Children's Corner
Yves Daoust - 1997

extract from BRUITS 1997-99

Bruits is neither an ecological nor a naturalistic work. The sound recordings, done mostly during the summer of 1997, have been split open and torn apart in order to bring them in line with my recollections and my sonic impression of the City I wandered through during the summer of 97. The key element here is noise: "Smooth" noise, a relentless unchanging murmur, produced by an accumulation of human machines; bursting sounds, ill-assorted heterogeneous fragments coming from all sides like peaks briefly emerging before blending away again into the ambient sonic mass they help to create; granular noises, minute sound bites that have lost their soul in losing their roots and which the wind blows away like dust; imprint noises (see R.Murray Shafer, The Tuning of the World) such as the slow, mournful descending glissando of planes, endlessly passing by overhead. Everything is "stained", distorted, recalling the manner in which impressionistic artists painted not so much the object but the light reflected upon them.

Children's Corner is the first of the three movements of which this work will be composed. It consists of a series of tableaux, each revolving around a rather homogeneous daytime "soundworld" which determines its character: street fairs, open-air markets, playgrounds, machines, public gardens, alleyways... The fragmentation technique used creates an impression of global interference, a sort of sonic smog which covers everything but through which, from time to time, a burst of laughter or a child's cry manages to break through, joining the sparrows' ever-present, piercing chirps and the beeping noises of service vehicles backing up (a peculiar brand of music boxes).

Children's Corner was commissioned by the Sonic Art Network, which initiated this vast project. The octophonic version was produced for the ACREQ with the financial support of Canada Council. I thorougltly revised the movement, adding five minutes and making changes in the formal structure.