updated 4 November 2021
© Jean-Michel Sabat

Allain Gaussin

French composer born in 1943 in Saint Sever (Normandy)

Allain Gaussin was born in France in 1943. At twenty, he abandoned his studies of mathematics, physics, and chemistry for music. In October 1966, he enrolled in the Conservatoire de Paris (CNSMDP), graduating with highest honors in music theory and analysis and honors in composition, which he studied with Olivier Messiaen. There, he discovered the composers who would become his touchstones: Berio, Kagel, Xenakis, and Ligeti. He also studied piano with Hélène Boschi, choir and orchestral conducting with Louis Fourestier, and electroacoustic music with Pierre Schaeffer at the GRM.

From 1981 to 1992, he taught composition and orchestration at the Schola-Cantorum de Paris, and then in October 1991 began teaching in the city conservatories of Paris. He gave lectures and composition classes at the Darmstadt Summer Courses (Germany) in 1986 and 1988, at the University of Osaka (Japan) in 1994, and composition workshops at the Conservatoire de Lyon (CNSMDL) and Paris (CNSMDP) in 1998, where he took over from Marco Stroppa as a professor of composition in 2003-2004. In 2001, he lectured at the Universities of Kyoto and Tokyo. In 2004-2005, he held a research residency at IRCAM for a project on rhythm. From 2000 to 2008, he taught composition and orchestration at the Conservatoire de Sevran; currently, he teaches at the American Conservatory in Fontainebleau. From 2010-2012 he taught at the French Music Academy in Kyoto, and from 2004-2011 he taught orchestration at the Osaka College of Music.

Allain Gaussin was a resident at the Villa Médicis from 1977 to 1979 – where, notably, he composed Eclipse (1978) and Colosseo (1979) – and with the DAAD program in Berlin in 1985. In 1994 he held a residency at the Villa Kujoyama in Kyoto, where his discovery of Japanese culture became a source of inspiration for compositions such as Satori (1998), Jardin Zen (1999), and Tokyo-City (2008). He was awarded the SACEM Prize in 1983 and 1989, and the Fondation de France Prize for Arcane in 1986. He received fellowships from the Foundation Beaumarchais in 1991 and the Orcofi Association in 1992. In 1995, he was awarded the Grand prix International du Disque by the Académie Charles Cros for Irisation-Rituel, Camaïeux, and Arcane. In 1998, he won the ICONS international composition competition prize in Turin for Mosaïque céleste.

Gaussin is also a poet: he writes texts he sets to music – such as Irisation-Rituel (1980) or Les voix de la mémoire (1985) – and has published two collections of poetry: Transes et lumière (1976), with a preface by Olivier Messiaen, and L’attente… L’absolu (2004), which was reissued in German translation in 2009 and released in an expanded edition in 2013. His music and his poetry both directly address the senses. Free of strict structures, parametric compartmentalization, and the serialist tradition, it draws on the powerful energy generated by work on sound matter and the play between tension and release. In L’harmonie des sphères, electronics are used to further hone this work on the sound texture.

Since 2012, he has been Honorary President of the Franco-Japanese Association of Contemporary Music.


