For 15 soloists and conductor

scar /ska:/  

n. 1. The fibrous connective tissue remaining on the skin or within body tissue, where a wound, brun, or sore has healed. 2. A steep high cliff or rocky eminence.

v. 1. trans. Mark with a scar or scars; to do lasting injury to. 2. intrans. To become scarred.

ME skere, ON sker, skera OF escharre, GK eskhara

Scar: stigma, cicatrix, lesion, naevus, trauma, pock and pit – marred, a mark of difference.

Memory, history, ingrained on the skin:

tracing a possible wound.

The implication of violence, disfigured and defaced.

The imperfect surface, frayed edges, cracks in the veneer.

Silence is the canvas on which the weight of sound leaves it mark.

In Scar sound rips open the surface of silence, or peels back the skin, zooms in, and falls into the netherworld – seeking the obscured, that which lies within.

And a single quotation from the British artist Ed Atkins: "This corporal revenge. A genuine, concerted and systematic undoing of grace. Every promise discovered too late to be a fucking lie told badly. The promise of intimacy and the promise of beauty ripped away to reveal a gawping, hyperreal brute. Perfection only withheld by that small matter of the encroaching white of dawn under the door and the imminent waking. When all of this might be nonchalantly buried studded into the underwear drawer of language and a sprint of animist velocity... "

US DEAD TALK LOVE, A Primer for Cadavers

© Rebecca Saunders

A BCMG co-commission with Festival Acht Brücken | Musik für Köln, hcmf//, Casa da Música Porto, Festival d’Automne à Paris, with financial support from ACE, Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung and individuals from BCMG’s Sound Investment scheme.

BCMG gave the UK premiere of Scar 15 December 2019 at CBSO Centre, Birmingham, conducted by Michael Wendeberg.