• Arne Nordheim
  • Lux et Tenebrae (1971)

  • Edition Wilhelm Hansen Copenhagen (World)
  • tape
  • 21 min 48 s

Programme Note

Lux et Tenebrae is another play with material, time and form: "A kaleidoscope of sound," in Nordheim's own words. The music was commissioned for the Scandinavian Pavilion at the World Wxposition in Osaka in 1970.

The principle behind the music is based on six tape loops, each of different length and containing both concrete and electronic musical material. The dissimilar lenghts of the tape loops insure that the sounds occur in continually new constellations each time one of the tapes ends and begins again, and it would take 102 years for the piece to return to its original starting point. The play between these various sounds in all possible juxtapositions prompts smiles as well as sorrow, light and dark - "Lux et Tenebrae" was the title of this "excerpt" at one point. This version is thus but a small segment of the complex sounds universe that filled the Pavilion for more than six months. Constantly present and continually changing, this is a work that exceed the listener's possibility to experience the whole, and in its ponderus way expresses the notion of the work of art as something greater and more complex than humankind's "here and now".

- Morten Eide Pedersen