto tempo senza mostrare segni di stanchezza o di cedimenti, deve avere in s i germi di un continuo rinnovamento, deve possedere in alto grado una spinta allevoluzione, alla riproposizione di s stesso, restando profondamente radicato nel territorio (cf.Jeff Perry, Jazz & Innovation: How the Jazz Culture Fosters Creativity, www.scribd.com ). 3. La prima domanda che nasce quanduno si accinge ad esplorare un passato remoto - a parte la curiosit culturale che questa esplorazione pu suscitare : cosa pu offrire oggi una struttura compositiva antica che data quasi un millennio (e che ha comunque subto essa stessa mutazioni imposte dallambiente in cui si sono sviluppate), e in che modo pu essere presa come riferimento per una musica che deve necessariamente tener conto delle tendenze del XX secolo e oltre? Nel XX secolo Maestri di Musicologia e di Filosofia della Musica (v.: Giuseppe Caserta, Il Codice genetico del Canto liturgico, www.scribd.com ) hanno dato voce ad una rivalutazione dellantico amplificando i flebili segnali provenienti dai passati millenni e fornendo materiale prezioso per una reimpostazione soprattutto della musica vocale e rituale basata su autenticit ed esclusivit. E stato messo in evidenza come le melodie usate da popoli diversi nel corso dei millenni hanno in gran parte una base compositiva simile, e come questa base primordiale non si sia consumata nellavvicendarsi di stili, tendenze, mode, rimanendo in un dimensione spazio/temporale unica in cui si ritrovano popoli e fedi diverse. Sorprendentemente, anche teorie e tendenze delle avanguardie musicali del XX secolo, da Webern a Stravinskij, da Respighi a Rota, e persino compositori ed esecutori di musica pop e jazz (Jan Garbarek e Hilliard Ensemble con Officium, Dino Mariani con Infinity, e molti altri) si sono ispirati allantichit, e in special modo al gregoriano. 4. Ambient Music stata definita da Brian Eno una musica creata per indurre calma e spazio per pensare. Aldil di alcune condannabili forme degenerative della Ambient Music, il suo scopo fornire un

