File

Category / Instrument

Cello

Duration

8'

Publisher

Published

01/01/1992

Commissioned by

UPIC pour le 70e anniversaire de Ianis Xenakis

Premiere

08/12/1992

Paris

Maison de Radio-France

Studio Olivier Messiaen

Rohan de Saram

Paris

Maison de Radio-France

Studio Olivier Messiaen

Rohan de Saram

Audio sample

Pdf sample

The title *Attracteurs étranges* ("Strange Attractors") alludes to that new universe of mathematics, the "chaotic" world where one regroups fractals, the study of turbulence or population evolution. Certain of these phenomena carry evocative names that captured (later, as usual) the imagination of the media: Cantor's dust, Koch's flakes, the butterfly effect...

The poetic strength of these new mathematical objects comes from the fact that by very complex, but hidden, operations, one could globally produce forms simple, but rich and stimulating to the imagination.

In any case, here I do not use any mathematical processes in the true sense. My only concern is poetic analogy. Following the example of "strange attractors" (virtual pendula which strangely oscillate around several points of equilibrium) the melodic contours of the cello describe spirals that always seem to return to one or several identical points, but in fact always follow differing, warped or diverted trajectories. Sometimes one appears to have attained one of these points of equilibrium: but it is unstable and projects the music into a new cycle of oscillations.

Tristan Murail

1 CD Accord, *Couleur de mer - L'attente - Treize Couleurs du soleil couchant - Attracteurs étranges - La Barque mystique*

Ensemble Court-Circuit, Pierre-André Valade (conductor)