On the ethereal nature of bioluminescence
for string orchestra — or 10 soli strings
dur : ca. 5'00"
First performance : June 30, 2023
by Brevard Symphony orchestra, Chris Confessore (conductor)
at Eau Gallie Arts District, Florida (USA)
Commissioned by : Eau Gallie Arts District
About the recording :
Brevard Symphony Orchestra,
Chris Confessore (conductor)
Studio recording at Maxwell C. King Center for the Performing Arts
About the piece
On the ethereal nature of bioluminescence draws inspiration from two different sources found in the Indian River Lagoon ecosystem in Florida: the natural environmental sounds and the bioluminescent effect at the surface of the water — mainly the sparks and colourful essence of this latter phenomena. It has been musically depicted through diverse diaphanous, crystalline and ghostly textures using firstly a particular harmonic imprint drawn from the sounds of the morning hours of the lagoon, as well as various ethereal playing modes on the strings. Among them are harmonics (producing a feeble high-pitch sound) or lightly-touched strings (resulting in an effaced rendition of the pitch), circular bowing (creating a filter effect of the sound — not unlike a wha-wha effect), flautandi and even flautandissimi (very gentle bowings), among others. Both of these elements conspire through the work to create a fragile sound suitable for such an ecosystem.