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Thoma Pierre

(12. 07. 1949)

Thoma Pierre
Thoma Pierre
Chemin du Renard 18
CH-1219 Aïre
Suisse

Tel: +41 (0)22 794 56 67
Fax: +41 (0)22 794 56 67
Internet: www.pierrethoma.ch/

Biography
Pierre Thoma has produced instrumental compositions (including voice, all instruments and loudspeakers) for different groups, electro-acoustic music, outdoor music, music for theatre, ballet and music for video.
He has also produced sound installations for concerts, road, parks and exhibitions and sound poetry performances as well as textual and graphic works for exhibitions and publications.
He has a degree in sociology from the University of Geneva and a music diploma (for theory and percussion) from the Geneva Conservatory.
Pierre Thoma lives in Geneva.


Work list
Ode à Chronos (1976)
for 4 percussionists
Duration: 10' 00"
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CHF: 23.00
(Material: sFr. 30.-; € 30.-)
Exil (1983)
for recitation, alto and clarinet
Texts: Vahé Godel
Duration: 8' 00"
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CHF: 26.00
Mutations (1983)
for solo percussion (various instruments)
3 movements; in each a theme progressivvely transforms itself into a different theme. Virtuosic piece.
Duration: 10' 00"
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CHF: 26.00
Musiques pour fifres et tambours (1984)
Duration: 2' 30"
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CHF: 16.00
Agression (1985)
radio piece
for two-channel tape
With contralto singing voice, 2 comedians, chromatic accordion, various sounds (dog, horse etc.). Mixed genres (contemporary, rock, cabaret, musette).
Commissioned by Radio Suisse Romande, Espace 2
Duration: 23' 00"
Manuscript
Ton sur ton (1985)
for viola and clarinet
Duration: 5' 00"
Manuscript
Densités (1985)
for piano solo
Based on irregularly-regular progressions of various density:
- in time: notion of entropy in the 1st movement (within the 3 sequences the same number of chords is distributed differently over the same duration - going from a random repartition to a strict succession), notion of progressive densification in the 2nd movement.
- in space or pitch: in the 1st movement and within the progression from sequence 1 to 3, densification and equal distribution of the chord's notes, enlargement of the tonal range; in the 2nd movement, progressive reduction of the tonal range; in the 3rd movement, what I call melodious density and is progressively decrescent.
Duration: 12' 00"
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CHF: 26.00
Batterie Connection (1985)
for marching percussion
Duration: 2' 00"
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CHF: 13.00
(Material: sFr. 12.-, € 12.-)
Tranches d'extérieur (1986)
for tape (2 channels)
Transposition of one sound environment to a different one: loudspeakers installed far away from a station play back very realistic station sounds (trains, announcements on platforms etc.) A tribute to René Magritte.
Duration: 6' 00"
Manuscript
Convergences (1986)
for flute solo
Duration: 7' 30"
Manuscript
Convergences 2 à 6 (1986)
for alto (or clarinet or bass clarinet or violoncello or trombone) solo
Duration: 7' 30"
Manuscript
Drinnen-draussen (1986)
for three flutes, horn and two-channel electronic tape
Duration: 14' 00"
Manuscript
Jour-nuit (1987)
for violin and four-channel tape
Duration: 17' 30"
Manuscript
M.-M. (1987)
for trumpet and piano
A reference to the first names of two famous trumpet players: Maurice and Miles. Mixing of genres (baroque, contemporary, jazz). The audience, other musicians, his instrument, his inside/outside: how does the performer define himself with regard to all of these circumstances? To what extent does his personality influence our perception of the music?
Duration: 5' 30"
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CHF: 18.00
Relief (1987)
Sound installation
for birds, trees and 4 speakers (2 x 2 channels)
Electronic sounds reminiscent of birds. The loudspeakers must to be installed in trees.
