History of musical culture of XX th century knows dozens examples
of inclusion of special score for colour light into musical piece
score by composers themselves (Scriabin's "Prometheus", A.Schoenbergs
"Die gluckliche Hand", etc.).
One of such pieces is S.Gubaidullina's "Alliluia". Gubaidulina
is our compatriot living now in Germany. The piece is seven parts
cicle for mixed chorus, symphonic orchestra, organ, discant-solo
and color part "Farbe". The first color-musical performance of
Alliluia, created in 1990, took place in New York in 1994. All
other Alliluia concert performances did not include colour part
(this being assumed by author, in principle).
The concept of ligth-musical synthesis developed by Gubaidulina
is based, strange as it may seem, on scientific data from physics
of light, though being interpreted artistically. The composer's
attention was attracted to the fact that a color is the result of
spliting of white light. While contacting a surface some colours
of white light spectrum are absorbed and other are reflected.
Basing herself on the fact, the composer considers process of
forming of each colour as "selfsacrifice" of white colour.
Ascribing colours different levels of such "selfsacrifice",
Gubaidulina allots each colour special symbolic charater.
Emeregence of colours, their sequence and interaction is
controled by the ideological and phylosophic program of the piece
implied by the author. In this connection Alliluia may be
considered to be "color-musical drama", with colour part as one
of its "plot directions" and colours as its "characters".
The first Russian light-musical performance of Alliluia with
colours (using phonogram) took part in Kazan, in "Prometei"
Institute studio in the course of international conference
"Electronics, musics, light" devoted to L.Theremin, on 11 of
December, 1996. The electronic device "Prometei-3" was used as
light instrument, featuring technical characteristics for
displaying and controling colours on large screen (2.5x2.5 m).
The light part was performed by the author of the paper. The
composer's version of final colour part of the piece was
experimentally supplemented with moving abstract shapes and
specially selected slides with Russian icons. Judging on
spectators opinion it was this performance episode that turned
out to be most impressive (see colour plate).
The second performance took place in the same studio in the
course of international festival "Europe-Asia" on 28 of March,
1998 featured the combination of light part with demonstration of
videorecording of one Alliluia concerte preformances. The
videorecording was reproduced on the large-screen TV set placed
close to the bottom edge of the screen used for displaying light
part. The illusion of presence of "live" performers achieved by
such means made the performance more interesting and convenient
The author of performance hopes that upon its demonstration to
Gubaidulina it becomes possible to convince her to commit light
part "revision" to director this making possible creation of more
complex version of light-musical performance by collective
efforts of artistic group of "Prometei" Institute. First
experiments with "Farbe" string proved the soundness of the
opinion that composers (musicians) themselves are not able to
master specifics of visual stuff for all the profundity of the
synthetic conception, this being one more corroboration of basic
"Prometheus" idea: light-music, along with cinematographe, TV, is
collective creativity art....
Published in "Leonardo", v.34, 2001, N4, pp.317, 353-354