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The attraction science-fiction and Genre cinema has exerted on me by from early childhood was triggered at the announcement of the film Prometheus, the prequel to the film Alien, by director Ridley Scott. At the screening of that film I got completely absorbed in the images of the prolog filmed in the natural settings of Dettifos in Iceland.
Dettifos is the fall. It plunges into the Jökulsá Canyon at Fjöllum right in the middle of a volcanic rock desert. The more than 40 meters high fall, will be the starting point of my trip to Iceland. The natural if not supernatural power of the elements constitute the monumental landscapes and timescapes of the world island — they echo with my decade of travels above 60 degrees North latitude and under 30 degrees South latitude.
Draugalimur (Phantom Limb, in English) is a crossing from the intimate to vast open spaces, traversed by the elements in motion. Ice, air, gas and fire are in perpetual activity in the chaotic and primitive far off. It resembles the more than five hundred million years ago surface of the earth.
In Reykjavik (Iceland) I made acquaintance with Islandic visual artist Haraldur Jónsson. He told me an Islandic tale Móðir mín, í kví, kví (My mother in the park, park) that deeply stirred me. I didn’t know then how major a part it would play in the composition of the coming piece nor how it would create symbolic resonance with my own life.
Draugalimur is a work with the acoustics and sound effect of the natural elements: ice breaking; the sounds of gigantic interiors of cod liver oil tanks in ruins; the textures of the memory of anciently whale and other cetacean slaughtering quays.
Crossing a desert hopelessly dressed in black ash, raptured from Nature down under a steel bridge, drifting icebergs are aspired from their lagoon into the Arctic Ocean, a lure at low tide. I saw, upright a sandur, four diffracted suns then grey-green, reclining orange to lethal white or the lordosis of the earth.
In the shade of warm barks or amongst pestilential mud in sulphur yellow, pink clay soufrières hope only for the eruption of an anguished geyser. The fallen fluorescence of horizons of lichen, the definitive fall of a millennium serac, only the laughing tern can face up to such complexity.
Draugalimur is an essay, an attempt to build a link between the power of the elements and the imaginary of inhabitants - an attachment by means of the setting and diverse articulations of concrete and oneiric materials of the (still) fantastic island.
[English translation: Alice Cormack, iv-17]
Draugalimur — subtitled Membre fantôme — was realized in 2014-15 at the composer’s studio in Marseille (France) and premiered on January 24, 2015 as part of the Multiphonies series presented by the Ina-GRM at the Auditorium Saint-Germain of the MPAA (Paris, France). The piece was commissioned by the French State (Music Office) and the Ina-GRM (Paris). Text: Móðir mín, í kví, kví (My mother in the park, park), Islandic folklore; French version taken from La géante dans la barque de pierre et autres contes d’Islande, Jón Árnaso, Éditions José Corti (2003). Recorded voices: Dominique Poulain, Haraldur Jónsson. Thanks to Dominique Poulain, Haraldur Jónsson, Natacha Muslera, Arnlín Óladóttir, Christian Zanési, Magnús Rafnsson, and Jean Cristofol.
- January 24, 2015, Multiphonies 2014-15: Akousma, Auditorium Saint-Germain — MPAA, Paris (France)