15

supporto sonoro a forme di meditazione e di rilassamento senza interferire pesantemente con gli stati emotivi dellascoltatore. Daltra parte, il Canto Gregoriano simile ad unanima assorte nelloblio di tutto lumano (Edgardo Carducci, Trattato di Composizione e Studio delle Forme Musicali, Roma 1972 ), e custodisce in suoni le vibrazioni dellanima contemplativa medievale dove, una fede espressa in poesia, risuona in sintonia con la musica e trasporta, aldil delle pur ampie e profonde barriere della parola, nel mondo del Trascendente (P. Raffaele Baratta OSB da scritti vari). Il Jazz, poi, affonda le sue radici negli spirituals afro-americani, e anche se successivamente ha dato origine a svariate forme e tipologie di natura essenzialmente profana di puro divertimento anche di tipo orgiastico, nondimeno ha sempre tenuta viva la componente religiosa e spirituale, soprattutto quella che si rif alla Bibbia e che usa la musica per esprimere le parole di conforto e di speranza che di anno in anno vengono tramandate ai loro fratelli di colore (Duke Ellington). Il filo conduttore che unisce idealmente questi generi, pur diversissimi, innanzitutto unaspirazione al silenzio, alla interiorizzazione dei pensieri, alla elevazione spirituale dei sentimenti, ad una pacata risonanza e interscambio di emozioni e di sensazioni con lambiente umano e naturale che ci circonda. Uno stato emotivo molti vicino al chill out della Ambient music. Ma vi sono anche similarit tecniche, strutturali e compositive, che avvicinano alcune correnti della Ambient music e della Fractal music al Canto gregoriano, quali: il ritmo fondato sul downtempo che ricorda la cantillazione e la solmisazione del canto gregoriano, il minimalismo strutture musicali composte da piccoli intervalli sonori (seconda, terza), lauto-somiglianza e la ripetitivit dei nuclei melodici a scale diverse, che sono alla base della Fractal music e si ritrovano in maniera particolarmente evidente nei kyriali ecc. 5. Le forme musicali in cui si concretizzata negli ultimi 15 anni lispirazione gregoriana nella musica pop possono essere raggruppate in 4 categorie-tipo. Il contrasto: ad un brano gregoriano, eseguito nella sua interezza da un coro o da un solista, viene contrapposta una struttura jazzistica dissonante nel ritmo e nelle formule armoniche, realizzando cos un contrasto di atmosfere ritmiche ed armoniche; La variazione: un tema melodico gregoriano, spesso proposto da un solista, viene rielaborato in stile jazzistico secondo gli usuali schemi delle variazioni su tema adottati nella musica classica soprattutto nel XIX secolo; La dissoluzione: viene mantenuto solo in parte lambiente emotivo del cantus planus senza alcun altro riferimento con la struttura musicale; Il discanto: la struttura melodica del canto fermo viene accompagnata con una struttura simile ma trasposta in altre scale e in altri tempi ritmici. Quali di queste forme pi efficace per realizzare una perfetta simbiosi tra gregoriano ed altri generi musicali? Fermo restando che la scelta di una forma piuttosto che unaltra dipende dalla sensibilit e dallestro del compositore, occorre dire che non tutte le forme sommariamente descritte hanno la stessa efficacia. Ma cosa sintende col termine efficacia? Innanzitutto nelle trasposizioni occorre: a)conservare il particolare sapore trans-emozionale del gregoriano