There is an iconic moment in the last few minutes of Scriabin’s The Poem of Ecstasy that never ceases to amaze me. It is the point at which the low bells and organ appear, shrouded by the whole orchestra playing tremolo’s and trills—a truly majestic, energetic, and triumphant musical scene. Why and how does it have such power? How did Scriabin generate this feeling of “ecstasy?” Examining them from a distance (as a listener or analyst), these questions may bring straightforward answers such as extreme chromaticism, specific harmonic progressions, instrumentation and playing techniques, dynamics, etc. However, performing this work (in this case, playing a piano reduction of the symphonic poem), I arrive at different, more ambiguous answers. Playing this work gave me a different perspective on how it is constructed and how it should sound. As a performer, time works differently. I feel the tension not only in my mind but in my whole body. All those beautiful desire-filled melodies are leading me through the work, pulling me along as if by a string. During this presentation I will describe this experience. I will discuss how it affects my role as a performer and serves as a source of inspiration for my work as a composer.
Dear friends, we are very proud to present this new project to you!
The incredible ‘2daltons video productions’ (Pieter Van Buyten and Johannes Vande Voorde) created an atmospheric video on my composition: ‘Variations on a Delirious Afternoon’.
You see and hear clarinet player Roeland Hendrikx, dancer Jorien Onsia and members of the HaftCraft Ensemble: bassoonist Bert Helsen and contra bassoonist Filip Neyens.
Big thanks to Miel Van Kest Restaurant (Tremelo BE) for the location and the Flemish government for the financial support.