BRÛLAGE - the artist and his model V


3 versions: for solo soprano saxophone, for solo clarinet, for solo oboe 

dedicated to Eliot Gattegno, Christopher Redgate, Carl Rosman

duration: ca. 9 minutes

Lineage: Robert Burns’ 18th-century poem “Lassie w’ the lint-white locks” inspired Charles Marie René Leconte de Lisle’s 19th-century poem “La fille aux cheveux de lin”, which Claude Debussy set to music in an unpublished 1882 song. Debussy later borrowed the title of Leconte de Lisle’s poem (and the key of his early song) for his piano prélude “... La fille aux cheveux de lin”, published in 1910 as No. 8 from Book 1 of his Préludes. Alfred Cortot recorded the work in London on 2 July 1931, and in 1991 this recording was re-issued on compact disc as Biddulph LHW 006. The Artist and his Model I-VI are all based on precise micro-temporal measurements of Cortot's recording. These measurements were carried out by the composer, graciously assisted by Olivier Senn, at Harvard University during the summer months of 2010.

The photographic process of brûlage refers to the intense heating of a photographic negative prior to printing, causing deformations in the emulsion that are neither the result of the photographic apparatus, but rather the chance interplay of the flame on the negative. In the work of David Hare and Raoul Ubac, this uncontrolled parameter was often used alongside controlled photographic processes. The same is the case in this composition.

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