che rende questo canto simile ad unanima assorta nelle regioni delloblio di tutto il terreno; b) il colore del timbro vocale del canto anche se trasferito in strumenti solistici (ad es. il sassofono di Jan Garbarek); c) Il fraseggio, conciliando il ritmo verbale del canto con la poliritmicit delle nuove strutture. Questo breve saggio prelude ad un Progetto. Il Progetto studier la possibilit, teorico-pratica, di rimodellare temi del cantus planus, puri o contaminati, in nuove specifiche sonorit, incoraggiati anche dagli strumenti che le teorie matematiche della musica e le tecnologie elettroniche offrono oggi per lanalisi e la creazione di nuovi organismi sonori. Il Progetto si svilupper in tre fasi: a) Un approfondimento di quanto rilevato finora attraverso una rassegna antologica sullispirazione del cantus planus nelle musiche davanguardia degli ultimi 20 anni; b) Costruzione di possibili intrecci tra frasi dautore jazzistici non intenzionalmente ispirate al gregoriano - che mostrano sorprendenti consonanze con temi rintracciabili nella vasta produzione gregoriana (alcuni esempi possono essere citati che sembrano suggerire la costruzione di possibili intrecci tra temi jazzistici e i Kyrie di alcune messe gregoriane, ad esempio: House of the King del chitarrista Jan Akkerman (anni 70) e Messa IX Cum jubilo;

16

Carinhoso del flautista Alfredo da Rocha Vianna (1928) e Messa XI Orbis factor; Mother da: For Women Only del flautista Rosario Fug (2007) e Messa I Lux et origo). c) Sviluppo di creazioni originali. Perseguire nuove dimensioni di suoni in sintonia con gli stati emotivi delluomo doggi, evitando per un eccessivo tecnicismo delle formule compositive, e contemperando le innovazioni con echi provenienti da epoche remote, pu rappresentare una esaltante sfida per i musicisti del XXI secolo.

ANNEX II
Rsum en Franais
Giuseppe Caserta est ingnieur mais a aussi eu des expriences professionnelles dans le domaine de la musique sacre et en particulier dans le chant liturgique mdival. Lide matresse de ce bref essai rside dans la conviction que, en musique galement, il ny a pas de progrs sans innovation et il ny a pas dinnovation sans racines, y compris de lointaines racines. Le point de dpart de cet essai est une interview ralise par Aldo Lastella et relche par le Matre Giorgio Battistelli au quotidien La Repubblica le 1er octobre 2011. Dans cette interview, Matre Battistelli se pose la question de savoir.. comment et o peut on trouver un langage musicale capable de sublimer laujourdhui Nous vivons un prsent que nous pourrions dfinir de tridimensionnel en ce qui concerne la musique, une poque o, au mme instant, cohabitent le chant grgorien et les rythmes lectroniques manipuls par des disk-jokeys. Cest une occasion extraordinaire pour raliser une politique culturelle qui travaille sur les langages locaux en opposition la dimension globale de la communication. Cest ce quon dfinit en conomie sous ltiquette de glocal. Une rponse la question de Battistelli se trouve dans lusage rpandu de monodies sacres mdivales dans les genres les plus varis de la musique moderne, surtout celles faisant partie du rpertoire grgorien. Voir par exemple: www.samedaymusic.com/libraryinfluenceofgregorianchant ) Music for the Ages : The Influence of Gregorian Chant Through Today. Simone Preuss www.suit101.com (nov.2013), Use of

