"Un siècle d'écrits réflexifs sur la composition musicale" by Nicolas Donin
The mysteries of the compositional process fascinate specialists and critics as much as music lovers. But do we know that they often seem unfathomable to the composers themselves? Some have even taken up writing to examine their own work, producing analyses of their works to understand the secrets of their creative mechanisms. Curiously, these texts have only attracted the attention of researchers in recent years. Nicolas Donin's new book, Un siècle d’écrits réflexifs sur la composition musicale. Anthologie d’auto-analyses, de Janáček à nos jours, brings together thirty of these texts—or groups of texts—practically unknown or previously unpublished. The book is in French with contributions by Franco Donatoni, John Adams, Chaya Czernowin, Jean-Luc Hervé, and others. This anthology of over 700 pages is the result of a collaboration between the Analysis of Musical Practices team (STMS laboratory at IRCAM) and the Haute Ecole de Musique de Genève, and is sampling of the countless varieties of creative processes and ways to talk about them.