Duration: variable
Manuscript
Vocaabile (1988)
for tape recorder (4 channels)
With the scrambled voice of contralto Nicole Rossier-Maradan. Opposition of forte - pianissimo voice.
Duration: 15' 00"
Manuscript
Hérag (1988)
for junior pianist solo
Score containing an improvised part.
Duration: 2' 00"
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CHF: 13.00
Rugir/écrire/marcher (1988)
for one voice and any brass instrument
Texts: Vahé Godel
Based on a text by Vahé Godel.
Duration: 9' 00"
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CHF: 29.00
Strates (1989)
for cello and piano
A drama about communication.
Duration: 9' 00"
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CHF: 26.00
Air - mouvement (1989)
for flute solo
Blowing means getting air to move; blowing also means to create an air movement. Consisting of very short fragments which can be interpreted with lots of freedom.
Duration: 12' 00"
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CHF: 18.00
Balises (1989)
for two-channel magnetic tape
With sports journalist Jacques Deschenaux's spoken voice, speaking the arrival times.
Duration: 6' 30"
Manuscript
Hérag 2 (1990)
for flute, glockenspiel, 4 violins and 2 pianos
Easy, for young musicians.
Duration: 2' 30"
Manuscript
Collage 1 ou L'Animal, un monolithe, festivités, rose (1990)
for two-channel tape
With words spoken by a radio voice giving some information.
Duration: 4' 10"
Manuscript
Collage 2 ou 12'000 m2 de paradis (1990)
for two-channel electronic tape
With words from public telephone answering machines and audience laughter.
Duration: 7' 30"
Manuscript
Collage 3 ou Du corps du poète, entièrement poilu (1990)
for two-channel electronic tape
With words spoken by the voice of Vincent Barras.
Duration: 5' 30"
Manuscript
Yon (1991)
for solo organ
Yon is the Japanese term for 'four' (the work is dedicated to Kei Koïto). The number refers to the 4 constitutive parts of an organ (production, transmission, control and expiration of air) and to the 2 x 4 + 4 themes evolving through synthesis and progressive mutations. The registration is mainly left to the performer.
Duration: 9' 30"
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CHF: 26.00
Amplitudes (1991)
for one or two percussion instruments
'Amplitudes' is based on a triple concept: 1) The amplitude of bodily movements naturally arising from the score in big or small gestures which evolve in the 3 dimensions. 2) The possibility to be played in two different versions: that is to say with 1 or 2 percussion instruments. 3) The dynamic correlations, where hardly audible sounds can be overlapped by loud tones exactly like whispering can be drowned out by screaming.
Duration: 9' 30"
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CHF: 23.00
Drums (1991)
for 7-10 young percussionists
Medium level.
Duration: 6' 00"
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CHF: 36.00
(Material: sFr. 38.-; € 38.-)
Jour-nuit 2 (1991)
for violin solo
Duration: 12' 30"
Manuscript
Whisperings (Murmures) (1992)
for 4 harps
Duration: 12' 00"
SME/EMS
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CHF: 49.00
(Material: sFr. 40.-; € 40.-)
Ton sur ton 3 (1992)
for violin and clarinet
Duration: 5' 30"
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CHF: 18.00
Déchirure (Alinnik) (1993)
for flute and two percussion
In the Inuit language the word "Alinnik" means point of no return, irreversibility, break. Greenland's Inuit are a population with an extremely original cosmogony based on the relation between sun and moon. Their view of the world is completely coherent in itself, mediated by shamanism but seems utterly unordered and chaotic from a perspective based on Descartes and western ideology. Some 200 years ago, tradesmen and missionaries set out to cultivate this population, which now has one of the highest suicide rates in the world. A culture - a way of thinking, feeling and acting - in a process of destructuration if not destruction, heading towards a point of no return.
Duration: 6' 00"
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CHF: 42.00
Gammes (1993)
for an instrument of one's choice and two-channel tape
The execution of 'Gammes' occurs in 3 steps:
1- Recording of the sound material (a scale) by the musician.
