Petal 003

Raija Malka & Kaija Saariaho

preparing the exhibition Dialogue avec La Dame à la licorne, in 1993

Two musical environments:

La Dame à la licorne

Cloud Music

La Dame à la licorne

"...bright mirror, shiny, without stain, in which he can see himself and his lady’s love..."

Roman da la Dame à la lycorne et du biau chevalier au lion (14th Century)

La Dame à la licorne is originally an installation realised for the exhibition with the paintings of Raija Malka, called Dialogue avec La Dame à la licorne. The exhibition was shown for the first time at the Finnish Institute in Paris, in 1993.

In the context of the exhibition, three different layers of music create three musical spaces in the exhibition rooms. The three layers are repeated in a loop,  but had different durations. In this way, texture was varied all the time, even if the material stayed the same. The original music was realised at the Kunitachi College of Music, in the studio of the Centre for Computer Music & Music Technology, Tokyo in 1993.

As a material, I have used musical phrases written for and sung by Anu Komsi, a text fragment cited in above read by Isabelle Barrière, and some nature sounds (wind, birds) recorded by myself. For this CD, I have remixed the material. My starting point was to follow the original idea: when the visitor is moving in the space, he/she hears always all the three musical layers, but one of them is prominent at each given time. The listener encounters first the larger space and he guided progressively towards the most intimate one.


Cloud Music

 The material for Cloud Music was created for a celebration : the delivery of the first musical Masters Degree, PhD and Honorary Doctorates given by the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland. The occasion was organised by the Sibelius Academy, who commissioned this musical environment, which followed the different parts of the ceremony, taking place in Finlandia Hall, Helsinki, on May 31st, 1997.

The musical material was produced with the help of computer programmes (Audiosculpt, Patchwork-Chant, etc.) for processing and resynthesis of various natural sources and was prepared on hard disks, trigered and mixed live with the program Max, following the course of the celebration. The basic material was organised on two main musical layers, on which I added freely a third layer of elements with a more soloistic character.

One important object in the ceremony was a small silver flute, built specially for this occasion. In the course of the ceremony all the recepients of the degrees played on this instrument short pre-rehearsed phrases, this is the reason for the flute material being quite simple.

For the CD, I have reorganised and mixed all the layers, following only loosely the structure of the ceremony, giving it a form more adequate to this medium.

Kaija Saariaho