Name: Josquin Buvat
Main subject: Cello
Supervisor: Patrick van Deurzen
Master circle leader: Martin Prchal
Title: Nomos Alpha of Iannis Xenakis: guide for performers
Research question: how build one's interpretation of Nomos Alpha ? And practice it?
Summary of result:
Today, Nomos Alpha (1965-66) is greeted with loud applause each time it is performed. And the piece is considered one of the greatest pieces of the 20th century's cello solo repertoire, still it's also one of most difficult and “avant-gardiste”. Furthermore, the piece remains 'Difficult' for the listener: it is submerged in the torrent of 144 micro-events, an extreme fragmentation accentuated by the presence of many silences. That's why Nomos is only rarely played. Since the piece's creation in 1966, lot of cellists were aware of the existence of Nomos Alpha. Many cellists had the score, but hardly anyone played it.
It seemed important to me to begin my research with an analysis of the piece and an explanation of the historical musical context of that time. Indeed, Nomos alpha is one of Xenakis’s most ‘formalised’ pieces, the structure and all the parameters are calculated down to the last details. For cellists, these knowledges are essential to understanding the piece and making the necessary choices to build its interpretation of Nomos Alpha. In last the last part of this research, I have maked a guide for performers for the cellist who would like to play Nomos Alpha. For this guide I will try to concentrate on some essentials aspects of the piece for the performers. To illustrate this guide I did an critic comparative analysis of the different versions of the piece. And finally to complete this guide I did some videos of tutorials on how to practice the piece.
After completing his studies at Pôle Supérieur Paris Boulogne-Billancourt in Michel Strauss's cello class, as well as his Bachelor's degree in Musicology at Paris-Sorbonne University, Josquin Buvat continued his studies in a Master's degree in Performance at the Koninklijk Conservatorium Den Haag. Josquin gives a special place to modern music and contemporary creation in his repertoire. Since 2017, he has been a member of the Nomos ensemble, with which he has appeared at several festivals, including the Presences festival at Radio France, a concert that will be recorded.
He performs regularly in chamber music as well as in orchestra, with Les Siècles, Ensemble Appasionato, Ensemble A-letheia the OJIF, the JOEHB.
In addition to his musical activities Josquin is also involved in the field of associations, for two years including one as President of the Students Office of the PSPBB.