Integral/parent work: Atlas

Commission: SAN

Premiere: April 29, 2006, Sonorities 2006: Concert, Sonic Arts Research Centre — Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast (Northern Ireland, UK)

à Uli, l’Ange de l’Annonciation, et à Lisa, L’Ange écarlate

“He called it Utopia, a Greek word which means such a place does not exist.” — Quevedo. This project is a tribute to the creative enterprise of man which consists in probing the unknown with the help of musical instruments and thus attempting to make “the imperishable with the perishable”. By rotating the Wind Rose (an orientation system that appears on maps in the 13th century) and applying it musically, we are led to reconsider the polarities and divisions that cartography has imposed on the world. As a tribute to the infinite richness and diversity of expressions, the four regions of the Atlas (West, South, North, East) are composed solely from the sounds of traditional musical instruments from around the world. Each region is particularized by its mode of composition and spatialization, and its soundmaterials. A new sound map appears, which bears little resemblance to the territorial divisions and reveals the deep links between civilizations, as well as the hazards and mysteries of parallel inventions in distant places of the world. Mysteries that bring us back to the unanswered quest for origins.