The new epic 75-minute work by James Dillon, Polyptych: Mnemosyne ... (Acts of Memory and Mourning) for large ensemble commissioned by Ensemble intercontemporain opens their new season on Thursday September 14 at the Cité de la musique, Paris conducted with their new Music Director Pierre Bleuse.
Dillon began work on this new piece during a period of personal loss and the subtitle 'Acts of Memory and Mourning' reflects these feelings. Inspired by Renaissance ideas of imagination as a form of memory and altar pieces known as polyptychs (or theatres of memory) with their multiple folds and reflections, this five movement work is divided into two or three parts which reflect or intersect each other. Mnemosyne, the Greek goddess of memory, words and language, also inspired Dillon's creation, for whom "every musical work contains a ritual impulse". As part of the ritual this work places the players on a revolving stage in the centre of the auditorium. Like a metaphor for the great wheel of life.