Lab.Oratorium.description

(Remark : The pages numbering in this document corresponds to the numbering in the file Lab.Oratorium(mnscr).pdf attached to this email, not to the number written at the bottom of pages in the score. As I have composed this piece in disorder, each new section begins with page 1….)

————————————  I : VORSPIEL ———————————————

(Theme: Installation on the boat)

IA – (Duration ad libitum)

The piece begins with an electronic texture made of blows and strings sounds. This is a sort of disorder (page 1 Number 1). After a while (Number 2) come seagulls’ sounds spatialized around the audience. The orchestra and the conductor enter in disorder. Maybe a dialogue in between the actors at the same time… This is my “Fellini section”. Here is the recording of the electronic music:

In IA.2, when the orchestra is seated, it plays a fragment of the piece (IXD bars 89-92). That could appear as a sort of rehearsal (for example it is possible to repeat these 3 bars).

In IA.3, same idea with an other fragment with the 4 groups of brasses (on stage, behind the orchestra and behind the audience)

In IA.4, same idea with a part for the 4 percussions taken from XA)

In IA.5 and IA.6, same system with other fragments from the score.

During all this time the actors could speak

In IA.7 (wrongly notated I.A.6 in the score), the actors should stop talking.

IB (3’ – 4’ flexible – page 7)   Die grosse Fracht

Solo for mezzo soprano, like a free recitativo on top of the orchestra. It is possible to start again with the 2 actors at this point. I would like to continue in the “organized disorder” during the song. The electronic texture continues during all this time as you can listen here:

IC (1’ – 1’15”)

This is a preparation for the departure. The disorder should progressively stop during this section. Here is the electronic part of this section:

(Theme: Departure on the sea)

IIA – IIB (2’30” – pages 11-19)

This is an orchestral piece which is supposed to accompany the departure of the boat. I would prefer no stage actions at all here. It could be a first movement of a symphony…

IIC (1’30” – page 20 – 24)

Second part of the orchestral piece with addition of electronic tremolos moving all around the audience as if it were another string orchestra hidden somewhere. The music becomes more fluid (like waves pp. 23, 24 and 25)

Here is the electronic part

IID (1’30” – page 25 – 30)

Third and last section of the orchestral piece which presents several musical images: big chords played by the groups of brass around the audience and on stage, artificial brass instruments (also to simulate some hidden groups), structures of pizzicatos… When the orchestra stops at page 30, the chamber choir, seated in the hall, is humming (mouth closed) a chord which introduces IIIA.

Here is the electronic part:

—————————- III : GESCHICHTEN (for the moment) ———————–

(Theme: different talks on the boat)

IIIA (2’30” – page 31 – 34) Die Häfen waren geöffnet

Chamber choir a cappella singing from the hall. This choir is supposed to represent a first group of migrants who travels illegally on the boat. At the end the soprano solo takes a solo as if she were getting out of the choir. I forgot some words at the end (und ein größeres Schiff überm Herzen) which I will compose for the next bar.

IIIB (free timing – page 35 – 36)

I imagine here a sort of “vintage cocktail bourgeois for old and rich people” on stage. The music is a sort of “Rumba” with bongos, and Dble bass pizz. At the top of the page 36, the orchestra is playing loops, so the timing is totally free. FXR could also serve Champagne at this moment! The actors (maybe the singers) speak here. This is the time to express positive arguments about the cruise.

Her is how the electronic music looks like :

IIIB.2 (1’max – page 36 bottom)

2 short vocal parts for the 2 singers, when the actors continue to talk together.

IIIB.3 (free timing – page 36 bottom)

Continuation of the cocktail (with Rumba) with addition of string sections. The beginning (bottom of page 37): loops in the orchestra. That means that the time is free for the actors. Then follows a duet for the 2 singers (24”) with a piano accompaniment.

IIIB.4 (1’ – page 38 bottom – 39)

Conclusion of the “Cocktail section” interrupted by chords played by the brasses which will introduce IIIC.

IIIC (2’ – page 40 – 43)

Second choir with orchestra. I have added a solo soprano part (which is not in this score) instead of the spoken voice. This is the continuation of the situation at the end of IIIA when the soprano joined the choir.

IIID (2’ – page 43 – 47)

Dark cocktail. The Rumba is played now with low Dble bass pizz with an accompaniment of strange sonorities in the electronics. It is the time to express negative arguments about the cruise, may be also some lectures of stories of the migrants? Here is the electronic music:

———————————— IV : GRODEK ———————————————-

(Theme: war)

IVA (1’ – page 47 – 48)

Short intermezzo connecting IIID to IVB. Noisy string sounds with some intervention of piano and high bells. Here is the electronic music:

IVB (8’ – page 49 – 64) Grodek

Large choir piece and orchestra (with a speaking voice (actor) page 58). It is the first climax of the piece. This piece is a rewriting of an existing composition of mine for chamber choir only. Here it is, in order to give you an idea of the character:

———————————— V : THEATER ———————————————–

After this dark musical block, I think that it could be good to come back to reality, without music (or maybe with an electronic improvisation based on the actors` voices). The actors read some testimonies from migrants (?)… Maybe a 5-6 minutes long theatrical impromptu. So there is no 5th part in the score….

