Horloge à feu

Ingrid Drese

  • Year of composition: 1998
  • Duration: 11:52
  • Instrumentation: 8-channel fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • ISWC: T9006612993


ISRC CAD501010272

  • AAC, 320 kbps
  • MP3, 320 kbps

“The old fire clock of the Chinese. It was made by pouring combustible power in a maze. You lit up one end, so that the fire would slowly spread, as if following a wick. People would tell time from the progress of the combustion. Mazes were usually drawn like mandalas, so these clocks were models, relatively close systems. Once an energetic process had unfolded inside the model, a stretch of time had also completed its course. In this instrument, “time” was illustrated by an internal flow of energy that moved within a given model.” — Marie-Louise von Franz (1915-1998), Nombre et temps, Psychologie des profondeurs et physique moderne. Éditions de La Fontaine de Pierre, Paris, 1983

Horloge à feu. Symbolic space. Selected for its symbolic value, the fire clock shows the coexistence and interrelation of various phenomena like time, energy, and space.

Horloge à feu. Geometric space. Octophonic piece, space delimited by source points set in two squares: internal/external. Like in that clock, sounds move inside a system, a relatively close space. And the square carries an idea of limitation, as it fences off and protect.

Horloge à feu. Imaginary space. It is also a reflection on the esthetic, expressive, and symbolic power of geometric lines and figures. Is there a relation between this organized space and imagination? If so, does that mean there is an archetype of geometric shapes? Temple or wall, there is the will to push back limits, to free one’s self from time; the resulting breach is an opening on other realities.

[English translation: François Couture, viii-09]

Horloge à feu [Fire Clock] was realized in 1998 at the studio of the GMEM (Marseille, France) and at the Métamorphoses d’Orphée studio of Musiques & Recherches in Ohain (Belgium). It premiered on July 13, 1998 during the Prix supérieur concert at the Conservatoire royal de Mons (Belgium). Horloge à feu was supported by the Service de la musique of the Direction générale de la culture, ministry of the Communauté française de Belgique.


  • July 13, 1998, Concert, Conservatoire royal de Mons, Mons (Belgium)