Gregorian Chants in Popular Music since the 1990s.


La voie est donc ouverte pour de nouvelles pistes. Avant de se lancer toutefois dans de nouveaux projets, il convient de se demander : 1) Pourquoi est-ce que le pass lointain est encore actuel ? 2) Est-ce quelles avant-gardes musicales modernes sont bien ancres dans la socit technologique daujourdhui ? 3) Est-ce quun langage musical antique peut trouver une correspondance dans celui des avant-gardes musicales du XXme et du XXIme sicle? 4) Quest-ce que ces dernires ont en commun avec le chant grgorien ) 5) Comment peut on parvenir construire une architecture sonore nouvelle et originale qui ne soit pas une simple juxtaposition de thmes musicaux de provenance diverse ? Des extraits de nombreuses sources littraires et discographiques (consultes et cit dans le texte) reprsentent, associs des considrations de caractre personnel, des tentatives de rponse ces questions. Ces rponses sont synthtises ci-aprs. 1. La vie du monde occidental se caractrise aujourdhui, plus dans le pass, par un rythme frntique impos par un progrs technologique inratable. Si ce progrs a dun ct amlior le niveau de vie

17

de nombreuses populations, il a, dun autre ct, rendu ncessaire une organisation de vie o le silence, le calme, la mditation et lintrospection sont bannis. Les arts, y compris la musique docte ou populaire, ne pouvaient que reflter cette situation. Certaines formes dexpression contemporaine manifestent de manire vidente un tat de profonde angoisse existentielle. Ces dernires dcennies, des courants musicaux faisant partie de la famille tendue et multiforme de la musique dambiance ont essay dopposer ces expressions exaspres de lart un style inspir au calme et au silence. Lusage par ailleurs dun langage musical driv aussi bien du chant grgorien que du jazz a produit quelques-uns des chefs - duvre discographiques tels que: Officium de Jan Garbarek and the Hilliard Ensemble, Infinity de Dino Mariani et Musices Officina, Gregorian dit par Frank Peterson. Le chant grgorien se rvle encore aprs bien des sicles une source inpuisable d'inspiration. 2. Le monde des avant-gardes musicales du XXme et du XXIme sicle est peupl par une multiplicit de styles, de genres et de tendances qui rendent une vision globale du phnomne complexe. Quelques-uns des courants de la musique dambiance et du jazz spirituel se sont toutefois bien affirms au cours des dernires dcennies et peuvent tre pris comme modles de rfrence pour le dveloppement des ides la base de cet essai. Quelques exemples. Si on peut faire remonter au dbut du sicle dernier les origines de la musique dambiance (Ambient Music) avec Erik Satie et Claude Debussy, cest en revanche dans les annes 70 avec Brian Eno que la recherche despaces sonores bass sur des effets de timbres (voire mixs avec des sons de la nature) plutt que sur une succession programme de notes, de schmas et rythmes de composition, se manifesta de manire la plus explosive (cf Ambient Music, The complete Guide de Paul Muljadi, www.scribd.com). Les manipulations successives de cette tendance ont ensuite dbouch sur la musique lectronique, et surtout sur la musique comput rise, qui a entran avec elle de manire plus consciente que par le pass lutilisation dalgorithmes et de fractales. La musique fractale (un sous ensemble de lart fractal et de la thorie des fractales) emploie des algorithmes mathmatiques pour dcouvrir et tudier dans des genres musicaux particuliers les similitudes entre des noyaux sonores simples et la structure complexe de la composition. La musique fractale ouvre ainsi la voie lart de limprovisation, y compris fortuite, et des variations (cf. Charles Madden, Fractals in Music, Second Edition, 2007, High Art Press, Salt Lake City USA. Pietro di Lorenzo, Chaos Structure in Gregorian Chant, Proceedings of the Conference "Musical Creativity - 10th Anniversary ESCOM" Liegi,Belgium, April 2002). En ralit, les algorithmes ont t utiliss pendant des sicles dans la musique occidentale, mme si cela sest fait bien souvent de manire inconsciente. Mais cest seulement avec la naissance de la musique comput rise et des thorisations des fractales quils ont trouv leur systmatisation bien reprsente par de nombreuses tudes, projets et ralisations au cours des dernires dcennies. Si nous nous penchons sur le monde du Jazz, nous pouvons noter combien ce genre, bien que fragment en une infinit de tendances, perdure depuis plus dun sicle et demi sans montrer aucun signe de fatigue ou de faiblesse. Bien au contraire, il fait preuve dune vitalit que peu dautres phnomnes musicaux ont dmontr dans le pass. Un phnomne musical qui dure depuis si longtemps sans afficher aucun signe de fatigue ou de faiblesse doit avoir en soi les racines dun renouvellement continuel et possder une impulsion forte pour voluer etse remettre en cause en restant profondment enracin dans le territoire (cf Jeff Perry, Jazz & Innovation : How the Jazz Culture Fosters Creativity, www.scribd.com). 3. La premire question qui vient lesprit quand on se prpare explorer un pass lointain autre que la curiosit culturelle que cette exploration peut susciter est : quest-ce que peut offrir aujourdhui une structure de composition antique datant de presque un millnaire (et qui a subi quoi quil en soit des mutations imposes par lenvironnement dans lequel elles se sont dveloppes), et de quel manire cette structure de composition peut tre prise comme point de rfrence pour une musique qui doit ncessairement tenir compte des tendances du XX sicle et plus ? Au XXme sicle, des Matres en musicologie et en philosophie de la musique (cf.

