As an artist-researcher, David Therrien Brongo has developed a particular interest in the technical and scientific issues surrounding instrumental practice, specifically percussion. The works he studied during his university and professional career have allowed him to develop an expertise in the Quebec repertoire for solo percussion. His work as well as his final master's recital focused on the relationship between French and Quebec percussion music: he presented pieces by French composers Philippe Hurel and Bruno Mantovani, as well as works by Quebec composers Nicolas Gilbert and Michel Longtin. He continued his research with a doctorate on the history of solo multi-percussion in Quebec. He has worked on pieces by Micheline Coulombe Saint-Marcoux, Claude Vivier, Patrick Giguère, Pierre Béluse, Michel Longtin, Nicolas Gilbert, Dominique Lafortune and Jean Lesage.
As a performer he has worked directly with many composers on percussion writing, both as a soloist and as a chamber musician or symphony orchestra. His experiences have made him realize that an essential part of his role as a creative musician was to work on documenting the works in order to ensure their continuity, dissemination and transmission so that they could become part of the musical heritage of Quebec and Canada and, more broadly, of the musical tradition of percussion.
You will therefore find here, sometimes in the form of an article, sometimes in the form of a presentation, information on the different research areas David is working on.
(Article published in Circuit, musiques contemporaines.)
As the first woman to win the Prix d’Europe in composition, in the avant-garde of writing and research in electroacoustic music, and a fighter for the arts and the role of the composer in society, Micheline Coulombe Saint-Marcoux was undeniably a pioneer. She was also the first Quebecer to compose a work for solo percussion. In the tradition of Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Zyklus (1959) and Helmut Lachenmann’s Intérieur I (1966), Trakadie (1970), for percussion and fixed sounds, represents the beginning of this discipline in Quebec. In addition to offering an analysis of Trakadie, this article places the work in context by discussing two other pieces written by Coulombe Saint-Marcoux in the same time period: Séquences (1968, rev. 1973) and Épisodie II (1972).
(Article published in the FAMEQ magazine.)
An all-purpose, overused or even ridiculed term (see the pejorative expression social justice warriors (Majcher, 2017)), social justice is a concept of justice as a structure of society that has its roots in political philosophy. Although there are several approaches to conceiving the notion of social justice, the most widespread in the West in the 21st century are based on the work of John Rawls who, notably through his 1971 work Theory of Justice (Rawls, 1987), lays the foundations for a theory of justice as fairness. I will begin by identifying the different dimensions of justice through the evolution of the discourse that defines it. The world has changed a great deal in the last fifty years, however, and we need to put into perspective the context in which social justice operates today. Understanding the dimensions of justice and the current paradigm of its application will enable us to grasp how social justice specifically comes into play in the field of education and musical education.
As a percussionist specializing in contemporary music and creation, David's work lies mainly in the interaction with composers. Over the past few years, he has participated, either as a soloist, with Ensemble Paramirabo or with Duo AIRS, in the creation of more than fifty works by working directly and actively with their composers.
In his work with them, one of the most recurring subjects is the specificity and complexity of percussion, both in terms of writing and sound possibilities. Several treatises (e.g. Brindle 1991, Solomon 2002) exist on writing for percussion but little consensus exists. The intensive use of percussion being relatively recent in the history of music, it is an instrument whose codes vary enormously from one school of thought to another, from one performer to another. Moreover, it is important to combine theoretical knowledge (treatises) with practical knowledge (collaboration with a performer). His workshop "Writing for Percussion" therefore serves as a link between the theory of different treatises and the instrumental practice in the concrete. It is divided into two parts: writing for percussion and extended percussion techniques. In the first part, David deals with three different categories of percussion (multi-percussion, snare drum and keyboards), their specificities in terms of notation and the notation of sticks. He gives examples from the literature and repertoire of each instrument (Xenakis, Romitelli, Longtin, Oliveira, Martynciow, Manoury).
In the second part, he presents, with the support of instruments, the techniques, possible sonorities and limits (physical, sonorous or other) of different instruments. This part is divided into the following instrument families: keyboards (marimba, vibraphone), skins (snare drum, bass drum, toms, congas, bongos, rototoms), metals (cymbals, tam-tam, gongs, Tibetan bowls) and wood (woodblock, log drum).
See (or review) the video of David's presentation given on October 7, 2020, in collaboration with the Canadian League of Composers :