Les Soupirs de Rameau
LES SOUPIRS DE RAMEAU (The Sighs of Rameau) is a multimedia work for harpsichord, audio and video, commissioned in 1995 by the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts and dedicated to the late Annelie de Man. Visual artist Kristien Kerstens added the images, to be projected on the lid of the instrument. The music was inspired by ‘Les Soupirs’ from Suite no.2, Pièces de Clavecin from 1724 by Jean Philippe Rameau. It contains typical baroque characteristics like symmetry, ornamentation, fugato elements, arpeggios, a basso continuo and a passacaglia. The harpsichord is the subject. The instrument was sampled by microphone and camera. The delicate sound of the harpsichord gradually transforms into a grooving mechanical monster that threatens to explode, while the images are much more centripetal, still and intimate.
For the first time he adds speech to his music, quoting the sun king, Louis XIV: “Les routes de nuit sont si peu sûres” (The nocturnal roads are dangerous) and the poet Guillaume Apollinaire: “Et des mains vers le ciel plain de lacs de lumière s’envolaient quelque fois comme des oiseaux blancs.” (With hands to the sky full of lakes of light sometimes fly away like white birds) From: L’émigrant de Landor Road.) Also the scops owl (otus scops) plays an important role in the beginning. Les Soupirs de Rameau was recorded by Annelie de Man on JacobTV – Shining City Basta Records 3091742 Les Soupirs de Rameau can be performed with or without videos.