Sweat and Mirror notwithstanding (2003)
Seven variations on a text by Samuel Beckett for voice and String Quartet
-Het Mondriaan Kwartet speelde de wereldpremière in Winnipeg, Canada, op 10 mei 2003-.
Samuel Beckett's wrote Imagination dead imagine (1965) in French and made a translation into English, taking subtle liberties to give each version it_s on identity. The text as a whole is imitating a descent into the imagination. Using the imperative mood and giving the reader exact directions, the narrator requires us to visualize an image and then to dissect it. By using only one sentence of the text, but in both French and English, I wrote a series of seven variations In which the voice part dissects the words, taking sound and meaning into unfamiliar contexts. Sweat and Mirror not withstanding was commissioned by Groundswell with financial assistance by the Canada Council for the Arts.
Sweat and mirror notwithstanding they might well pass for inanimate but for the left eyes which at incalculable intervals suddenly open wide and gaze in unblinking exposure long beyond what is humanly possible.
Malgré la glace ils passeraient bien pour inanimés sans les yeux gauches qui à des intervales incalculables
brusquement s_écarquillent et s_éxposent béants bien au delà desposibilités humaines.
Michael Oesterle - biography
Michael Oesterle was born in Ulm, Germany, in 1968. He immigrated to Canada in 1982, and since 1996 has been living in Montréal. He has received several awards, such as the Gaudeamus Prize, the Grand Prize at the 12th CBC Radio National Competition for Young Composers, and the Canada Council Jules Léger Prize.
Oesterle's works have been performed by ensembles including the Ives Ensemble, Quatuor Bozzini, Ensemble Contemporain du Montréal (ECM), the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, Nouvel Ensemble Moderne (NEM) the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Intercontemporain (Paris), the Chicago Civic Orchestra, les Percussions de Strasbourg, and the Montréal Symphony Orchestra. He has produced projects in collaboration with composer Gerhard Staebler, violinist Clemens Merkel, painters Christine Unger and video/installation artist Wanda Koop. Currently, he is developing the music for a film by animator Christopher Hinton, produced by the National Film Board of Canada (NFB). In 1997 he founded the Montréal based Ensemble KORE with pianist Marc Couroux, and between 2001 and 2004 he was composer-in-residence with l'Orchestre Metropolitain du Grand Montréal.