L’Autre (The Other)

The work is scored for 1 horn, 2 percussion, 1 harp, 1 mezzo-soprano/narrator, and stereo tape. The piece was commissioned by Radio France and was premiered at the Presence Festival in Paris by the Continuum Ensemble with Joel Sachs conducting in 1999. The piece could not have been completed without generous support from IRCAM and the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies.

In L’Autre, the age-old artistic contention for ascendancy between poetry and music mirrors the struggle between consciousness and the unconscious. Through a deeply interwoven collaboration between composer Edmund Campion and poet John Campion L’Autre begins with the origins and hopeful emergence of consciousness out of the unconscious--the birth of language (the logos) out of a primordial welter of sounds and syllables. The work traces the development of this Ur-relationship through the usurpation and domination of the unconscious by consciousness, the feminine by the masculine. This conflict is portrayed as a modern fear of "The Other"-- race, culture, and gender. As the piece progresses, the kinship between the two elemental principles becomes untenable. After much terrible experience, the repressed feminine, reborn with gnosis, returns with song to offer its counterpart another, different, chance at collaboration.

The work is scored for 1 horn, 2 percussion, 1 harp, 1 mezzo-soprano/narrator, and stereo tape. The piece could not have been completed without generous support from IRCAM and the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies


Part I

She is a sow
cooked in the belly
Earth comes of Her.
We offer the skirt of Pele
--hips move the sacred hula,
her breath
holy place we are born.

Look at the inner parts
whatever's hot is mine
You may not take
whatever's hot is sacred.

(The names of endangered peoples)

Part II

ON THE INSTITUTION OF THE So nice a pretty white Up and
MOTHERHOOD MEDAL nice, all made up, off
AND ORDER OF MOTHERHOOD face topped off get me
GLORY, AND ESTABLISHMENT stacks of honey- on
OF THE TITLE OF HONOR blond a Q-tanned ya know
HEROINE MOTHER. wrapped tight how
two shaved shapelies so what
Article 13 tucked neat in sheer 's left
raised on ruby-reds. whenever
...7 children 2nd class nobody's nobody
...8 children 3rd class dreaming
...9 children 4th class ya take
ya can


(The names of endangered peoples)

Part III

(Text appears in English, Spanish, French, and Russian)

Go to the waters, pull out a stone Vaya al agua, saque una piedra,
and place it in a flame; y metelo en una flama;
then pull out the heart, luego, remueve el corazon
releasing with words, y libera con palabras
a field of flowers. un campo de flores.

No thing but in relation. Nada sino en relacion.
Deepening others, we become ourselves Profundizando en el otro,
llegamos a ser nosotros
--the spark leaps with synaptic faith. --la chispa salta con fe sinaptica.
Only one great thing sings me-- Hay una sola cosa que me canta--
when I am mindful. cuando atento estoy.

Lakes cannot abide their depths being El lago no sufre que su abismo plumbed. sea plomado.

She is memory.
A girl with shining face and eyes of a bird
hiding presents under Her dress

Like rivers to the mill
roots connect underground.
Pull one up
a star falls from the sky.

Joining mouth and tail
hands turn the heavens
--calendar, pitch pipe, so close,
you cannot slip a hair between.


The woman with her dragon horse
divines the path to paradise.

L'AUTRE ( French Translations

Composer: Edmund Campion
Text and Conception: John Campion

French Translation by Eliane Aberdam

1ère partie

C'est est une truie.
Cuisinée dans le ventre,
la Terre sort d'Elle.
Nous offrons la jupe de PÉlÉ.
--les hanches dansent la hula sacrée.
Son souffle
l'endroit béni oó nous naissons.

* * *

Regarde les parties intérieures
ce qui est chaud est mien
Tu ne peux prendre ce qui est chaud
ce qui est chaud est sacré.

2ème partie

DE L'INSTITUTION DE LA Si mignone, Up and
MêDAILLE DE LA MATERNITê un si joli visage off
ET DE L'ORDRE DE LA GLOIRE tout blanc, get me
DE LA MATERNITê, entièrement maquillé on
ET DE L'êTABLISSEMENT DU TITRE coiff de mèches ya know
D'HONNEUR DE LA MERE HêROINE. blondes platinées how
des cuisses bien roulées, so what
Article 13 couvertes de Nivéa 's left
...7 enfants, 2ème classe autobronzante, whenever
...8 enfants, 3ème classe toutes deux bien lisses nobody's
...9 enfants, 4ème classe noboby
et joliment faites, dreaming
bien moulées dans ya take
des dim-voiles wherever
très fins, ya can
et réhausses de hauts whatever
´ talons rouges.

(the names of endangered peoples)

Va aux eaux, prends une pierre
et mets-la dans une flamme;
puis retire-lui le coeur,
lebérant un champ de fleurs par des mots.

Tout n'est que relation.
En approfondissant les autres, nous devenons nous-mémes
--l'étincelle saute par sa foi synoptique.
Il n'y a qu'une chose qui me chante--
lorsque je suis attentive.

Les lacs ne peuvent supporter le sondage de leurs profondeurs;


La chose qu'Elle porte est mémoire.
La fille au visage rayonnant et aux yeux d'oiseau
descend vers I'eau cachant des cadeaux.

De son ventre sortiront les nouvelles eaux.

Comme les rivières au moulin,
les racines se relient sous terre.
Lorsque l'on en arrache une
une toile tombe du ciel.

Joignant bouche et queue
les mains se tournent vers les cieux
--calendrier et diapason, si proches,
qu'on ne peut y faire glisser un cheveu.


La femme chevauchant son dragon
prédit le chemin du paradis.

Edmund Campion