© Ircam-Centre Pompidou, 2011

Sources

  • Allain Gaussin, Sylvie Boudigues ;
  • Ivanka Stoianova, « Klangliche Irisierungen. ein Porträt des französischen Komponisten Allain Gaussin », MusikTexte n° 16, Köln, 1986.
  • Solo (excluding voice)
    • Arcane for piano (1981), 16 mn, partition retirée du catalogue
    • elec Ariane for cello and electronic sounds on CD, two tracks (1987), 5 mn, Heugel
    • Arcane for piano (1988), 16 mn, Ricordi
    • La chevelure de Bérénice for oboe or flute or clarinet or soprano saxophone (1990), 2 mn 30 s, Salabert
    • Io for piano (1991), 2 mn 45 s, Alphonse Leduc
    • Satori for solo clarinet (1998), 8 mn 15 s, Alphonse Leduc
    • elec Jardin Zen for clarinet and electronic sounds on cd, two tracks (1999), 10 mn 30 s, Alphonse Leduc [program note]
    • Méditation tendue for clarinet, third part of Jardin Zen (1999), 2 mn, Alphonse Leduc
    • Tokyo-city for piano (2008), 8 mn, Alphonse Leduc
    • Philae for violin (2015), 8 mn, Alphonse Leduc
  • Chamber music
    • Ogive transcription for flute and harpsichord (1977, 2011), 12 mn 30 s, Ricordi
    • Colosseo for six percussionists (1978), 20 mn, Salabert
    • Eau-forte for quintet (1982), 4 mn 15 s, Alphonse Leduc
    • Chakra for string quartet (1984), 11 mn, Salabert
    • Ogive transcription for flute and piano (1987), 12 mn 30 s, Ricordi
    • Saint-Guilhem le Désert educational piece for three guitars (1989), 3 mn, Alphonse Leduc
    • Ogive transcription for violin and piano (1992), 12 mn 30 s, Ricordi
    • Envol nuptial for piano and violin or piano and clarinet (2004), 40 s, Inédit
    • Le vent se lève (Tombeau de Maurice Ravel) for harp, flute, clarinet and string quartet (2014), 14 mn, Alphonse Leduc
    • Les Céphéides in memoriam Pierre Boulez, for violin, cello and piano (2016), 13 mn 30 s, Alphonse Leduc
  • Instrumental ensemble music
    • Ogive version for twelve strings alone (1977), 10 mn, Ricordi
    • Ogive for twelve strings and harpsichord (1977), 23 mn, Ricordi
    • elec Camaïeux for electronic ensemble and electronic sounds on four-track CD (1983), 18 mn, Salabert
    • Aria educational piece for instrumental ensemble with variable number of players (1986), 10 mn, partition retirée du catalogue
    • Années-lumière for large orchestra (1992-1993), 19 mn, Salabert
    • Mosaïque céleste chamber concerto for eleven instruments (1997), 16 mn, Alphonse Leduc
    • L'Harmonie des Sphères for instrumental ensemble (2006), 12 mn 30 s, Alphonse Leduc
    • Instants d'éternité for orchestra of 53 musicians (2019-2020), 12 mn, Alphonse Leduc
  • Concert music
    • Eclipse for two pianos and instrumental ensemble (1979), 19 mn, Ricordi
  • Vocal music and instrument(s)
    • elec Vent solaire for soprano, narrator, mixed choir, instrumental ensemble and electronic sounds (1974), 27 mn, Inédit
    • elec Vent solaire II for soprano, reciter, tam-tam and magnetic tape (1976), 12 mn, partition retirée du catalogue
    • Irisation-Rituel for soprano, flute, reciter ad libitum and orchestra (1980), between 26 mn and 29 mn, Salabert
    • L'aphorisme de Cioran for piano and narrator (1991), 4 mn, Inédit
    • Au-delà du temps for mezzo-soprano and harp (2018), 12 mn, Alphonse Leduc
  • A cappella vocal music
    • Source 4 for twenty-seven equal female voices in three groups, with Chinese blocks, claves and woodblocks (1973), 16 mn, Heugel
    • Solstice for mixed choir a cappella (1975), 5 mn, partition retirée du catalogue
    • Les voix de la mémoire for solo voice (1985), 10 mn, Salabert
  • Electronic music / fixed media / mechanical musical instruments
  • 2020
  • 2018
  • 2016
    • Les Céphéides in memoriam Pierre Boulez, for violin, cello and piano, 13 mn 30 s, Alphonse Leduc
  • 2015
    • Philae for violin, 8 mn, Alphonse Leduc
  • 2014
  • 2008
  • 2006
  • 2004
    • Envol nuptial for piano and violin or piano and clarinet, 40 s, Inédit
  • 1999
  • 1998
    • Satori for solo clarinet, 8 mn 15 s, Alphonse Leduc
  • 1997
  • 1996
    • elec Xebec Hall for electronic sounds on cd, two tracks, 37 s, Cézame-Argile
  • 1994
  • 1993
  • 1992
    • Ogive transcription for violin and piano, 12 mn 30 s, Ricordi
  • 1991
  • 1990
  • 1989
  • 1988
    • Arcane for piano, 16 mn, Ricordi
  • 1987
    • elec Ariane for cello and electronic sounds on CD, two tracks, 5 mn, Heugel
    • Ogive transcription for flute and piano, 12 mn 30 s, Ricordi
  • 1986
    • Aria educational piece for instrumental ensemble with variable number of players, 10 mn, partition retirée du catalogue
  • 1985
  • 1984
  • 1983
    • elec Camaïeux for electronic ensemble and electronic sounds on four-track CD, 18 mn, Salabert
  • 1982
    • Eau-forte for quintet, 4 mn 15 s, Alphonse Leduc
  • 1981
    • Arcane for piano, 16 mn, partition retirée du catalogue
  • 1980
    • Irisation-Rituel for soprano, flute, reciter ad libitum and orchestra, between 26 mn and 29 mn, Salabert
  • 1979
  • 1978
    • Colosseo for six percussionists, 20 mn, Salabert
  • 1977
    • Ogive transcription for flute and harpsichord, 12 mn 30 s, Ricordi
    • Ogive version for twelve strings alone, 10 mn, Ricordi
    • Ogive for twelve strings and harpsichord, 23 mn, Ricordi
  • 1976
    • elec Vent solaire II for soprano, reciter, tam-tam and magnetic tape, 12 mn, partition retirée du catalogue
  • 1975
    • Solstice for mixed choir a cappella , 5 mn, partition retirée du catalogue
  • 1974
    • elec Vent solaire for soprano, narrator, mixed choir, instrumental ensemble and electronic sounds, 27 mn, Inédit
  • 1973
    • Source 4 for twenty-seven equal female voices in three groups, with Chinese blocks, claves and woodblocks, 16 mn, Heugel

