Le Noir de l’Étoile by Gérard Grisey is one of the most impressive pieces by the French spectralist composer. In this work, pulsars – “clocks of spacetime” – form the tonal and poetic point of departure for a monumental space-piece for six percussionists, carried by rotation, periodicity, deceleration and acceleration.
« Le Noir de l’Etoile is dedicated to my son Raphaël with affection and to the Percussions de Strasbourg. And I would also like to point out: the unprecedented and irreplaceable aspect of the live transmission in the concert hall of these imperturbable cosmic clocks which have travelled across several light years…Their unexpected confrontation with music, which not only prepares their « entry » onto a musical and theatrical stage, but whose whole temporal organisation Is the product of their speed of rotation… Their integration into a spatialized form of music by the positioning of the six percussions and speakers around the audience… The staging and lighting of these extinguished stars using appropriate projection and lighting devices… The at once musical, visual, theatrical, but also festive and didactic character of a moving and exceptional event. »