“We have become the tools of our tools…”.
This sentence of Thoreau extracted from “Walden or Life in the Woods”, has always challenged me because it poses not only an ethical question but also, by extension, that of technology as an instrument of uncontrollable power.
The assembly line is perhaps the strongest concretization of this prophetic intuition of Thoreau.
A device that is both fascinating by its size and frightening by the rapid and meticulous pace it imposes, it represents a form of extreme alienation between man and machine.
I sought, from my point of view as a composer, to explore this type of device and this very particular relationship, by taking up and translating musically these codes, by penetrating these mechanisms. I used notions such as “links”, “contacts”, “supports”, “transmissions”, to create a vocabulary of musical actions. These actions are set in motion, and circulate from “station to station” while triggering different reactions. Thus the piece finds its starting point and its formal outcome through the declension of several types and speeds of sound relays. Each musical matrix, rhythm, figure, harmony, is thus subjected to the general cadence of an imaginary machine.
The piece is divided into three movements:
I] Setting in motion
III] Points on Elliptic Curves