On November 1st, my new piece for string quartet and electronics, '..By The Atmosphere Of A Room', was performed as part of the 'Decontamination' concert series. The work was commissioned by Larry Goves, the curator of the series, for a concert inspired by the works of Pierre Boulez and David Bowie.
‘..By The Atmosphere Of A Room’ seeks to create a dense, ambient environment to reflect infinity. Inspired by the interests and piano works of Pierre Boulez, who has been referred to as ‘An Eternal Musical Icon’ and an ‘Eternal Enigma,’ the piece is an immersive, and seemingly eternal, harmonic soundworld. Fragments influenced by the technique of integral serialism break through the texture and rise to the forefront to emulate Boulez’s compositional strategies. This occurs in the centre of the piece, framed by atmospheric textures, and is represented in both the string quartet and the electronics.
The title is taken from a quote by the artist Francis Bacon, who influenced the works of Boulez, written on the wall of the Francis Bacon Studio Exhibition, Dublin City Gallery.
You can hear a recording of the work, performed by the Marvolo Quartet, here:
Larry Goves also describes the concert in more detail on his website here:
Decontamination #7 – Boulez/Bowie
‘the aim of music is not to express feelings but to express music. It is not a vessel into which the composer distills his soul drop by drop, but a labyrinth with no beginning and no end, full of new paths to discover, where mystery remains eternal.’ - Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)