• Esa-Pekka Salonen
  • Floof (Songs of a Homeostatic Homer) (1988)

  • Chester Music Ltd (World)
  • cl(cbcl)/perc/pf.syn/vc
  • soprano
  • 10 min
  • Stanislav Lem, trans. Michael Kandel
  • English

Programme Note

Once, when I was reading The Cyberiad by the Polish sci-fi writer Stanislaw Lem, and in particular the story of the attempt by a man called Trurl to invent a poetry machine, I was reminded of the Toimii Ensemble. (the Toimii Ensemble is a group set up by Magnus Lindberg, Anssi Karttunen and myself to from a laboratory for musical ideas - the wilder the better.) I decided to combine a coloratura soprano with five instrumentalists (clarinet/contrabass clarinet, cello, piano, synthesiser and Percussion), all amplifies in order to create a timbre that relates to pop music, while the composition techniques and the syntax of the musical language belong very clearly to the mainstream post-serial avant-garde. (Which, incidentally, happens to be my aesthetical and ideological home still.)

The Homeostatic Homer is learning to be a poet, onomatopoeia become poetry. At the same time, the musical language evolves from primitive gestures towards more complex expression. The ultimate product of the electro-troubadour, a love poem within the realm of tensor algebra, is set to dodecaphonic rap music.

Floof is dedicated to the members of the Toimii Ensemble: to the restless souls with whom I share some of my strangest musical experiences.

© Esa-Pekka Salonen



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