The understanding about the relationship between fire and the real and imaginary world begins approximately 50,000 BC with the indigenous people of Australia. One of the fire myths of the Aborigines is related to an inhospitable earth that is transformed to a comfortable place by a rather unsettling fire. This fire myth is the reason for the choice of instruments. They were all derived from traditional instruments of the Aborigines, above all in total 29 didgeridoos (from C1 to E3). The semantic context of fire is antagonistic: on the one hand, it stands for renewal, warmth, light and cleansing. On the other hand, it stands for destruction and the cause of death. In art history, the fire has gained utmost importance through Otto Piene and Zero, but also Yves Klein. Piene’s smoke and fire paintings may be understood as part of a complex that aims at making immaterial light tangible. Klein focuses on the destructive force of fire in his public art campaigns and extensively transforms the surfaces of canvas by means of flamethrowers. Two of their fire works form the starting point of the third movement of the work, they are integrated into the spectrum. Thematically, this piece narrates this semantic context of fire, originating from raw fire, through the fire myth, to the destructive power of fire, its creative force and of fire eventually becoming light. However, La naissance de la lumière à partir de l’esprit du feu is not only that – a thematic piece of electroacoustic music. It becomes a total artwork by interweaving it with a choreographic piece and a light work – both also completely notated works.
Audio software of free choice (for the realisation of audio processing and sound synthesis techniques), 4 omnidirectional microphones, 2 cardioid microphones, 4.1 loudspeakers (see illustration for the disposal of the speakers), 1 big canvas, fixatives, oil drying agents, varnishes and pigments, 5 big branches of free choice, 1 human body (gender irrelevant), 9 different bull roarers from 15-60 cm Eucalyptus leaves (or similar), 3 self-made wooden rattles of different type with various fillings, 2 clave pairs of different type, 2 clapstick pairs of different type, 1 self-built pair of wooden sticks to produce sound on: 1 piece of wood, 1 stone, sand, 1 piece of metal, earth, 1 piece of bamboo, 3 güiros of different type with corresponding mallets, 29 didgeridoos [C1-E3] (Dg.), high voltage installation
What is necessary to perform this work?
Three players are probably needed for the realisation of this loudspeaker piece – one player who is capable of playing the digeridoos (circular breathing), one percussionist and one player who is capable of controlling all electroacoustic devices (microphones and software). The piece is related to the works Feux avant, la chorégraphie: Theatrical light ballet and En l‘absence de choses: Choreography for ballet dancers. The works are conceived in such a way that they may be performed altogether as a total artwork. However, they may also be performed independently or, respectively, two of the three pieces be combined with each other, while any combination is possible. Additionally, the light work may be installed and be presented independently or in combination with the work at hand. It is a little longer than the electroacoustic piece (28’00’’ vs. 27’24’’). If these works are installed together, they are constantly displaced to one another. If the present work is diffused independently, it should be played in a darkened room with 50-100 candles (electronic variation possible with light sources of the concert hall) – according to the size of the space – installed on stage. The candles should be lightened from bar 374 (13’08’’) on by 2-4 performers by means of matches. In case of installing the piece, the score should also be exhibited in the same (not darkened) room. If it is not possible to find all requested didgeridoos, a limited number of instruments may be used and transposed electronically. The recorded instruments can additionally be fragmented, augmented, diminished, played louder and quieter in order to make them fit. Tempo and metre are very simple. This is because the piece is supposed to be synchronised with the other works (these pieces should be easily accessible for dancers and light directors).
A so-called image filter (as distributed by the IRCAM is utilised to filter white noise. Yves Klein’s Peinture de feu sans titre (F71), Otto Piene’s Wetter as well as a painting produced in a similar manner (cf. pp. 35ff.) serve as images. The original realisation (by Magdalena Meitzner) is shown here (see p. V) and can be used to simplify the realisation, while the burning canvas (see p. 37f.) can be replaced by a variable fire recording. Concerning this filter type, the only specifications are that the brighter a spot is on the (greyscale) image, the weaker the original signal (white = original signal cannot be perceived) and the darker a spot is on the image, the stronger the original signal (black = the original signal is unfiltered). The x-axis of the image represents time (cf. the score for the duration) and the y-axis represents the frequency (from 20 Hz to 20 kHz). The further settings of the filter as well as the brightness of the image may be adjusted. If such a filter cannot be found (anymore), a complex filter bank and a ring modulation can instead be used to create an improvised alternative that uses the images as a source of inspiration. No (additional ADSR) envelopes are notated for the synthetic sounds. The interpreters should keep this in mind and realise them at their own discretion.