2- Editing of the sound material by the composer in the studio. Content of the tape: in the beginning the scales are played back unaltered, then they progressively loose their structure, the sounds get shorter and their pitch more chaotic.
3- Performance. The musician places himself between the two speakers and improvises within the framework of the tape.
Duration: 5' 00"
Manuscript
Bellikon (1994)
for four alphorns
Duration: 1' 20"
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CHF: 18.00
Wasser-Geflüster (1995)
Sound installation
for a minimal electro-acoustic setting (small loudspeakers)
Sounds of water drops.
Duration: var.
Manuscript
Solo (1995)
for solo alto recorder
Alone means isolated, fragile, dominated, enslaved, ignored, silent. Alone also means unique, free, singular, original, liberated, the essence of the element. The fragility of a sound amongst others, of the musician on stage, of these economic, political and cultural minorities, of enslaved or destroyed populations.
Alone also means unique, singular, original, liberated, free.
Duration: 14' 00"
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CHF: 18.00
Geflüster ou Murmures (1996)
for 8 small loudspeakers
With the composer's voice whispering German sentences containing a number read in a magazine.
Duration: 6' 00"
Manuscript
Machines 2 (1996)
Sound installation
for 2 large loudspeakers
Sounds of a sculpture machine.
The machine is an ambiguous object, contradiction between myth and reality. The myth: the machine as a symbol of visual perfection (the wheel reminding of the circle), synonym for regular sounds (complex but regular rhythms), a product inspiring inventive spirits, promise of relieved efforts, ever since the industrial revolution guarantee for prosperity. The reality: beside its advantages, the machine is subject to dysfunction (irregularities, break downs), source of pollution, cause for alienation, instrument of power, reflection of social inequalities.
Duration: var.
Manuscript
Wind-Maschine (1996)
for 2 or 6 small loudspeakers
Sounds of an old wind machine.
Duration: 8' 00"
Manuscript
Zeit-Maschinen ou Horloges (1996)
for 2 small and 3 large loudspeakers
Sound of clocks and voices.
Duration: 10' 00"
Manuscript
Musik zum Begleiten (1997)
Sound installation
for 8 small loudspeakers
With sounds of the recorder by François Mützenberg.
Duration: 25' 00"
Manuscript
Zapping-Music (1997)
Sound installation
for 8 small loudspeakers
Sound material collected by zapping in 20-second steps through all the radio stations transmitting music, received in Geneva on Wednesday 11th of June 1997 between 21:15h and 21:25h.
Duration: 30' 00"
Manuscript
Angela's voice (1997)
Sound installation
for 8 small loudspeakers
With Angela Compagnino's voice and machine sounds.
Duration: 5' 00"
Manuscript
Vocando (1997)
for single voice in any register
Vocally and gesture-wise free interpretation of a text in truncated language by Pierre Thoma.
Duration: 10' 00"
SME/EMS
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CHF: 23.00
Nipiit (1997)
for 8 small speakers
With everyday voices and songs by Inuit. 'Nipiit' means voices in the Inuit language. The culture of Greenland's Inuit was of great richness. The western world, in its arrogance, once more thought it had the right to destroy it.
Duration: 12' 00"
Manuscript
Canto (1997)
for a cappella choir with 10-12 male or female voices
Mixture between singing and sound poetry. The lyrical parts alter with sequences where the voices play percussion or electronic sounds.
(Commissioned by the city of Lancy)
Duration: 7' 30"
SME/EMS
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CHF: 34.00
(Material: sFr. 34.-; € 34.-)
Grapefruit (1998)
for funk group
Duration: 5' 00"
Manuscript
Sol (1998)
Sound installation
for 8 small loudspeakers
With the spoken voice of Christiane Wyler, artist.
