Loïc Destremau is a French-Danish composer and sound artist. He is coming to Bodø with the piece “Spoken Music”, performed by Esbjerg Ensemble.
Loïc is working with instrumental, electronic and multi-medial setups ranging from orchestral stagings and large ensembles to solo performance and installations.
Recent works focus on exploring core musical premises such as instrumental physiology, audio-visual perception and musical relations to linguistic features. The works often comprise home-made devices, gadgets and preparations next to visuals, electronics and classical instruments.
Loïc Destremau’s music has been performed at festivals such as Warsaw Autumn, NOW! Grenzgänger (Essen), KLANG Festival (Copenhagen), Nordic Music Days (Helsinki), Figura Festspiele (Copenhagen), OpenDays (Aalborg) and Young Nordic Music Days (Aarhus, Reykjavik, Bergen, Piteå) – by among others Oslo Sinfonietta, Athelas Sinfonietta, Aarhus Sinfonietta, ensemble recherche, Uusinta Ensemble, Figura Ensemble, Esbjerg Ensemble, Jutlandia Saxophone Quartet and Rosella Strings.
Do you have any thoughts on music’s role in our identity? Do you think of your self as a Nordic composer?
– The omnipresence and accessibility of music with the ability to stay stuck in one’s head, reasonably suggest that music is, in fact, forcing itself into our identity, even if may not, should not or appears not to be part of our identity at first hand. Mainly because it’s gone out of our control, but with the presence of music that we can control, I think our identity rather plays a role in music, which fair enough influences directly back and feeds a loop. Like language in a way.
From time to time you’d hear people speak of a Nordic musical identity, or even a specific Danish, Icelandic, Finnish, etc… one. Being present with other people from the Nordic countries actually makes me feel more Nordic than when being with non-Nordic people, where I’d rather think of myself as a European/western or just French-Danish. I don’t perceive my compositional approach to be linked to any national identity despite the fact that it is impossible to deny that environment, culture and upbringing is the greatest source of inspiration, hindrance, and general influence.
You seem to have a very strong connection with everyday-sounds in your musical thinking. Can you say something about this?
– I guess that spoken and written language arguably is the most present “everyday-sound” in most people’s everyday. The language is either heard live when interacting with and listening to other people talk or heard in the inner ear when reading or writing. Theories suggest that language and music evolved simultaneously and complemented each other – both with an aesthetic and communicative function.
Next to language as a source of everyday-sounds, I would argue that music has become an everyday-sound in itself. And despite being exposed to a great variety of genres and expressions, the format and context are able to reduce music heard in public or private spaces into an everyday-soundtrack to whatever we do or think. Just like language. Or noises. This may in fact thus raise the question of what true music is.
Can music be “true”? Is this something you are struggling with in your compositions?
– The notion of being true (as a composer) to oneself or rather to one’s time and space, context and surroundings, is maybe subordinate compared to engaging the real and the imaginative as they are – both full of truth and deception. And since music is present almost everywhere – is true music then the rare and hard-to-access one or is it the everyday-sound, the everyday-music? Both are to me equally real but certainly also equally imaginative. In my pieces, I work with dialectics between imagination and reality and explore them hand in hand. Reality is to me the drive of imagination and vice-versa. In music, I like to bend and twist reality but also make the imagination real.