A Manifesto Mill
for symphonic orchestra (2019)
A Manifesto Mill is the orchestrated and extended version of my work Catalogue des Arts et Métiers which was awarded the title recommended work at the 66th International Rostrum of Composers in 2019. The version for orchestra was written in summer 2019 within the framework of [‘tactus] Young Composers Forum and recorded by the Brussels Philharmonic at the Flagey studios in Brussels in November 2019.
About the work: One of Paris’s most exciting places is sited in the Rue Réaumur 60. The Musée des Arts et Métiers is not only a harbourage to many technical exhibits and industrial products—it is also the stage in Eco’s grand novel Il pendolo di Foucault. A venue full of stories and a panopticon of ideas that once became manifest.
My work revisits the yellowed tales that might be borne in all those objects, cars, tins, rack-wheels, periscopes and displays them in a ‘sonic catalogue’. In three parts that are each named after a raw material, we hear about the colourful world of metals—bunte Welt der Metalle, about the sound of silk—Klang nach Seide and about the imperial grace of marble. Meanwhile, hammering rhythms are advancing—naturalistically contouring monotonic manufacturing processes. Yet, they seem to keep an ironising distance to the delicate and occasionally Mannerist passages at the same moment. Both idylls are delusions and turn out to be idealised illustrations. One could easily get bedazzled by the goldsmithery cast in the sounds of the celesta and sucked into the swirls of the marching tuttis. On that note everything is bound to end in smoke. An ignis fatuus evaporating.
anvil, bass drum, bell plates, glockenspiel, gongs, large, suspended cymbal, large tam-tam, snare drum, tubular bells, vibraphone, wood blocks, xylophone
November 25, 2019 (recorded) • Brussels, Flagey • Brussels Philharmonic • Brad Lubman, conductor •