Duration: 30' 00"
Manuscript
Maschinen und Menschen (1998)
Sound installation
for 8 small and 2 large loudspeakers
The 8 small loudspeakers transmit voices of individuals and the crowd; the 2 large loudspeakers transmit machine sounds. Could be transmitted entirely over two loudspeakers. (Commission by the ensemble 'Neue Horizonte Bern').
Duration: var.
Manuscript
Emergences (1998)
for 8 small and 2 large loudspeakers
With sound recordings of five craftsmen working with terracotta, glass, pewter, wood, grape-vine. The final product, public and apparent, reveals a collection of secret, underground and invisible sounds - often scarcely noticed by the craftsman himself - a sound universe of great richness.
Duration: 25' 00"
Manuscript
Etude pour une cuve à vin (1998)
for 2 large loudspeakers
Sound of a large wine barrel.
Duration: 15' 00"
Manuscript
Vocando II (1999)
for three voices in any register
Vocally and gesture-wise free interpretation of a text in truncated language by Pierre Thoma.
Duration: 3' 30"
SME/EMS
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CHF: 23.00
Voice-voices (2000)
for voice and 8 loudspeakers
Text by Pierre Thoma (German or English), created with words linked to the voice or the language of music.
Sounds of the voice, crowds, restaurant, bottles, trains etc.
Duration: 25' 00"
Manuscript
L'enfoui et le souterrain (2002)
Sound installation
for 4 small and 2 large loudspeakers
Four very small loudspeakers transmit everyday urban sounds, familiar and audible and yet their banality and aggressions have drowned conscience and poetry: they have been buried. Two big speakers transmit urban sounds necessary for everyday life but simultaneously unknown and inaudible (electric turbines, drink water treatment, waste disposal, sewer system etc.): it is the underground. All sounds are "natural"; none of them were altered. (commisssioned by the Festival Archipel)
Duration: var.
Manuscript
Le souterrain (séquence) (2003)
for 2 large loudspeakers
Two large loudspeakers transmit urban sounds necessary for everyday life, and simultaneously unknown and inaudible (electric turbines, drinking water treatment, waste disposal, sewer system etc.): it is the underground. All sounds are "natural"; none of them were altered.
Duration: 8' 20"
Manuscript
Patchwork (2003)
for 8 loudspeakers
Various sounds taken from previous works by P. Thoma (various singing voices, various instruments, industrial sounds etc.).
Duration: 15' 00"
Manuscript
Mexico (2003)
for 2 loudspeakers
Radio piece.
Text and interpretation by P. Thoma, who speaks in French and English, words linked to voice, body and sound poetry.
Duration: 5' 00"
Manuscript
drop - one drop (2003)
for six loudspeakers
Created exclusively by cut/pasting the sound of the sound of a single water drop. The challenge was to create an electro-acoustic piece with: 1- a sound object at the same time trivial and of minimal duration (a third of a second), like a single drop of water; 2- further editing of the sound was limited to a technique using only cut/paste/mix, excluding every other alteration or addition.
Duration: 10' 20"
Manuscript
Le souterrain (2003)
Sound installation
for two large loudspeakers
Two large loudspeakers transmit urban sounds necessary for everyday life, and simultaneously unknown and inaudible (electric turbines, drink water treatment, waste disposal, sewer system etc.): it is the underground. All sounds are "natural"; none of them were altered. (commisssioned by the Festival Archipel)
Duration: variable
Manuscript
Etude pour un broyeur de déchets (2003)
for 2 loudspeakers
Made with sounds of a garbage destruction machine.
Duration: 7' 40"
Manuscript
Bateau à vapeur (2005)
Sound installation
for 2 loudspeakers
Made with the sounds of a steamsship's engine room.
Duration: variable
Manuscript
Jardin et pavillons (2005)
Sound installation
for 2 or more loudspeakers
Created with the sounds of different gardens in Geneva (gardens, parks), Zurich (Rote Fabrik), South of Bologna (an isolated house in the hills).
