Ofer Pelz: Trinité

, composer

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Composer Ofer Pelz celebrates an eight year collaboration with Israeli based Meitar Ensemble with Trinité, a collection of five works that highlight Pelz' intricate hybrid ensemble textures and deft command over applying repetition with variation to looped material. With a special emphasis on the illuminating possibilities afforded by prepared piano writing in solo and chamber settings, Pelz' music is both experimental and grounded in unfolding narrative.

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Backward inductions is scored for “augmented piano” (prepared and heavily amplified, with contact mics triggering auxiliary percussion instruments) and performed here by Meitar’s artistic director and pianist Amit Dolberg. The compositional organization of the piece works backwards from an original, multiple layered structure of repetitive gestures. Pelz makes small variations in phrase contours, removing a note in a sequence, repeating a grouping, reversing the direction of one of the component motives. In doing so, he not only creates propulsive dynamism in the subtly varied lines, he places the extended sounds of the prepared piano in slightly different spots in the rhythmic scaffolding. The work achieves a hypnotic balance between mechanistic impulses that are nevertheless animated with life and character.

Repetition with variation is a guiding principle in Pelz’ music, and Chinese Whispers zooms in on this developmental technique. Taking inspiration from the game associated with the title (otherwise known as “telephone” in the United States), we hear similar material morph and transform as it is heard in new iterations. Pelz organizes the piece into several sections, each of which focuses on components of the original “message,” from glitchy textural machines to disembodied sustained material. In this way, he puts his finger on a fascinating feature of communication, our individual capacity to focus on different portions of a whole, and to filter them through our own biases of understanding.

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This approach to segmented sound can also be heard in Convergence for alto flute and electronics, performed here by Roy Amotz. Pelz explores granulations of sounds in contrast with their fully realized incarnations. The electronics function often as the middle-ground between fragmentary sounds and sustained ones, extending the former through a series of echoes and delays, and dissecting and manipulating the latter.

Like Chinese Whispers, marchons, marchons is scored for the full Meitar instrumentation of flute, clarinet, violin, cello, and prepared piano. For the first seven minutes of the work, it is decidedly more inward facing, eschewing the rhythmic propulsion of the first two tracks in favor of blooms of hazy harmonies connected by glissandi and ethereal harmonics. Written for the Expo Milano 2015, whose theme was “feeding the planet, energy for life,” Pelz reflected on phrases in the French and Israeli national anthems that position themselves at odds with that mission, lending the piece a critical stance. In the final four and half minutes of the piece, we hear darting, sardonic ensemble passages, perhaps a more direct challenge to live up to the Expo’s credo.

Three members of the Meitar Ensemble are joined by string quartet Quatuor Ardeo for the final work in two movements, Blanc sur Blanc. Pelz chooses to amplify the string quartet and uses them as one might employ a “tape” part in an electro-acoustic piece – to create a sense of spatialization, timbral augmentation, comment on and frame a sonic environment for the other instruments. Again we hear a penchant for loops and repetition as a structural component in the “First Movement,” where Pelz’s loops accumulate in a manner he describes as a “logarithmic spiral,” accumulating material that becomes the enlarged loop before the process resumes. The “Epilogue” is a contrasting movement of sustained lines, quietly delicate yet charged with intensity and direction. It is a powerful way to end this collection of mostly very active music – a glimpse at an uneasy inner world lying behind the permutations and transformations of material.

– Dan Lippel

Track 1 recorded, 2019, at the studio of Buchmann-Mehta School of Music, Tel Aviv University

Rafi Eshel – recording and mix; Ofer Pelz – electronic technician

Track 2 recorded, December 2013, at the Ogen Studio, Kibbutz HaOgen Mix 2015 at CIRMMT, Montreal

Mix 2021 at Studio Sophronik, Montreal

Shlomi Gvili - recording technician

Eyal Mahabad - recording assistant

Noam Dorembus - recording producer and tonmeister Ofer Pelz - mix 2015

Sylvaine Arnaud - mix 2021

Track 3 recorded, June 2013, at the music faculty studio, University of Montreal Mix 2013 at CIRMMT, Montreal

Mix 2021 at Studio Sophronik, Montreal

Paolo Vignaroli – flute sampling Samuel Bonnet - recording technician Matthieu Duvault - recording assistant Julie Delisle - musical assistant

Ofer Pelz - recording producer

Ofer Pelz, Samuel Bonnet - mix 2014

Sylvaine Arnaud - mix 2021

Track 4 recorded in concert at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts’ Bourgie Hall October 27, 2017

Tracks 5 and 6 recorded live, November 26th 2011, at the Art en Résonance Festival, organized by the Bibliothèque Publique d’Information, Centre Pompidou, Paris

Mix 2021 at Studio Sophronik, Montreal

Hervé Le Dorlot - recording technician and mix 2011

Sylvaine Arnaud - mix 2021

Produced by Ofer Pelz and Meitar Ensemble

Mastered by Padraig Buttner-Schnirer

Cover © by Mathieu Boris (Mateo)

Album design by Ofer Pelz

This production has been supported by the Canada Council for the Arts

Ofer Pelz

Ofer Pelz composes music for diverse combinations of instruments and electroacoustic media. He is also an active improviser and the co-founder of Whim Ensemble and Ensemble Tesse.

Pelz holds a doctorate in Composition from the University of Montreal. He has also studied at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, as well as at the CNR Blanc Mesnil, CNSM, and IRCAM in Paris.

The work of Ofer Pelz has been recognized by earning many international prizes including two ACUM awards, French ‘Commande d’état’ and the Ernst Von Siemens Grant. His music is played regularly in festivals such as IRCAM-ManiFeste, La Bien- nale di Venezia, MATA Festival, Nuova Consonanza, Heidelberger Biennale für Neue Musik, and Cervantino festival. Meitar Ensemble, Cairn Ensemble, Ardeo String Quartet, The Israel Contemporary Players, Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Quasar Quartet, Architek Percussion, Geneva Camerata, and Neue Vocalsolisten are among the ensembles that plays Pelz’s music. Pelz has collaborated with several dance choreographers, among them François Raffinot.

Meitar Ensemble

Praised by the New York Times for their “excellence, poise and precision”, the Meitar Ensemble, founded in 2004 by artistic director Amit Dolberg, has established itself as a prominent array of virtuosos specializing in contemporary music.

Over the past fifteen years they have commissioned and premiered over 300 new works. The ensemble regularly collaborates with renowned composers including Mauro Lanza (Composer in residence), Philippe Leroux, Helmut Lachenmann, Georg Friedrich Haas, Philippe Hurel, Ivan Fedele, Chaya Czernowin and many leading Israeli composers. The recordings of the ensemble were published and released by Soupir, NEOS, and VERSO.

Based in Tel-Aviv, they have been featured at some of the most prestigious venues worldwide, including the Centre Pompidou (Paris), the Purcell Room (London), and the Radial System (Berlin).

The ensemble has been acclaimed for its significant contribution to the development of Israeli culture and music, receiving the Binyaminy Award (2006), Partosh Award (2008), and the Landau Award (2010). Their Philippe Leroux profile CD, ‘Ailes’, conducted by Pierre-André Valade (Conductor in residence), won the Coups de Cœur prize of the Académie Charles Cros as one of the outstanding albums of contemporary music in 2018.

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