Jesper Nordin (1971)

Surfaces Scintillantes (2008)

for ensemble

  • General information
    • Composition date: 2008
    • Duration: 11 mn
    • Publisher: Peters
    • Commission: Ensemble XXI
Detailed formation
  • flute, clarinet, piano, violin, viola, cello, double bass

Premiere information

  • Date: 6 June 2008

    France, Dijon


    l'Ensemble XXI, direction : Dominique Dournaud.

Program note

Surfaces Scintillantes was commissioned and premiered by Ensemble XXI, conducted by Dominique Dournaud in Dijon (6/6 2008). The relationship between surface and depth in music is something that fascinates me in many ways. Some of my favorite music (for instance a lot of rock music) is clearly focused on the more superficial aspects but cannot help to also express deep emotions. On the other hand, some very deeply thought out music can be very shallow. As a composer I'm also very interested in depth in the compositional process. In a piece called Undercurrents I worked with material in layer after layer. I was always taking away the original layer and only using the effects it had had on it's musical surroundings. In Surfaces Scintillantes I'm doing exactly the opposite - the piece as you hear it IS the basic material. The only thing I've done with it is "polish" it to add some extra sparkles.

The idea of the surface is also very present in this piece since every single note comes from extensive improvisations and playing on an instrument I've built using a Wacom drawing board and a computer. I programmed an environment where I can control the harmonic and rhythmic framework and then, using a pen on the drawing board, I can play freely within this framwork. This is the utlimate tool for me who has always searched for controlled freedom using improvisation in different ways. This is the first piece I've composed solely with this method.

Jesper Nordin.