mnemonist S.

Ensemble, soundtrack, video text.

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The inspiration for this piece comes from two sources: Aleksandr Luria's "The Mind of Mnemonist", which is based on a case study of the Russian mnemonist Solomon V. Shereshevskii (1886-1958). The text used in this piece centres around a recollection of the memory system he used in a performance in 1936 where he had to recall a large series of syllable permutations, VA NA MA SA, which were read to him only once. The text gives us a glimpse of the narratives he created in his mind to recall an abstract and seemingly random series of symbols. The other source and the inspiration for the 4–tone melodic character of the music is "Simon", a cult electronic memory game from the 80s. This was a game unit with four large buttons, in red, blue, green and yellow, each connected to a musical tone. The player must follow an accumulating sequence of these buttons. Gameplay ends when the player makes a mistake.

This piece was originally writtem for ASKO and the group Palinckx for their project Bovenkamermuziek. In the current version the live narration is replaced with projected texts.

performance history

Premiered by ASKO ensemble, 2007, and subsequently performed by them many times in NL. Performed by Ensemble Gagegoo at the ISCM World Music days in Gothenburg 2010. In the version for 5 instruments it was performed by California Ear Unit in LA, and by Ensemble Expose in London.