“Sculpting the Air” for ensemble, solo conductor and electronics by Jesper Nordin in IRCAM analysis

IRCAM (Institute for Research and Coordination in Acoustics/Music), one of the world’s largest public research centers of musical expression and scientific research, has published 11 analyses where Jesper Nordin’s “Sculpting the Air” with Gestrument is one of the highlights.

“Jesper Nordin is a unique figure in the contemporary music landscape.

The originality of this work […] lies in the fact that the conductor’s gestures are also used to control the electronic part. Thanks to a complex technological device developed by the composer with the assistance of the Computer Music Assistant (RIM) Manuel Poletti.

Envisioned like a concerto for conductor, Sculpting the Air is the first part of a trilogy in which interactive tools are developed to musically and visually explore the concept of exformation.”

Composer (and founder of Gestrument) Jesper Nordin says:

“It’s such an honor to be featured together with just ten other composers on the IRCAM analysis page, many of whom have been huge inspirations to me, for instance Fausto Romitelli, Kaija Saariaho, Gérard Grisey and Jonathan Harvey.”

To read the full review, please go to https://brahms.ircam.fr/analyses/SculptingTheAir/

Technology as an instrument

Conductor Lin Liao says in an article in Ensemble Intercontemporain:

“In Jesper Nordin’s Sculpting the Air, not only do I lead the ensemble, but I play with two bell trees arranged in front of me, and some of my gestures are tracked by two Kinect cameras, which control various effects. (loops, delays, freeze) as well as an application developed by the composer: Gestrument.

Before rehearsals, I will have to learn to interact with these technologies and these bells, exactly as I would learn a new instrument – I should get used to the frame to which the sensors are limited, where in space to place the gestures, etc.”

About Sculpting the Air

Sculpting the Air was commissioned by IRCAM for the ensemble TM+. It was premiered by TM+ and conductor Marc Desmons during the ManiFeste 2015.