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In a musical landscape that was beginning to extricate itself from the bars of abstraction between which it had been imprisoned by an excessive spirit of research, the Argentine Martín Matalon (born in Buenos Aires in 1958) straightaway proclaimed the explosion of a colourful imaginative universe in which the contributions of timbres coming from the cauldrons of experimental modernity received a new fate and new applications. After having emigrated to the East Coast of the United States, where a certain conservatism in musical activity left him disenchanted, he chose to settle in France where he was fascinated by the vitality of a creative effervescence dominated by the names of Messiaen, Boulez, Murail and Grisey. Once he had assimilated the tools forged in this crucible - and in particular, the electronics worked on at IRCAM - the young Latino-American put them at the service of an imaginative frothing whose genealogical tree and ferments must be sought quite far from the musical circuit.

His compositional process is guided no less by an architect’s attentive standards, but the richness of sensations that can result from two complementary arts drawing alongside stands out as a constant preoccupation with Martín Matalon. With thinking of sound in a plastic way giving relief to the marks stemming from literature; the musical accompaniment (which would no longer be ‘film music’ in the illustrative sense) as trope in the sense of film image; and suggestive fantasy worming its way between the words of a tale: so appear the seminal experiments that punctuate his oeuvre.

Rather than an interdisciplinary nature in the conventional sense that this concept has nowadays, this is a matter of translating emotions that stimulate a fecund questioning from one artist to another. From Jorge Luis Borges, Matalon retains not only the labyrinthine imaginative universe but questions the brief forms in which concision contains abundance. Of Luis Buñuel (Un chien andalou, L’Âge d’or), he observes not only the audacious surrealism but also the interpolation of ‘shots’ (in cinematographic terms), which, with him, have become ‘sound objects’, incrustations within the interlacing of metaphors dictated by the overall project. His work on Fritz Lang’s Metropolis encourages reflection on the superposition of narrative time, visual rhythm and the musical agogic.

Alongside these experiments (which he would like to contribute to renewing the very framework of dissemination that is too ossified in the ‘classical’ concert), the composer pursues an exploration of timbric and formal inter-relations with the passing of furrows identified by general titles: the series of Traces (seven as of 2010) concentrates on the pair formed by an instrument (or voice) and its electronic transformation in real time. However, the aforementioned transversal view is hardly absent: he defines these Traces as a ‘compositional diary’, a ‘journey to the interior of sound’, of which one of the episodes (Traces II for viola and electronics) is born precisely of music conceived for a Buñuel film (Las Hurdes). The series of Trames (eleven as of this writing) endeavours to resolve the complex problems (underground paths, tensions, crafting of formal entities) of insertion or confrontation of a solo instrument in relation to varied forces of chamber ensemble or large symphonic orchestra; but there again... ‘the generic name “trame” [weft or web] is inspired by the homonymous poem by Jorge Luis Borges, revealing to us an invisible, inconceivable synchrony between all the elements making up “universal history”,’ writes Martín Matalon.

So from this corpus, as varied in its configurations as it is homogenous in its preoccupations, the music lover will be able to draw the magical sensations of an outpouring of colours transporting him towards poetic visions, whereas the professional musician will consider in addition the combinatorics of the structural ramifications tending to make the sum of the multiples converge towards the univocal gesture - supreme dialectic - which captures the direction imprinted on the work without freezing its freedom of development.

Sylviane Falcinelli


> Premieres

FOXTROT DELIRIUM, for instrumental ensemble and electronics
Die Austernprinssezin de Ernst Lubitsch
Ensemble Ars Nova - Cond.: Philippe Nahon
Festival Lux - Valence – France

LA CARTA, for clarinet, voice, accordion and electronics
Ensemble Accroche Note
Studio 104, Radio France - Paris – France

TRACES XI, for trombone and electronics
Trb.: Uwe Dierksen
Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik Witten - Witten - Germany

TRAME XIII, for saxophone soprano and orchestra
Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg - Cond.: Baldur Bronnimann
Sax.: Vincent David
SaxOpen World Saxophone Congress & Festival, Palais de la Musique et des Congrès - Strasbourg - France

> News

- CD release: Trame XII for trumpet and strings, by the Orchestre d’Auvergne and Romain Leleu (trumpet), under the direction of Roberto Forés Veses, for the label Aparté (AP103).

- CD release: Trame V for trumpet and orchestra, by the Orchestre National de Lorraine and Eric Aubier (trumpet), under the direction of Jacques Mercier, for the label Indésens (INDE071).

- CD release: Prelude and blue for alto saxophone, percussions and double bass, by Vincent David (alto saxophone), Victor Hanna (percussions) and Nicolas Crosse (double bass), for the label NoMadMusic (NMM020).


> Premieres

Libretto by Jorge Lavelli from the work by Copi
Orchestre symphonique de Bretagne - Dir. : Ernest Martinez-Izquierdo
Opéra - Rennes - France

Ensemble Modern
Frankfurt - Germany

> News

- CD release: Spirals, loops, lines, for instrumental ensemble, by the Asko | Schönberg ensemble, under the direction of Reinbert de Leeuw, CD producted by the WDR.


