Soleil Noir/Chitra

(1995)

Description
chamber ensemble of 9 players and electronics (2 operators)
Duration
15
Genres
Electronics with Live Performers, Mixed Chamber Ensemble
Instrumentation
fl(=picc+afl+bfl) - trbn(=oriental drum).tuba(=wdbl) -perc(1): bongos/tom-t/oriental drum/tabla/BD/tamb/mcas/guero/tam-t - synth (Yamaha SY77 - 1 player) - harp -vln(=crot).vlc(=cabaca).db electronics: 2 harmonisers and compressors, 7 microphones, mixing desk (1 operator), amplification and speakers for stereo diffusion
Commission
Commissioned by Ars Musica, Brussels with funds in part provided by the Arts Council of England
First Performance
3.3.95, Ars Musica 95, Luna Theatre, Brussels, Belgium: Champs d'Action/Celso Antunes
Availability

Score, synthesizer diskettes and parts for hire

Programme Notes
As its title implies, this work is based on an exploration of a duality. On the one side there is Europe, with its fascination with darkness, melancholy and madness. I read Julia Kristeva’s psychoanalytic study of Gérard de Nerval’s El Desdichado in her book on melancholy, Soleil Noir, with its penetrating insights into Nerval’s insanity, melancholy and suicide. On the other side there is India with its radiance, its naivety (there was no Indian Freud), its nostalgia for the divine presence and its mysteriously inviting profundity. (Chitra is a female character from the Mahabharata about whom Tagore wrote an enchanting play). Heaviness/lightness, power/delicacy, slow/fast, statement/dance: these are some of the contrasts whose juxtaposition I explore as two aspects of one consciousness.

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