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Cuniot, Laurent

Laurent Cuniot was born in 1957 in Reims. At the Paris Conservatoire he studied the violin, chamber music, composition and musical research with Pierre Schaeffer and Guy Reibel. He succeeded the latter in 1988, when the course was named “composition associated with the new technologies”.

For purely artistic reasons, few modern composers lead parallel careers in composition, teaching, performance and broadcasting. Since 1985, Laurent Cuniot has been conducting the ensemble TM+, whose repertoire includes first performances and classical works of the 20th century; at the same time, between 1987 and 1993 he produced the “Concerts-lectures” series of Radio-France.

How can one explain that a composer attracted by modern technology and having studied with Pierre Schaeffer at the Groupe de Recherches Musicales has never composed an acousmatic work (a composition for tape only)? Laurent Cuniot uses combined processes, because in them only exist “the irreplaceable risks taken during a live performance”. He underlines the “paradox of the last twenty years: whether assisting composition or itself a source of sound production, technology has brought back a more “humane” approach, thanks to a better knowledge of sound, of its development and of the mechanisms of perception”.

Laurent Cuniot’s musical discourse is based on a relation of a tension increase and decrease; it evolves in an infra-tonal world. He is using less and less quarter tones so as better to bring out their structural role. Besides, thanks to his past (violin) and present (conducting) musical practice, Laurent Cuniot's style makes use of sonorities that are freed from instrumental and aesthetical chimeras.

He has composed few works. That is maybe the sign of great personal rigor?

Frank LANGLOIS

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