Laconisme de l’aile

Publisher Jase Musiikki
Category Solo Works (excluding keyboard)
Year Composed  1982
Duration 9 Minutes
Orchestration Flute & electronics
Availability Sale

Programme Note
Laconisme de l’Aile (1982)

LACONISME DE L’AILE appeared in 1982. Kaija Saariaho had then moved to Paris, where she had become familiar with the use of the computers in music making. LACONISME DE L’AILE although composed at the same time as the tape work VERS LE BLANC prepared at the IRCAM studio, is nevertheless a purely handwritten work. The work begins with a text recited by the flautist, before gradually going over the sounds of the flute. It realises an idea, already conceived in SAH DEN VOGELN, of a scale formed by tonal colours, one end of which is very brilliant and pure, whilst the other has a corse, harsh sound. This idea has been carried even further in later works: by regulating the timbre, the tone of the sound, Saariaho tries to create tensions within and between the different musical forms. In LACONISME DE L’AILE this procedure has been used to create highly coloured and plurivalent lines.

About this piece she writes:

“The posssibility to move from secret whispers into clear, beautiful and ‘abstract’ sound was one of the starting points for Laconisme de l´aile, started in Freiburg and finished in Paris in 1982. Another important image on which I focused my mind when writing this piece was that of birds, not really their song but rather the lines they draw in the sky when flying. I had already started the piece when I felt the need to add a text in the beginning, which would in fact be the source for the musical material. The book Oiseaux (Birds) by St.-Jean Perse (1887- 1975, a French poet and diplomat, Nobel-prize-winner in 1960) got into my hands in the public library of Freiburg, and I found a passage in this collection of poems that described somehow the images that I had in my mind: that of birds, fighting gravity, flying away, secret and immortal”.

Click here to read a performance guide for Laconisme de l’aile written by celebrated flutist Camilla Hoitenga.