acousmatic work

Jack Van Zandt

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acousmatic work

Composer Jack Van Zandt
Year of Composition 2020
Duration ca.8'
Instrumentation Electronics
Categories (all composers)
Catalogue ID ce-jvz1a1


This is an electronic piece designed for acousmatic diffusion. If you are interested in performing this work, please contact us.

The classical fifth element of ancient Greek science (the others being Earth, Water, Fire and Air), Aether described the intangible substance that filled the void between Earth and the heavenly bodies. Among the properties it was thought to have is that it was the medium through which light traveled and which gave it luminescence. Another aspect of its nature that is appealing is that even though its existence is accepted, it is impossible to actually grab hold of it, making it just out of the reach of mortal humans. It was the substance in which the Gods lived and breathed, and so there is also a spiritual aspect to it, which carries over into the concept of it in other world cultures. This element drove scientific discovery for centuries while humans have tried to understand and explain the planets of our solar system as well as the universe. Since Classical times, knowledge of physics and mathematics has progressed by leaps and bounds, bringing the great achievements of the scientific revolution, including in more recent times, our ability to travel through space to reach distant destinations.

In Aether, the composer set out to incorporate principles of the classical element into a musical depiction of it. Describing the Aether in music was special to the composer personally because of his lifelong interest in flight and space travel, and everything to do with the study of the cosmos. In composing Aether, Van Zandt aimed to create a musical space and context that had the qualities of the element, including the spiritual aspect.