Artificial Paradise

for mixed ensemble

Rubens Askenar

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for mixed ensemble

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Composer Rubens Askenar
Year of Composition 2016
Duration ca.8'
Forces fl, cl, hn, bn, ob solo, perc, 2vln, vla, vc solo
Categories (all composers)
Catalogue ID ce-ra1ap1


This piece explores sonorous territories parallel to the sensory prose of Baudelaire in his essay on narcotic trances: Paradis Artificiels. Allegorically, my interest focused on interrogating the idea of instrumental resonance as a means of expanding its individuality.

“…The most ordinary words, the simplest ideas assume a new and bizarre aspect. After a few minutes, the relation between ideas becomes so vague, and the thread of your thoughts grows so tenuous, that only your cohorts can understand you. Next your senses become extraordinarily keen and acute. Your sight is infinite. Your ear can discern the slightest perceptible sound, even through the shrillest of noises. The slightest ambiguities, the most inexplicable transpositions of ideas take place. In sounds there is colour; in colours there is music. You are sitting and smoking; you believe that you are sitting in your pipe, and that your pipe is smoking you; you are exhaling yourself in bluish clouds. This fantasy goes on for an eternity. A lucid interval and a great expenditure of effort, permit you to look at the clock. The eternity turns out to have been only a minute.”

–Charles Baudelaire, Les Paradis Artificiels