> Premieres

TRACES XII, for harp and electronics
Hp.: Nicolas Tuillez
Festival Présences - Paris - France

SPINNING LINES, for clarinet, violin and horn soloists, orchestra and electronics
Ensemble Modern - Sound Engineer: RIM Max Bruckert
Cl.: Jaan Bossier - Horn: Saar Berger - Vl.: Jagdish Mistry
Frankfurt - Germany

> News

- Monographic CD release: ...del color a la materia... for solo piano, 6 percussionists and electronics, and La Makina for 2 pianos, 2 percussions and real time signal processor, by the Ensemble Batida, for the label Disques VDE-GALLO - GALLO CD-1496.


> Premieres

TRACES XIII, for piano and electronics
Pno: Vincent Leterme
Le Quartz - Brest - France

TRAME XIV, for clarinet and instrumental ensemble
Musikfabrik - Cl.: Carl Rosman
Cond.: Stefan Asbury
Kölner Philharmonie, Festival ACHT BRÜCKEN - Köln - Germany

LINEAS, PUNTOS, PLANOS, for violin, cello and piano
Trio Pilgrim
Lanquais (24) - France

RUGGED, for orchestra
Orchestre philharmonique de Radio France - Cond.: Mikko Franck
Radio France - Paris - France

SPIN, for 2 pianos and 2 percussions
Quatuor Makrokosmos
Festival - Perpignan - France


> Premieres

ATOMIZATION, LOOP AND FREEZE, for 3 pianos and 3 percussionists
Pnos: Bertrand Chamayou, Vanessa Benelli Mosell and Sébastien Vichard
Percussions: Florent Jodelet, Adélaïde Ferrière and Ève Payeur
Cond.: Martin Matalon
Festival Présences, Radio France - Paris - France

TRACES XIV, for guitar and electronics
Pablo Márquez
Studio der Hochschule für Musik Basel - Basel - Switzerland

LA RUEDA, for violin, piano and electronics
Vl.: Claire Bourdet
Pno: Kim van den Brempt
Festival Images Sonores, Musée de La Boverie - Liège - Belgium

See all works composed by Martin MATALON



Works composed by Martin MATALON

See all works composed by Martin MATALON



> 2017 / Disques VDE-GALLO GALLO CD-1496 - Monographie Martin Matalon - Ensemble Batida
...del color a la materia..., for solo piano, 6 percussionists and electronics
La Makina, for 2 pianos, 2 percussions and real time signal processor
Ensemble Batida


Les Percussions de Strasbourg
Les Carambas,
pour 6 percussionnistes
Le Scorpion,
pour 6 percussionnistes, piano et dispositif électronique


Ensemble Les Siècles - François-Xavier Roth, conducting
Trame II, for harpsichord solo and ensemble
Trame IV, for piano solo and 11 instruments
Trame VIII, for marimba solo and ensemble

Maud Gratton, harpsichord / Florence Cioccolani, piano / Eriko Minami, marimba

ACCORD - 472 086-2

Orchestre National de Lorraine - Jacques Mercier, conducting
Trame V, pour trumpet solo and orchestra
Trumpet : Éric Aubier
Trame III, for cello and orchestra
Cello : Marc Coppey
El torito catalan, for orchestra


Ensemble Sillages
Traces VII (La carta), for voice and electronics
Voice : Donatienne Michel-Dansac
Traces V (Levedad), for clarinet and electronics
Clarinet : Pierre Dutrieu
Traces IV, for marimba and electronics
Marimba : Eve Payeur
Traces II, for viola and electronics
Viola : Gilles Deliège
Traces VI (Multiplicidad), for flute and electronics
Flute : Sophie Deshays
Traces III, for horn and electronics
Horn : Pierre Rémondièrestre

ACCORD - 476 1280

Les Percussions de Strasbourg
Le Scorpion, for 6 percussions, 2 pianos and electronics

ACCORD - 472 086-2

Les Percussions de Strasbourg
Carambas (les), for 6 percussions
Guitar : Alain Rizoul


Trio Nobis
Forma de arena, for flute, violin and harp

ACCORD - 476 070-2

...de tiempo y de arena...
Monedas de hierro, for 10 instruments and electronics
Ensemble Court-Circuit
Forma de arena, for flute, violin and harp
Trio Nobis


CD book
Har, le tailleur de pierre, for narrator, 3 percussions and electronics
Text from the tale Le tailleur de pierre, from «Contes du Tibet et d’autres pays d’Extrême-Orient» (© Éditions Gründ)

CD book promotional made as part of the show ”Tulle et les ombres”

CD book
Har, le tailleur de pierre
Un projet United Instruments of Lucilin en coproduction avec ”Luxembourget grande région, capitale européenne de la culture 2007” et la Philharmoniede Luxembourg.


Orchestre d’Auvergne - Roberto Forés Veses, conducting
Trame XII, for trumpet and strings
Trumpet : Romain Leleu


Orchestre National de Lorraine - Jacques Mercier, conducting
Trame V, for trumpet and orchestra (World Premiere Recording)
Trumpet : Eric Aubier

NoMadMusic - NMM020 / Flows (19.05.2015)

Prelude and blue, for alto saxophone, percussions and double bass
Alto saxophone: Vincent David
Percussions: Victor Hanna
Double bass: Nicolas Crosse


Spirals, loops, lines, for instrumental ensemble
Ensemble Asko | Schönberg
Reinbert de Leeuw (conductor)