Musique électroacoustique latino-américaine

Ezequiel Viñao, El Simurgh -Book I- "The Conference of the Birds", 1991

Instruments : Pour piano et ordinateur
Remarques : Enregistrée à New York, États-Unis, en janvier 1994. Stephen Gosling, piano. Nouvelle version/matrice (2005).

Autres ressources disponibles :
- À propos de Ezequiel Viñao
- Compositions par Ezequiel Viñao

3 mouvements :
- I. Invocation -computer solo- (3 min 36 s)
- II. The Conference Opens -piano and computer- The Hoopoe The Nightingale The Parrot The Peacock The Duck The Partridge The Hawk The Humay The Heron The Owl The Sparrow Coda (12 min 05 s)
- III. The Birds Set Out -piano solo- (4 min 08 s)

À propos de cette composition :

[Traduction française non disponible]
EL SIMURGH is a trilogy based on the “Mantiq ut-Tayr,” a mystic poem written by the twelfth century Persian Sufi Farid Attar. Most of what is known about him is legendary.

Reportedly, he was a hundred and ten when, during Nishapur’s plundering, he met his death at the hands of Tule, the son of Jenghis Khan. Garcin de Tassy relates the discovery, in 1862, of a stone erected around 1500 (some two hundred and fifty years after Attar’s death), on which was engraved an inscription that he rendered as follows:

God is Eternal . . . Here in this garden of a lower Eden, Attar perfumed the soul of the humblest of men.
This is the tomb of a man so eminent that the dust stirred by his feet would have served as collyrium to the
eye of the firmament . . . and of whom the saints were disciples . . . In the year of the Hijra 586 he was
pursued by the sword of the army which devoured everything, being martyred in the massacre which then
took place . . . Increase, O Lord, his merit . . . May the glory be with Him who dies not and holds in his
hands the keys to unlimited forgiveness and infinite punishment.

The Mantiq ut-Tayr tells the story of how the remote king of the birds, the Simurgh, first manifests itself by dropping a magnificent feather in the center of China. The birds, tired of their ancestral anarchy, decide to look for him. They know that their king's name means thirty birds; they know
that his castle is beyond the Kaf, the circular mountain range that surrounds the world. After long
deliberation, they decide to undertake an almost infinite adventure. To reach Him, they must overcome seven valleys: the name of the penultimate is Vertigo, the last one's Annihilation.
Many pilgrims desert, others perish. Thirty, purified by their labors, set foot on the King's castle. At last, in a state of contemplation, they realize that the Simurgh is each and every one of them.

“The Conference of the Birds” or Book of the Search (1991) was premiered by Phillip Mead in London on 2 March, 1993. The first book concentrates on the exuberant imagery of the “Conference” or “Parliament” section of the poem up to the point when, “drawing cries of fear and
apprehension,” the birds decide to “face the road without end, where strong winds split the vault
of heaven.”

The form of the Invocation is that of a classical Indian “Alapa,” which is marked by the absence of rhythm. The emphasis, then, is on the temporal proportions (duration) of tones. Each note of the harmonic-melodic mode is introduced sequentially, elaborated upon and embellished.

Praise to Him, who has placed his throne upon the waters . . . To the heavens He has given movement, and to the earth uniform repose . . . In the beginning He gilded the stars . . . then He dried up the bed of the sea and from its stones brought forth rubies . . . sometimes He made clusters of roses spring from the face of the fire.

The conference opens can be thought of as an extended rondo. The piano plays the part of the elected leader of the flock -the Hoopoe-, who proceeds to address the objections raised by the rest of the birds, as played by the electronics. Each bird has its own rhythmic cycle -a tala - and a distinctive sound world that relates to its symbolic significance in the text.

All the birds of the world, known and unknown, were assembled together . . . and begun to consider how to set out on their quest . . . we have a true king . . . He is close to us, but we are far from Him . . . before Him hang a hundred thousand veils of light and darkness . . . first the birds begun excitedly to discuss the glory of this king . . . but when they begun to realize how long and painful their journey was to be, they hesitated and begun to excuse themselves, each according to his type . . . then begun a commotion, everyone talking at once . . . and their eagerness to renounce everything revived.

In The birds set out motives interrupt one another creating a discourse where the listener may selectively understand larger structures of juxtaposed thematic materials as units of meaning or conversely focus on the development of each musical idea independently. Overall there are three sections identifiable by the return of the initial tremolo texture unfolded into rhythmic patterns.

Fear and apprehension drew plaintive cries from the birds as they faced a road without end, where the strong wind of detachment from earthly things split the vault of heaven . . . at the setting-out place, so great was the number of birds who flocked there that they hid the moon but when they saw the entrance to the first valley, they flew up to the clouds in fright . . . then the Hoopoe spoke to them . . . and the Nightingale gave forth a melody so sweet that all who heard were lifted out of themselves.

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