(bc1380; dc1450). French composer. He apparently came from Rouen and may have received his musical training in the cathedral there. He is listed in the chapel of Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, in 1403; from 1405 to 1407 he was a clerc in the newly built Ste Chapelle in Bourges, where he was a colleague of Guillaume Legrant. From 1415 to 1419 Fontaine served with the composers Nicolas Grenon, Guillaume Rouge, Cardot and others as chaplain to the new Duke of Burgundy, John the Fearless. Following the death of Duke John on 10 September 1419, he and another Burgundian singer travelled to northern Italy and were inscribed as members of the chapel of Pope Martin V on 30 March 1420. Sometime between 1428 and 1430 he returned to the court of Burgundy and remained there as a singer in the chapel of Duke Philip the Good for almost 20 years. His name last appears in the lists of the Burgundian chaplains for 1447, although no other singer was engaged ‘in place of Fontaine’ until 1451.
Pierre Fontaine seems to have written only French secular chansons, if we are to judge from his surviving works. (The motet Regali ex progenie by Fonteyns in the Old Hall Manuscript (GB-Lbl 57950) and the Kyrie by Perrinet in the Apt Manuscript (F-APT 16 bis), ascribed to Pierre Fontaine by some present-day writers, are undoubtedly not by the same man.) Seven chansons with his name survive in various 15th-century manuscripts. Six are rondeaux and one is a ballade. Most are in the simple, treble-dominated style of the northern French chanson of the early 15th century. His ballade Pastourelle en un vergier is typical of the modest scope of his songs: the music occupies only 11 bars in modern transcription, less than one-fifth of the length of many ballades of the earlier, post-Machaut generation. Although only a few of his works survive today, Pierre Fontaine was evidently well known to his contemporaries; he is mentioned in Binchois’ motet Nove cantum melodie, and appears to be the ‘Perinet’ named in Du Fay’s rondeau Ce moys de may and the ‘Fontaine’ to whom the anonymous rondeau Fontaine, a vous dire le voir is addressed.
rondeaux unless otherwise stated
Edition: Les musiciens de la cour de Bourgogne au XVe siècle, 1420–1467, ed. J. Marix (Paris, 1937/R) [M]
A son plaisir volentiers serviroye, 3vv, M (Ct by Guillaume Legrant)
De bien amer, 3vv; ed. J. Wolf, Geschichte der Mensural-Notation von 1250–1460, iii (Leipzig, 1904/R), 83
J’ayme bien celui, 3vv, ed. in CMM, i/6 (1964) (‘contratenor trompette’)
Mon cuer pleure, 3vv, M; ed. in CMM, xxxvii (1966)
Pastourelle en un vergier (ballade), 3vv, M
Pour vous tenir en la grace amoureuse, 3vv, M (GB-Ob Can.misc.213 has alternative cantus ‘Mon doulx amy’; I-PAas B.75.52 has Ct by Matteo da Perugia)
Sans faire de vous departie, 3vv, M (Ct by Francus de Insula; T survives as a basse danse T in B-Br 9085)
F.X.Haberl: ‘Wilhelm du Fay’, VMw, i (1885), 397–530
J.Marix: Histoire de la musique et des musiciens de la cour de Bourgogne sous le règne de Philippe le Bon (Strasbourg, 1939/R)
C.Wright: Music at the Court of Burgundy, 1364–1419: a Documentary History (Henryville, PA, 1979)
P.Higgins: ‘Music and Musicians at the Sainte-Chapelle of the Bourges Palace, 1405–1515’, IMSCR XIV: Bologna 1987, iii, 689–701
D.Fallows: A Catalogue of Polyphonic Songs, 1415–1480 (Oxford, 1999)
French château, south of Paris, used for musical performances in the 17th and 18th centuries; seeParis, §V, 2. The American Conservatory, at which Nadia Boulanger taught, is at Fontainebleau.
(b Cleveland, OH, 25 April 1947). American composer, sound sculptor and radio producer. He studied philosophy at John Carroll University (1965–8) and composition privately with Louis Lane (1967–8); he attended the New School for Social Research (BA 1970) and also studied with Philip Corner (1968–70). In 1972–3 he was composer-in-residence and music director for the Toronto Free Theater. He compiled an archive of natural sounds for the Australian Broadcasting Commission (1975–8) and another for the Oakland Museum in California (1979), where he was a consultant to the Natural Sciences department. In 1983, with the aid of a grant from National Public Radio, he collected material for and compiled 365 programmes of sounds, which were broadcast daily in San Francisco under the title ‘Soundscapes’. He has been artist-in-residence at various universities throughout the world as a composer, sound sculptor, sound recordist, and radio producer for noncommercial networks. He is considered a pioneer of sound installation pieces; his works in this field belong equally to the areas of music, sculpture, architecture and acoustics. In his early work, Fontana concentrated on the relocation of sound into a new context. Entfernte Züge (1983) took the sounds of trains, announcements and the movement of people in the Cologne main railway station and broadcast them in the deserted ruins of the Anhalter railway station. In Metropolis Köln (1985) microphones were placed at various acoustical landmarks around Cologne including church bell towers, bridges, streets and two locations along the Rhine. These sounds were then mixed and broadcast live in the Roncalliplatz. This turned the city into a living sound sculpture.
Phantom Clarinets, 2 cl, 1975; Handbell Sculptures nos.1–3, 1975–7; Wave Spiral, temple bells, 1977; Sculptural Music Systems, orch, 1977; Music for a Resonant Space, 2 cl, 1977; Music for Carillon, 1977; Standing Wave Sculpture, sine wave generator multitrack tape, 1977–8; Motion through Space as a Way of Changing Pitch, aluminium rod, 8-track tape, 5 pfmrs, 1978; Piano Sculpture, 4 pf, 1978; Ocarina Sculpture, multiple ocarinas, 1978; Sound Sculpture for Brass Band, 1978; Space between Sounds, tape delay, tape, 1978–80
Flight Paths out to Sea, 1980; Grid Projections, slide projections, tape, 1980; Oscillating Steel Grids along the Cincinnati Covington Suspension Bridge, 1980; Incoming Wavefronts meeting a Shape of Land over Time, 1980; Landscape Sculpture with Foghorns, 1981; Sound Sculpture with a Sequence of Level Crossings, 1982; Oscillating Steel Grids along the Brooklyn Bridge, 1983; Sound Recycling Sculpture, 1983; Soundscapes, 365 4-minute radio programmes, 1983; Entfernte Züge, sound sculpture, 1983; Metropolis Köln, sound scultpure, 1985; Vertical Water, sound sculpture, 1991; Earth Tones, installation, 1992; Spiraling Sound Axis, installation, 1993; Sound Island, sound sculpture, 1994; Wave Trains, installation, 1996; Acoustical Visions of Venice, sound sculpture, 1999; Wave Memories, sound sculpture, 1999; Musical Information Network Lyon, forthcoming
Bill Fontana homepage 〈www.resoundings.org〉
R.Harnes: Bill Fontana: Sound Sculpture (Victoria, Australia, 1978) [exhibition catalogue]