Messiaen’s Colours

10.08.2013 - Jakob Church, Oslo

Software development. 

The project ’Messiaen’s Colours’ was conducted at the Norwegian Academy of Music (NAM) as part of the targeted area of research ‘The co-creative musician’, led by Magnus Andersson. The preliminary stage of the project was devoted to a performance of the Trois Petites Liturgies de la Présence Divine at the closing concert of a Messiaen festival organised by the group. The musical part of this performance requires a female choir, a string orchestra of specific size, various percussion instruments including celesta, and, beside the piano solo part, an Onde Martenot solo which is essential to the colouring of the piece. Valérie Hartmann-Clavérie played this part.

Along with playing the piano solo part, Håkon Austbø undertook the development of colour projections in collaboration with Ricardo del Pozo. The resulting colour part, to be played from an electronic keyboard, was performed at the concert by the pianist Sanae Yoshida. With the collaboration of the Oslo Sinfonietta, conducted by Christian Eggen, and the Norwegian Soloist Choir with conductor Grete Pedersen, an ensemble of students and professionals was put together. This turned out to be the first performance of this piece in Norway and took place at the Norwegian Academy on February 28, 2013.

The project was ultimately aimed at realising a colour part for the gigantic piano cycle Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus. This cycle was performed on August 10, 2013, at the Jakob church in Oslo, in the framework of the Oslo International Chamber Music Festival. Again, Håkon Austbø played the piano and prepared the colour part which was performed by Sanae Yoshida. During the whole project, Ricardo del Pozo developed the software environment.

Full description of the the entire project can be read here.