———————————— VI : ANLEGEN ———————————————

(Theme: arrival on earth)

VIA (approx. 2’ – page 65 – 73)

Orchestral introduction in a mechanical rhythm (slow and “pesante” in the beginning, then progressively in acceleration). At the end of the acceleration, the big amateur choir invades the hall (page 72) in a very “noisy” way. It is a second wave of migrants (greater than the first one) which gets out the boat. At this moment the orchestra repeats the same 4 bars during the time the choir is being installed.

VIB (2’40” – page 74 – 82) Vision

2 choirs and orchestra. As soon as the amateur choir is in place, it sings with the chamber choir. VIA presented this people (migrants) as invaders (the way how a part of the people looks at them), VIB, in contrast, shows directly that they could be also carriers of culture (here in singing a poem by Ingeborg Bachmann). The character here is quite slow, dense, massive and polyphonic.

VIC (2’ – page 83 – 89)

The 2 choirs are in a sort of dialogue and each of them is divided in 2 groups: singing and speaking.

——————————— VII : WANDERLAND —————————————-

(Theme: travels all around the cities and countries…)

VIIA (approx. 1’50” – page 90 – 97) Reklame

Dialogue between soprano (singing) and mezzo (speaking). Publicities, promises of happiness, consumerism….

VIIB (approx. 1’50” – page 97 – 106) Wanderland

“Perpetuum mobile” for orchestra (symbolizing people running to escape the authorities and the police).

VIIC (approx. 1’40” – page 107 – 11) Meine Schreie

Song for mezzo and orchestra. The text could evoke a woman exhausted and screaming…

——————————— VIII: NACHTMUSIK —————————————-

(Theme: after traveling and escaping: exhaustion, sleep, dream…)

VIIA (approx. 2’- page 112 – 116) Nachtmusik

Adagio for orchestra very slow and quiet.

VII-B-C-D (approx. 4’20”- page 117 – 130) “Wake”

Long crescendo, starting as a dream. The speaking voice(s) is/are transformed into a recitativo by the computer. Progressively the music goes toward the high register and becomes more and more intense. The 2 voices are superposed to the speaking voices. They have to begin very slowly and progressively to accompany the orchestra in the progression. I will give a sort of vague timing for the actors following this progression. This moment reproduces the structure of the end of my orchestral piece Ring but organized in a different way. Here is the end of Ring:

VIIE (approx. 30’’- page 131) Das Spiel ist aus

At the end of the long progression, Patrycia recites a part of the Bachmann’s poem. The voice should be quite fast and intense.

——————————— IX : GRAND TUTTI  —————————————-

(Theme: climax of the whole piece)(Climax of the whole piece)

IXA (approx. 2’- page 132 – 136)

On a very active electronic structure, the strings play a free ostinato. Then come a monody played by the orchestra, interrupted by little sequences sung by the choirs. It is possible to add speaking voices on the top of that. At the end (p. 136) the electronic music slows down.

IXB (approx. 2’20”- page 137 – 140)

On a pedal of C#, the music is made of punctuation of piano and dble bass pizz, and very slow chords sung by the choirs. The music goes slowly toward a complete immobility.

IXC (approx. 30”- page 141 – 147)

Variation of IXA (active electronic structure) with a speaking voice.

IXD (approx. 40’’ page 147 – 150)

Continuation of IXC with interruptions by the choirs.

IXE (approx. 40’’ page 147 – 150)

On pedals on G, played by all the trumpets, this is a dialogue between the 2 singers and the choirs. Each choir is divided in speaking and singing parts.

IXF (wrongly notated IXG in the score – approx. 2’- page 153 – 159)

Slow moment for mezzo, choirs and orchestra. With large chromatic chords, the music seems sometimes going down indefinitely.

IXG (wrongly notated IXH in the score – approx. 2’- page 160 – 169)

Finale with choirs, electronics and orchestra (without singers). It is possible to add actors here, but it is already very dense.

——————————— X : NACHSPIEL —————————————-

(Theme: dispersion of the refugees and song against patriotism)

XA (approx. 2’- page 170 – 178)

On a series of 3 crescendi of the 4 drums, the choirs will disappear in singing loops. From time to time, some singers in the choirs will scream short phrases. The effect should evoke people which want to disperse in different countries. In the same time the 2 actors will have a dispute concerning the (non)acceptation of the migrants. I do not want to finish in a consensual way but prefers to have the superposition of all these images: disappearance of the singers, dispute of the actors and crescendi of percussions. At the end, a trumpet solo will prepare XB. The composition of this section reproduces a section from Ring which could be heard here:

XB (approx. 3’- page 179 – 185)

Final duet for soprano and mezzo, on 2 texts: one by Nietzsche, the other (spoken at the end) by Hannah Arendt, about the idea of having or not a homeland, a citizenship. The music is made of superposition of very high sounds, and a low noise. The end reproduces the end of the second piece of this cycle: In situ. Here is the musical texture produced by the electronics:



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