As an artist-researcher, I have developed a particular interest in the technical and scientific issues surrounding instrumental practice, specifically percussion. The works I have studied during my university and professional career have allowed me to develop an expertise in the Quebec repertoire for solo percussion. My work as well as my final master's recital focused on the relationship between French and Quebec percussion music: I presented pieces by French composers Philippe Hurel and Bruno Mantovani, as well as works by Quebec composers Nicolas Gilbert and Michel Longtin. All this was complemented by a composition for snare drum written by myself. As a professional performer I have worked directly with many composers on percussion writing, both as a soloist and as a chamber musician or symphony orchestra. My experiences have made me realize that an essential part of my role as a creative musician was to work on documenting the works in order to ensure their continuity, dissemination and transmission so that they could become part of the musical heritage of Quebec and Canada and, more broadly, of the musical tradition of percussion.
You will therefore find here, sometimes in the form of an article, sometimes in the form of a presentation, information on the different research areas I am working on.
Workshop - Writing for percussion
As a percussionist specializing in contemporary music and creation, my work lies mainly in the interaction with composers. Over the past few years, I have participated, either as a soloist, with Ensemble Paramirabo or with Duo AIRS, in the creation of more than fifty works by working directly and actively with their composers.
In my work with them, one of the most recurring subjects is the specificity and complexity of percussion, both in terms of writing and sound possibilities. Several treatises (e.g. Brindle 1991, Solomon 2002) exist on writing for percussion but little consensus exists. The intensive use of percussion being relatively recent in the history of music, it is an instrument whose codes vary enormously from one school of thought to another, from one performer to another. Moreover, it is important to combine theoretical knowledge (treatises) with practical knowledge (collaboration with a performer). My workshop "Writing for Percussion" therefore serves as a link between the theory of different treatises and the instrumental practice in the concrete. It is divided into two parts: writing for percussion and extended percussion techniques. In the first part, I deal with three different categories of percussion (multipercussion, snare drum and keyboards), their specificities in terms of notation and the notation of sticks. I give examples from the literature and repertoire of each instrument (Xenakis, Romitelli, Longtin, Oliveira, Martynciow, Manoury).
In the second part, I present, with the support of instruments, the techniques, possible sonorities and limits (physical, sonorous or other) of different instruments. This part is divided into the following instrument families: keyboards (marimba, vibraphone), skins (snare drum, bass drum, toms, congas, bongos, rototoms), metals (cymbals, tam-tam, gongs, Tibetan bowls) and wood (woodblock, log drum).
See (or review) the video of my presentation given on October 7, 2020, in collaboration with the Canadian League of Composers :
Link to the video
Link to the Prezi of the presentation
Pierre Béluse Archives
YEs we kant, La théâtralité sans le théâtre