Mythic Figures


Electronics Only
First Performance
21.06.2001, Ircam, Paris: Micheleanne de Mey ballet company

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Programme Notes

Mythic Figures, composed for Michele Anne de Mey's company - which I have long admired - is a special concept. Michele Anne expressed the wish to use my already existing music in her new ballet, Utopie. She also requested something new. The solution that occurred to me was to compile a new tape piece made of brief references to the works she was keen to use for the rest of the ballet (Advaya, One Evening, Song Offerings, Bhakti, Mortuos Plango). At that very early stage she did not know exactly what movements she would use, of course, so I freely ranged about in the designated music and after discussions of the significance of this tape in the 'narrative' trajectory of the ballet, produced a tape with its own individual nature which can also stand alone. The title refers to both dancers and the mythical personae of the music - the 'sirens' from One Evening, the whispering ghosts from the same work, the crazy cellist from Advaya, the child, from unused takes of Mortuos Plango, the mature woman - mother or lover - from Song Offerings, the Vedic devotee from Bhakti. All these figures cross the surface, together with a Tibetan ritual bell with 'magical' properties, of a multidimensional acoustic landscape. The tape was realised by the kind auspices of IRCAM to whom thanks; my especial gratitude goes to the tireless sound technician for the tape, Sebastien Naves. Jonathan Harvey

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