The quartet with electronics that Jonathan Harvey projects his “successive lives” in the concert hall space in five ascending cycles. The quartet’s shadow, in all its delicateness, is created by the electronics—harmonization, granulation, spatialization. “When I was composing, an image kept coming back to mind, that of a paradisiacal garden planted with yellow wisteria and wooden sculptures of birds. In Buddhism, this is called ‘pure land”. For Kaija Saariaho, the philosophy of timbre and harmony is consubstantial to its use of electronics. She reinforces the reference to waterlilies and Monet whose lilies “welcome” her work for the first time. “A few ideas concerned me while composing the piece: the image of the water lily’s symmetrical structure that, floating on the water, folds up and transforms. Different interpretations of the same image: on one hand, there is a homogenous surface with its colors and forms; on the other hand, there are different materials, their states, and their dimensions.”
Gilbert Nouno IRCAM computer music design
KAIJA SAARIAHO NYMPHEA
JONATHAN HARVEY QUATRIÈME QUATUOR À CORDES
A Musée de l’Orangerie, IRCAM-Centre Pompidou, ProQuartet-Centre européen de musique de chamber coproduction.
Excerpts from the concert works
- Nymphea by Kaija Saariaho, 1994
- Quatrième quatuor à cordes by Jonathan Harvey, 2003