Joshua Fineberg

(b. 1969)

mode 208

Empreintes, Veils and Shards


mode 208 Joshua FINEBERG: Imprints, Veils and Shards – Empreintes for 15 instruments & live electronics, Veils, Shards, The Texture of Time for flute & live electronics, Broken Symmetries for 5 instruments. First recordings.

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Empreintes, Veils and Shards
First work for ensemble and live electronics, 2nd work for piano, 3rd work a trio for flutes, clarinets, and cello, 4th work for flute and live electronics, 5th work for flute, clarinet, horn, violin, and cello. Includes program notes in English and French linked to from resource. Eric Daubresse (1st work), Stefan Tiedje (4th work), computer ; Dominique My, piano (2nd work), conductor (5th work) ; Patrice Bocquillon, flute (3rd-4th works) ; Olivier Voize, clarinet (3rd work) ; Isabelle Veyrier, cello (3rd work) ; Ensemble Fa (1st, 5th works) ; Jeffrey Milarsky, conductor (1st work). Recorded in 2007.

Empreintes (1995)   (20:00)
for 15 instruments & live electronics
Ensemble Fa; Jeffrey Milarksy, conductor; Eric Daubresse, computer music designer

Veils (2001)   (12:22)
Dominique My, piano

Shards (2002-03)   (17:21)
Patrice Bocquillon, flutes; Olivier Voize, clarinets; Isabelle Veyrier, cello

The Texture of Time (2006)   (6:41)
for flute & live electronics
Patrice Bocquillon, flute; Stefan Tiedje, computer music designer

Broken Symmetries (2000-01)   (14:46)
for 5 instruments
Ensemble Fa; Dominique My, conductor


Since the beginning of his compositional career, Joshua Fineberg (b. 1969) has been fascinated by the possibility of transferring the organizing power of tonality into fresh new sound worlds. He takes advantage of research in acoustics and psychoacoustics to craft a musical language which explores the inner world of sounds through careful analysis – both by ear and with computer software – and uses their internal structure as a starting point for the invention of harmonies and musical forms, lending his compositions a rare immediacy.

A composer of the “spectral school”, Fineberg studied in Paris with Tristan Murail and took a composition and technology course at IRCAM.

He taught at Harvard for seven years, and is now professor of composition and the director of the electronic music studios at Boston University.

Created at IRCAM in Paris, Empreintes uses live electronics to process each of the 14 individual instruments, at times creating a halo around the music while playing with the boundary between natural and artificial sounds.

The title Veils refers to the Tibetan Buddhist belief that for the unenlightened, true reality is obscured by a veil (or series of veils). The continuous resonance of the piano (the sustain pedal is depressed throughout the piece) creates a veil. To experience the “real music” of the work, we must hear beyond the “veil” of the active surface to the slower and more mysterious evolution of the instrument’s resonance.

In The Texture of Time, Fineberg develops his use of live electronics begun in Empreintes. Here all of the electronics come from one speaker set at the flutist’s feet – the result is that the the flute and the electronics blend together, seemingly coming from a single source.

Language : English, French.


Ensemble Fa Profile
Joshua Fineberg Profile
Jeffrey Milarsky Profile
Dominique My Profile
Patrice Bocquillon Profile