• Britta Byström
  • Voyages extraordinaires (2019)

  • Edition Wilhelm Hansen Copenhagen (World)

Commissioned by Göteborgs Symfoniker

  • 2+pic.3.2+Ebcl.3/4.2+pictpt.3.0/3perc/hp.pf/str
  • 32 min

Programme Note

I have borrowed the title 'Voyages extraordinaires' from the writer Jules Verne and his famous novel series depicting fantastic or in reality impossible journeys. The title seemed fitting as my work is intended as fantastical musical voyages on which the listener encounters new worlds of sound through recurring orchestral transformations. I see the work somewhat as a tribute to how art has the abilities to transcend the limits of life.
Some years ago I composed a horn trio, Diagonal Musik (2017), inspired by the Swedish artist Olle Baertling. Baertling’s paintings consist of large, bright triangular shapes, and although the lines gradually approach one another, the intersecting point is often placed outside the frame. Consequently, the spectator will try to complete the angle in their own head. In my horn trio, I wanted to transfer this to music: the lines that gradually approach each other but rarely meet, except perhaps in the listener’s head.
In Voyage Extraordinaires I have tried to develop these techniques even further, this time for orchestral forces, and combine them with the magical transformations, an important structural element of the piece. The fantastic journeys also refer to travels in our own imagination: what we believe and picture in our mind.
The sudden musical transformations that occur are also reminiscent of dream logic and the dreamscape itself. Here it is possible to wander in and out through worlds in a way that feels consistent within the framework of the dream.