Roche, Colin


Colin Roche was born in 1974. After politics studies, he undertakes musicology studies both at the Conservatoire National de région of Lyon and the University of Rouen (Musical Culture graduation, Musicology graduation, thesis in progress). In 1999 he joins the Jacques Petit’s composition masterclass in Rouen, and gets in 2002 the composition award and the jury rewards him with unanimous congratulations. He also gets a SACEM special award that year. Having been advised and supported by compositors such as Dominique Lemaître and Bruno Mantovani, he joins Philippe Leroux’s masterclass, where he obtains graduation in 2004. Grant holder of the Royaumont Foundation that year, he learnt from Brian Ferneyhough and Luca Francesconi amongst others.

His work has been interpreted by l’Itinéraire, the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne of Montréal, Les Jeunes Solistes, the Paris quartet, the Psophos quartet, the Ensemble Orchestral Contemporain’s solists, the Alexander cello quartet… Colin Roche has been worldwide scheduled in Italy, Canada, Greece. In France, his work was performed in UNESCO in Paris, in Lyon’s Musique en Scène Festival, in Beauvais’ Rencontres de Violoncelles as well as in Bordeaux, Montpellier, Lyon, Saint-Etienne, Rennes, Rouen…

In 2002, his work Ground Zero (de mon écriture) was selected for the ISCM’s Young Musical Creation Forum. This work was used as well as a medium for plastician Simon Artignan’s film Petites économies de nos pollutions. Colin Roche is member of the ISCM.

“ Reducing Colin to silence would not only be a weak play on words, but above all the sign of some fundamental misunderstanding since the interest is in the almost. [...] Here we understand that Colin’s work aims more at the texture than the structure. There are not properly musical themes, but rather matter and light ones, which he tries to get expressed by themselves. Therefore it is the desire to penetrate the matter which creates the sound. By this way emerges a raw, refined sound realm, achieved by rubbing, breath, whistle, resonance, vibration... Saying refined I actually mean that Colin’s musical speech doesn’t burden itself with useless effects. I mean that only the given effect is the expected one (another word for efficiency), and that this clarity allows the ear a precise identification of the effects.
Then, no a priori structure, no prefabricated speech which would come and brace the music. Music is some energetic form through which the object expresses itself; the musical form becomes identifiable to the very object. For example, in La table écrite (souvient à mon coude), the form is the time which unfolds like the one used as a receptacle for the daily words, day after day, by the poet. Francis Ponge said : “Be my work a constant rectification of my expression (without a priori considering the form of this expression) favouring the raw object”.

By the way, what is the “raw object” of his work? Is it the time unfolding? Is it the question of the work’s unity when its creation is extended on several days, on different states of mind? Is it the unity of the creating character’s fiction?

Should I venture to say that what gets Colin out of the prospect of this infinite spiral is, though it is restrained, but perhaps even more moving, the expression of a lyricism, a sensual, vital melody? Should I venture to say that the raw object is even used as an alibi for a sensitivity which actually nothing can detain? (excerpt from Pour une notice (de Colin Roche) by Jonathan Thunin)