«Camera lucida»

3 (2.picc, 3.B-fl). 3 (3.Eh). 3 (2. Es-cl, 3.Bass cl). 3 (3.C-bsn). / / Pf / Hp / 4 Perc. /

SWR Commission for Donaueschinger Musiktage 1999
 Première: October 17, 1999 Donaueschingen
 SWR symphony orchestra Baden-Baden and Freiburg
 Cond. Sylvain Cambreling
 Duration: 20 minutes
 Publisher: Breitkopf & Härtel
 Akutagawa prize for the best symphonic piece by young composers (Japan – 2000)

 Since my most recent piece, « La chambre claire » (The bright room), I have been interested in concepts that derive from the world of photography : the infinite reproduction of an ephemeral moment and the idea of an animated panorama under the effects of lights. « Camera lucida » was the name of the apparatus that, before the invention of photography, made it possible to sketch an object through a prism : one eye was directed toward the model, the other toward the paper. I wanted to realize my Camera lucida based on this idea : one eye on the score, the other on the orchestra. In my virtual camera I can modify the precision and duration of the observation at will by changing the size of the lenses and the rate at which the images dissolve.
 The piece is thus a new arrangement of « images » that were recorded at various speeds and angles (enlargement or reduction of an image by the implied sound mass and the rate of reproduction). This aesthetic is related to that of the Pop Art movement in the art of the sixties, and with the works of Andy Warhol in particular : serial reproductions of one and the same cliché ; a play with the possibilities of enlargement and the colors of the edition.
 The technical means used include filtration, expansion, and compression tecniques as well as the principle of cutting a movement or note into ribbons. This reflection on the temporal development of musical parameters is a central theme in my current work.

Misato Mochizuki
 (Translation: Steven Lindberg).

Camera lucida