Bilbiographie

  • Ivan BELLOCQ, « Allain Gaussin, un musicien nécessaire », Traversières, premier trimestre 2005, n° 82, p. 29-36.
  • Allain GAUSSIN, Musique de l’imaginaire. Entretiens avec Michèle Tosi, Paris, Éditions Mf, 2014.
  • Theo HIRSBRUNNER, « Dichter und Komponist : Doppelt begabt : Allain Gaussin », Dissonance, mai 2004, n° 86, p. 24-26.
  • Ivanka STOIANOVA, « Klangliche Irisierungen. ein Porträt des französischen Komponisten Allain Gaussin », MusikTexte n° 16, Köln, 1986, p. 4-8.
Recueils de poèmes
  • Allain GAUSSIN, L’attente… L’absolu, Paris, éditions d’écarts, 2004 ; nouvelle édition bilingue allemand-français, éditions d’écarts, 2008.
  • Allain GAUSSIN, Transes et lumière, préface d’Olivier Messiaen, Paris, La Pensée Universelle, 1976.

Discographie

  • Allain GAUSSIN, L’Harmonie des sphères ; Satori ; Ogive ; Jardin zen ; Tokyo-City ; Chakra, dans « Harmonie Des Sphères - Monographie », 1 CD Ameson, 2014, ASCP 1324.
  • Allain GAUSSIN, 1. Irisation-Rituel ; 2. Arcane ; 3. Camaieux, Nouvel Orchestre Philharmonique, direction : Peter Eötvös, Irène Jarsky : soprano, Pierre-Yves Artaud : flûte (1), Jay Gottlieb : piano (2)  Ensemble l’Itinéraire, direction : Yves Prin (3), 1 cd Salabert, 1996, Grand prix du disque de l’Académie Charles Cros.
  • Allain GAUSSIN, 1. Eclipse ; 2. Ogive ; 3. Eau-Forte, Ensemble intercontemporain, direction : Peter Eötvös (1), Pierre-Yves Artaud : flûte, Elisabeth Chojnacka : clavecin (2), Atelier Musique de Ville d’Avray, direction : Jean-Louis Petit (3), 1 cd Arpège-Calliope, coll. MFA, 1983.
  • Allain GAUSSIN, Chakra, Quatuor Arditti, avec des œuvres de George Aperghis, François-Bernard Mâche et Iannis Xenakis, 1 cd The Arditti Quartet Edition, WDR-Montaigne, coll. MFA, 1991, MO 782002.
  • Allain GAUSSIN, La chevelure de Bérénice, dans « Cosmogonies », Ivan Bellocq : flûte, avec des œuvres de Maurice Ohana, Suzanne Giraud, Thérèse Brenet, Ivan Bellocq, Sophie Lacaze, Doïna Rotaru, 1 cd Galun records 2005.
  • Allain GAUSSIN, Ogive (version flûte et piano) dans « Musiques françaises du XXe siècle », avec des œuvres de Maurice Ohana, Sophie Lacaze, Antoine Tisné, Olivier Messiaen, ensemble Triton II, Chiharu Tachibana : flûte, Takehiko Yamada : piano, 1 cd REM, 1996.
  • Allain GAUSSIN, Ogive (version flûte et clavecin) dans « CDMC Répertoire Polychromes », ensemble Triton II, Mie Ogura : flûte, Fuminori Tanada : clavecin, avec des œuvres de Hugues Dufourt, Betsy Jolas, Drake Mabry, Jacques Lejeune, Gérard Condé, Robert Pascal, José Luis Campana, Philippe Hersant, Christophe Havel, Gilles Racot et Tristan Murail, 1 cd MFA - Radio France, Harmonia Mundi, 1997.

Liens Internet

(liens vérifiés en novembre 2021).