Gilles Racot


born in 1951 in Paris

Studies of visual arts in Paris. Musical studies and self-taught exercise of musical composition. Mention at the International Prize for Composition of the Akademie der Künste in Berlin (1970).
Student of Pierre Schaeffer and Guy Reibel at the National Conservatory of Music in Paris (79-82).
Since 1983, free collaborator of the Ina GRM (Musical Research Group), he has produced there several mixed pieces, combining instrumental devices and their transformations by computer, organized on a support. He intervened in this context at the birth of concepts of several sound processing software.
Moreover, the writing of his instrumental works is enriched by techniques derived from this work on sound.
Participates in the musical productions of the educational team of the program "l'Oreille en Colimaçon" on France-Musiques (1982-86).
In 1985 is associated with the work of musical research at IRCAM.
Winner of the Villa Medici Prize "outside the walls" (1995). Research composer in the "Analysis/Synthesis" team at IRCAM (1998).
Prize at the Bourges International Electroacoustic Music Competition (1998) with Vifs Instants for instrumental and electroacoustic ensemble.
Within the SIMC (International Society for Contemporary Music), he is one of the founders and organizers of the "Forum for Young Musical Creation", an artistic event created to promote young composers of all musical disciplines: instrumental music, mixed, acousmatic, music videos.
Taught composition (instrumental and electroacoustic) at the CRD de Blanc-Mesnil.

From his catalog of around forty works, some milestone works: Jubilud'à (1984) for six voices, flutes, saxophones, cello and electroacoustics, Aestuor(1986) for seven brass instruments and two percussions, Subgestuel(1990) for 6 percussions and electroacoustics, Ops (1992) for large orchestra, Vifs instants (1996) for chamber ensemble and electroacoustics, Hautes lices (2001) for string orchestra and three percussions and electroacoustics, Ipso (2004) for clarinet and electroacoustics, Compound times (2006) for 11 musicians and electroacoustics. Versus(2014) for flute, baritone saxophone, piano, vibraphone and electroacoustics.

Chronomorphoses / 2002-2006, 52’
Commissioned by the State and Ina-Grm. 
Suite in 10 movements.

Performed at Circuit Fantôme Season 3 Episode 1 (Movement 2+3) and Circuit Fantôme Season 3 Episode 3 (all Movements)

The title refers on the one hand to studio work on the temporal or morphological transformations of processed sounds, and on the other hand to the experience of time through the organization of materials and temporal forms.

The object of these Chronomorphoses, composed in ten movements, relates in particular to the effects of the perception of smooth times, striated times, pulsed times, reiterations, rhythms and cycles... which are principles of time articulation; and the effects of the more or less strong dilution or fixation of moments of our present. Repetition tending to deny any flow of time, and any flow of time tends to cancel the perception of the present. The work presents itself as a fabric of variations between these different theses, exploring the metamorphoses and shifts or oppositions of the typologies of Time and its very materialization: the sounds.

Each movement is developed by focusing on one of these typologies of time, very closely associated with that of sound matter. The global form is constructed in continuity and with the possibility of a fragmentary listening of an isolated movement. Obviously, nothing is exhaustive here, the idea through the work on sounds often takes precedence over the pure intention of the demonstration.

1 . Ronde minérale (Mineral round) (5’18)
Between the time gently pulsed by the broad and round paces of the first strata and the versatile punctuations without a groove sounding at the end of the movement… progressive mutations, ambiguous emergences, sudden oppositions contribute to this diagonal of appearances. In this movement, the temporal anamorphoses are mainly based on the stretching of time and transpositions. These processes are pushed quite far here, since almost all the sounds of Mineral round come from the sound of a glockenspiel…

2 . Fureur étincelles (Sparking Fury) (6'04")
Sparking fury takes its origin from one of the last sounds of the previous movement, with now the presence of a long, slowly mobile and grainy trail. The granulosity of the material will be the object in this movement of typological variations; first by transforming the grain into ‘corpuscular textures’. Then gradually, the 'corpuscular' irregularity is disrupted by the tight iterative flow streaks, leading to the general animation of a tight 'rhythmic texture'. The play of iterative interlaced curved flows is a stage before the state of ‘rhythmic figures’ of the following moment. The form of the movement then exposes sets of superpositions of the different variants, before a final material mutation which we will say nothing about.

