One Evening...

(1994)

Description
soprano, mezzo soprano, chamber ensemble of 8 players, 2 technicians and electronics
Duration
35
Genres
Electronics with Live Performers, Mezzo-soprano, Mixed Chamber Ensemble, Soprano
Text
Han Shan, Rabindranath Tagore
Instrumentation
fl(=bfl+picc).ob(=ca) - hn - perc(1): tom-t/2 conga/bongos/tabla/tam-t/2 susp.cym/vib/t.bells - harp- vlc - Yamaha SY77 synth - sampler(Akai S1000+keyboard). Elec requirements: two compact disc player units, two harmonisers, 8 microphones and mixer
Languages
English, Sanskrit
Commission
Commissioned by the Electronic Studio of WDR, Cologne
First Performance
14.6.94, Stollwerk, Cologne, Germany: Musikfabrik NRW/Ingrid Schmidthusen/Susanne Otto/Johannes Kalitzke
Availability

Score, disk, CDs, SY77 cartridges and parts for hire

Programme Notes
There are four movements – each concerned with a different state of consciousness. The first represents the Buddhist perception of emptiness: a state of enlightenment by white, still sounds: ‘moonlight on snow’. The second brings in human values – fullness and a vision of love. One of the technical processes of the work is the acceleration of a rhythmic cell until it becomes a shimmering colour. If the shimmering colour represents the timeless radiant world of spirit, the ‘descent’ to the realm of rhythm represents a connection and an incarnation of spirit into body (rhythm or dance). This descent from the radiant world to body rhythms occurs about two-thirds of the way through the second movement. The third movement shows the negative side of nothingness – possibly the most favoured theme in all twentieth-century art. It is a terrifying emptiness created by the realisation that the ego-self does not exist: the state just before ego-less existence is accepted in enlightenment and an important stage in spiritual development. The fourth and final movement makes clear the connection between (1) undifferentiated sound (wind or breath-like) suggesting the transcendental, (2) shimmering colour, suggesting the radiant light world and (3) light-footed dance rhythms suggesting corporeal existence. The continuity between the three realms points to a unified musical and symbolic field. Wordless singing and mantra-like repetitions characterise this celebratory mood. I would like to thank York H?ller, Volker M?ller, Paolo Chagas and Gertrud Melcher for their kindness and invaluable help in producing the electronics. The work was commissioned by Westdeutscher Rundfunk, Cologne.

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