18

bibliographie en annexe) ont donn corps une rvaluation de lantique, amplifiant les faibles signaux en provenance des millnaires passs et founissant du matriel prcieux pour une rorganisation, avant tout de la musique vocale et rituelle, base sur lauthenticit et lexclusivit. Cela a mis en vidence le fait que les mlodies utilises par des peuples diffrents au cours des millnaires ont en grande partie une base de composition similaire et que cette base primordiale ne sest pas consume avec larrive de nouveaux styles, tendance set modes. Elle est reste dans une dimension despace et de temps unique o se retrouvent des peuples et une foi diffrente. De manire surprenante les thories et les tendances des avant-gardes musicales du XXme sicle, de Webern Stravinskij, de Respighi Rota, et jusqu des compositeurs et interprtes de musique pop et jazz (Jan Garbarek avec son Officium, Dino Mariani avec Infinity, etc) se sont inspirs de lantiquit et plus spcialement du grgorien. 4. La musique dambiance a t dfinie par Brian Eno comme la musique cre pour induire au calme et la rflexion. Au del de certaines formes dgnratives condamnables de la musique dambiance, son but est de fournir un support sonore des formes de mditation et de relaxation sans interagir fortement avec les tats motionnels de celui qui lcoute. Ne dit on pas ce propos que le chant grgorien est le chant des mes plonges dans loubli de tout ce qui est humain (Edgardo Carducci) et quil renferme dans les sons les vibrations de lme contemplative mdivale, o la foi exprime de manire potique, rsonne en syntonie avec la musique et transporte par del les amples et profondes barrires de la parole dans le monde du transcendantal (P.Raffaele Barrata OSB). Le jazz, ensuite, trouve son origine dans les chants spirituels afroamricains, et mme si successivement il a donn naissance diffrentes formes et typologies de nature essentiellement profane, voire orgiesque, il nen a pas moins toujours maintenu sa composante religieuse et spirituelle, notamment celle qui fait rfrence la Bible et qui recourt la musique pour exprimer les mots de rconfort et despoir transmis chaque anne leurs frres de couleur (Duke Ellington). Le fil conducteur unissant unilatralement ces genres, bien que trs diffrents, est avant tout laspiration au silence, lintriorisation dispenses, llvation spirituelle des sentiments, une calme rsonnance et lchange dmotions et de sensations avec lenvironnement humain et naturel qui nous entoure. Mais il y aussi des similarits techniques, structurelles et de composition qui rapprochent certains courants de la musique dambiance et de la musique fractale au chant grgorien. On peut citer ainsi le rythme fond sur le downtempo qui rappelle la cantillation et la solmisation du chant grgorien; le minimalisme, structures musicales composes de petits intervalles sonores (seconde, tierce); lauto-ressemblance et la rptition de noyaux mlodiques sur diffrentes gammes la base de la musique fractale et qui se retrouvent de manire particulirement vidente dans les Kyries; etc. 5. Dans la musique pop au cours des 15 dernires annes, les formes musicales dans lesquelles sest concrtise linspiration grgorienne peuvent se regrouper en 4 catgories-types. Le contraste: partir dun morceau grgorien excut entirement par un chur ou par un soliste, on oppose une structure jazz dissonante au niveau du rythme et de la formule harmonique, ralisant ainsi un contraste datmosphre rythmique et harmonique. La variation: un thme mlodique grgorien, souvent interprt par un soliste, est rlabor en style jazzistique en suivant les schmas habituels des variations sur thme adopts par la musique classique du XIX me sicle principalement. La dissolution: lambiance motionnelle du cantus planus est maintenu uniquement en partie sans aucune autre rfrence la structure musicale. Le dchant: la structure mlodique du cantus firmus est accompagne par une structure similaire mais transpose dans dautres gammes et temps rythmiques. Laquelle de ces formes Esla plus efficace en vue de raliser une parfaite symbiose entre le grgorien et le pop? Bien que le choix dune forme ou dune autre dpende bien videmment de la sensibilit et de linspiration du compositeur, toutes les formes sommairement dcrites nont pas la mme efficacit. Que veut on dire avec le terme efficacit? Dans les transpositions il convient avant toute chose de: a) conserver la particularit de la saveur trans-

19

motionnelle propre au grgorien qui rend ce chant similaire une me plonge loin dans loubli des choses terrestres; b) la couleur du timbre vocal du chant, mme sil est transpos avec des instruments solistes (par exemple le saxophone de Jan Garbarek); c) la composition en conciliant le rythme verbal du chant et le multi rythme de la nouvelle structure.

Ce bref essai est le prlude dun projet. Le projet tudiera la possibilit thorique et pratique de remodeler les thmes du cantus firmus, purs ou contamins, dans de nouvelles sonorits, encourags galement par les instruments quoffrent les technologies lectroniques pour lanalyse et la cration de nouveaux organismes sonores. Il sera compos de trois phases: a) Un approfondissement de ce qui a t relev jusqu prsent par le biais dune revue de presse anthologique relativement linspiration du cantus firmus dans les musiques davant- garde des 20 dernires annes ; b) La construction de possibles croisements entre des phrases dauteurs jazzistiques non intentionnellement inspires par le grgorien qui mettent en vidence de manire surprenante des consonances avec des thmes identifiables dans la vaste production grgorienne (on peut citer des exemples qui semblent suggrer la construction de possibles croisements entre des thmes jazzistiques et les Kyries de certaines messes grgoriennes: House of the King du guitariste Jan Akkerman (anne 70) et la Messe IX Cum Jubilo; Carinhoso du flutiste Alfredo da Rocha Vianna (1928) et la Messe XI Orbis factor; Mother de For Women Only du flutiste Rosario Fuga (2007) et la Messe I Lus et origo). c) Dveloppement de crations originales. Rechercher de nouvelles dimensions de sons en synthonie avec les tats motionnels de lhomme daujourdhui, en vitant toutefois un technicisme excessif dans les formules de composition et en faisant cohabiter les innovations avec des clats provenant dpoques lointaines peut se rvler tre un dfi exaltant pour les musiciens du XXIme sicle.

20