3 . Ombre d’hommes (Shadows of Men) (4'23")
The writing of Ombre d'hommes makes use of cyclic figures. The most permanent of these figures is an undulating continuum of vibrant, calmly pulsating matter. When staring at this sound tapestry, I cannot conceal having immediately felt its closeness to the Oiseau Zen from François Bayle's Three Dreams of Birds. Yet these are two different worlds, in L'Oiseau zen the ‘wall hanging’ is pure and unaltered, perfectly vibratory like the streaks of sand in a Zen garden… In Ombre d'hommes, its profile is cyclical and modulated by instabilities. The Song of the Bird by François Bayle is solitary, imperturbable and untroubled, it is the song of a philosopher beyond doubt. The sound figures of Ombre d'hommes are rather heterogeneous if not contradictory, between short expectant exclamations, choral clouds, floating roulades and passing stridulations... where the forms dissolve and are reborn during this cycle that one could imagine permanent... it's a philosophical vision certainly more skeptical and strewn with shade… even until the final turn.

4 . Mémoire de lune (Moon Memory) (4'05")
The nature of this movement imposed itself during the realization of the work. A movement of different typology was planned; despite all my attempts, its first seconds were rejected by the previous movements and the next. All these movements are based on the use of more or less pulsed or striated time. A smooth flow of time was by contrast, necessary. We should say with a smooth tendency, because some asperities of time and some vibrating aspects of matter remain. The form is evoked through the title by the image of a deep and wide crater in an inert extend, like the testimony of a gigantic activity from a distant past.

5 . Lumières de fêtes (Holiday lights) (4'00")
In this movement, we are in the middle of measured and regular time. From the beginning, the caliber of the pulsation is given… The rhythmic writing is based on the obvious syncopations, games of progressive phase shifts and asynchronous figures while preserving the constraint of the metric.

6 . Terre itérative (Iterative Earth) (5’20”)
The "earth" here alludes to the somewhat uniform and sometimes massive aspect of the sound texture of this movement. The homogeneous trend of the whole is largely linked to the chained weavings of the iterative and jagged forms (tight bounces) of the sound elements. The dynamic impulses of their evolutions cross all the registers in differentiated energies… from the fine stitched treble laces to the vibrating bass masses. Flow-moans without roughness, close to those of the previous movement, participate in the energies of the first moments... the only point in common with the use of time that can be found with Lumières de fêtes...

7 . Comédie minuscule (Tiny Comedy) (7'14")
Tiny Comedy is a contrasting movement with raw joints that use the principle of emergence and, on the contrary, variations of textures composed in different mixtures. Ruptures by panic movements, distant cries and tumults of battles… fabric of comedy and grimaces, monologues precipitated by multitudes… it is the tiny in its vivacity, and in the density of its swarming. This is a movement that can be opposed to "Shadow of Men" by its functioning and its theatricality. A small world where the philosopher does not sing either beyond his doubts...

8. Dynamique coquillage (Seashell dynamics) (5' 00")
The dynamic is that of time developed in a spiral… Architecture of accelerations, not widely deployed, but only partially traversed, to find some variants of mutations of occasional sounds in granular materials transformed up to smooth continuous sounds…. From the shell, there is obviously the reference to the convolution, but also through a central episode, a small tribute to the slowness of the animal, perfect architect.

9. Le lit des vents (The bed of winds) (6’20”)
Smooth time... Wind, breath, bronze, copper... Flows in their dynamic outlines evolve by progressive tensions of coloring, up to dense tones deployed and accentuated. Trumpets, pipes, force of the breath set in vibrations combine for the ringing of a brass band with dramatic and momentarily tormented inflections.

10. Mues d’eau (Water Moults) (3'30")
Smooth resolution. Flowing and bubbling, this corpuscular sound material flows for the last games of mutations, before joining the estuary of the end...

“Phonurgie” / 1997-98, 20’00”

Commissioned by French Ministry of Culture for 50-years celebration of musique concrete in INA GRM.
“Épiphonies” / 1993, 21’00”

Commissioned by INA GRM.
Intégrales / 2002-2006

Commande  de  l’État français et de l’INA-GRM. Suite en 10 mouvements.
Durée totale: 52′

1. Ronde minérale.
2. Fureur étincelles.
3. Ombres d’hommes.
4. Mémoire de lune.
5. Lumières de fêtes.
6. Terre itérative.
7. Comédie minuscule.
8. Dynamique coquillage.
9. Le lit des vents.
10. Mues d’eau.