7 Lieder on poems by Fernando Pessoa
Ensemble: fl. cl. tr. / pf., 1 perc. / vln. vla. cello.
Written within the context of Cursus II (IRCAM)
First performance: 15/06/2011, Festival Agora, IRCAM, Paris (E. Calleo, Musikfabrik, E. Poppe cond.)
“abroad” is a collection of seven Lieder, on poems by Fernando Pessoa, chosen among the English Poems that the poet wrote, in his youth, during his stay in South Africa. These chosen poems are three Sonnets (the even numbers, in a perfect Shakespearean meter) and four Inscriptions (the odd numbers, shorter and metrically more free). The formal periodicity of academism and license musically reverberates in the counterposition between the acoustic Sonnets worlds (a “chamber” universe, essentially hostile towards the electronic presence) and the electroacoustic Inscriptions world (where the ensemble has, for long periods, a secondary role, or it is even completely absent).
Practically, the boundaries between the two worlds are often blurred, and a dialogue takes place, under the form of a conflict (as if the first one were the world of conscience, and the second one the world of unconscious). The two worlds do not approach, neither physically nor strictly musically; rather they try to communicate in a meta-musical level, in a game of relations, links and hints – and the only situation where they finally succeed in being “together” (Lied 5) is when each universe partly sacrifices its very essence, and rejoins the other under the (meta-)mechanism of “quotation”.
The acoustic/electronic counterpoint becomes an unconscious process of memory, a Proustian experience: electronics is an elsewhere (hence the title, in the meaning of “widely”), a non-place where everything suddenly becomes possible, where sounds become symbols, and where words and ideas are mingled with the heavy burden of their possible meanings, as phantoms in an dreamlike view.