Lux Operon

Composer: Ana Dall Ara-Majek
For saxophone quartet, lights and live electronic device

In the obscurity of the sea’s abysses, bioluminescent creatures shimmer to attract their prey, illuminate to guide themselves, adjust their own luminosity to camouflage themselves in the seascape, or create prodigious symphonies of colors to attract members of their species. All this is made possible through chemical reactions, most notably those created by the subtle combinations of genes in the DNA that produce luminescent proteins.

I was inspired by this idea of combination to write the piece Lux Operon in the form of a game which allows the musicians to create their own series of luminous colors, in microscopic as well as macroscopic scale. As such, the piece is an “open” environment within which the musicians play to gain the opportunity to express their personal colored melodies, or to decide upon the direction of the work according to a choice from four “color notations.”

This piece is also a study of the manner of articulating a language of sound and a language of light as a coherent whole. Composing with a luminous system allowed me to create a variety of interactions where sound reacts to light and and, inversely, where sound and light evolve in counterpoint, and where the playing of each musician on their  “luminescent” instrument creates reflections conveying in themselves their own motifs.

Thanks to the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Music Media and Technology, the saxophonist Alfredo Mendoza from Aurealis project and the photographer André Parmentier for the inspiration and for the logistical and human support throughout in the realization of this project.