(Commissioned by the city of Geneva for "La fureur de lire").
Duration: variable
Manuscript
Com-poser! (2007)
Sound installation
for 8 small loudspeakers
The 8 small loudspeakers are placed on a big table and can be manipulated by visitors. Human (voice, steps etc.) and mechanic (machines, trains etc.).
(Commissioned by Moments Musicaux, Aarau)
Duration: variable
Manuscript
pfeifen-Pfiff (2007)
for 2 loudspeakers
Station sounds (trains, announcements), football whistles etc.
Duration: 5' 30"
Manuscript
Une goutte d'eau (2008)
for 2 loudspeakers
Created exclusively by cutting/pasting the sound of a single water drop. The challenge was to create an electro-acoustic piece with: 1- a sound object that was at the same time trivial and of minimal duration (a third of a second), like a single drop of water; 2- further editing of the sound was limited to a technique using only cut/paste/mix, excluding every other alteration or addition.
Duration: 7' 10"
Manuscript
Carillon pour Marine (2008)
for 2 loudspeakers
Glockenspiel music for a child.
Duration: 26' 00"
Manuscript
Fourmis (2009)
Sound installation
for 2 loudspeakers
Sounds of real ants recorded by the composer.
Duration: variable
Manuscript
Le Jardin des Délices (2009)
for 2 loudspeakers
A tribute to Hieronymus Bosch. Vocal sounds by rock singer Angela Compagnino and sounds of a large wine barrel.
Duration: 13' 40"
Manuscript
Darabukka pour Marine (2009)
for 2 loudspeakers
Sounds of a small darbuka for a child.
Duration: 12' 00"
Manuscript
Carillon pour Alexis (2010)
for 2 loudspeakers
Glockenspiel music for a child.
Duration: 8' 00"
Manuscript
pour un cinéma (2010)
To be replayed in a cinema between two screenings, 53 sequences.
Sounds originating from a cinema: voices of workers, projector, film montage.
Available duration: 1h17'; duration of the replay: variable.
Duration: variable
Manuscript
Phonie (2010)
for 2 loudspeakers
With sampled sounds of percussion instruments.
Duration: 9' 00"
Manuscript
Wagòn (2010)
for 2 loudspeakers
Produced with the spoken and truncated voice of a Buchenwald survivor.
Duration: 7' 50"
Manuscript
Le Jardin des Délices II (2011)
for 2 loudspeakers
A tribute to Hieronymus Bosch. Sounds of crowds (city, restaurant), various animals, water (waves, rivers, sewer system), bottles, orchestra chords.
Duration: 10' 00"
Manuscript
Gouttes d'eau (2011)
for 2 loudspeakers
Sounds of various water drops in polyrhythm.
Duration: 6' 30"
Manuscript
Tambours pour Alexis (2011)
for 2 loudspeakers
Sounds of membranophones for a child.
Duration: 16' 00"
Manuscript
Cave à vin (2012)
Sound installation
for 2 loudspeakers
Sounds from a large wine cellar: large barrels, press, corking machine etc.
Duration: variable
Manuscript
Métaphore des coulisses (2012)
Sound installation
for 8 loudspeakers
Sounds of voices and material in a theatre never heard by the audience: setting up of the scenery, lighting gel, lighting grids, sound checks, administration, laundry, kitchen etc. (commissioned by the Théâtre Forum Meyrin, Geneva).
Duration: variable
Manuscript
Corps à corps (2012)
Sound installation
for 4 loudspeakers
Vocal sounds by rock singer Angela Compagnino, various sounds connected to the human body: breathing, steps, coughing, heartbeat etc.
Duration: variable
Manuscript
Bibliography
Bulatov, Dmitri: Homo Sonorus. An international anthology of sound poetry, Kaliningrad 2001
Amann, J.-P.: Musique pour une fin de siècle. Vingt entretiens avec des compositeurs suisses, in: Revue Musicale de Suisse Romande (1994)