The prefix tele- is quite common in the English language. It originates from the Greek word tēle (τηλε) with the meaning of “far off” or “distance”. Tele, an ensemble work for seven players and a TV set, has strong connections to the global outbreak of coronavirus disease. During the times of pandemic our social connections have been regulated and limited, international travel has almost stopped, telecommuting has replaced office work and our children have not been able to attend school in a normal way. Spatialization has a strong role in Tele and the players are moving and turning around in the performance space. Similarly, as the corona regulations and restrictions tend to vary, the number of players on the stage constantly changes. The distance and the lack of visual communication resembles a video conference call with a bad internet connection. Off-stage players can not quite cope with what is happening on-stage and the music becomes in moments fragmentary and rhythmically aleatoric.
Tele has nine consecutive movements, each with some kind of connection to the prefix tele-: I. Scope, II. Commuting, III. Path, IV. Tubby, V. Vision, VI. Metric, VII. Port, VIII. Shopping and IX. Kinesis. Around in the middle of the work the cellist turns the TV set on whilst the harpist plays a fictional broadcast station interval signal. Time seems to stop and we can see on the screen a mosaic of news broadcast clips. This is a reminder of the relentless stream of news on the corona pandemic. In the first months of 2020 also I was like glued in front of a TV set, trying to understand what is going on and what will happen to us and to the world.
Tomi Räisänen, 2021
fl, ob, cl, hn, vln, vlc, hp, TV set
Winner of the Siuntio 560 years anniversary Lux Musicae Composition Competition 2021
Lohja City Orchestra, conducted by Jukka Untamala, November 19, 2021 in Lux Musicae Festival, Siuntio, Finland
I. Scope, II. Commuting, III. Path, IV. Tubby, V. Vision, VI. Metric, VII. Port, VIII. Shopping, IX. Kinesis
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