Thierry Alla’s Birds, for Alto Saxophone and Electroacoustics.
Born in March 1955 in Algiers, Thierry Alla did the greater part of his studies at the University of Tours and the Conservatoire of Bordeaux, where he was marked by Michel Fusté-Lambezat’s teaching of musical composition and the discovery of Electroacoustics with Christian Eloy. His double career as musicologist (with a thesis on Tristan Murail) and composer allows him to explore spectral music, such as in Sanctuaires, a 2009 concerto for Saxophone and orchestra that delves into micro-intervals. Composed two years later, Birds for Alto Saxophone and Electroacoustics explores a lush sound universe that holds its own in a rich tradition that goes from Josquin Desprez to Rameau to Messiaen. The Saxophone’s evocative sounds, obtained using diverse techniques (flatterzunge, breath techniques, keys sounds) mingle with those of the Electroacoustic recording and weave a dense polyphony. Far from servile imitation, this evocation of birdsong reveals a sound imagination that is breathtakingly sensual: this abundance is life itself.