Written to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the percussion ensemble Percussions de Strasbourg, Burning Bright borrows its title from William Blake’s famous poem The Tyger, published in 1794.
Composed as one single piece, like an immense adagio in the manner of Bruckner, Burning Bright’s poetic vision breaks with the traditional techniques of demarcation, with all its contours and closures. The music rises in layers, or unfolds in abundant and meandering surges. The varying depths of the timbres, fading towards an indeterminate horizon, create their own resonant space. Sounds – swelling, diffusing, writhing – blend like fluids or gases. Working on timbre is but the art of retouching. The drift of coloured masses replaces the interplay of formal arrangements beloved of the last century. Friction takes over from customary percussion techniques.
Following Blake’s example, Burning Bright rallies elementary energies: a drama with neither narrative nor anecdote, its unity emerges through telluric rumblings. Not unlike the films of Stanley Kubrick, it uncovers a vast space, which could well become, despite the hopes of our times, a space of eternal confinement.
More information about Burning Bright / Information on the festival Messiaen and online ticket office