L’Union libre

An electroacoustic piece based on Andre Breton’s poem L’Union libre.

I wanted L’Union libre to be a chaotic field of aural information that would overwhelm the listener by continuously challenging perceptional modes. The extremely fragmented texture may be experienced differently by each listener who may dive into the information field and find different things buried inside, such as ”hair of burning splinters” or ”the back of the bird in vertical flight”. The piece is freely inspired by Breton’s technique of arranging a large variety of disparate words into a continuous series of simple but highly imaginative metaphors.

It is the second piece – after Dreamscape – of a trilogy of pieces in progress, dealing with the general theme of love through a metamodern reappraisal of romantic and baroque poetics.


L’Union libre (Free union)

My wife with hair of burning splinters
With thoughts of summer lightning
With hour-glass waist
My wife with the waist of an otter between the tiger’s teeth
My wife with mouth a cockade and cluster of stars of greatest splendour
With teeth the prints of a white mouse on white earth
And a tongue of stroked amber and glass
My wife her tongue a pierced wafer
The tongue of a doll that opens and closes its eyes
A tongue of incredible stone
My wife with eyelashes marks of a child’s pen
Eyelashes rims of a swallow’s nest
My wife with brows of slate on a greenhouse roof
And steam on the panes
My wife with shoulders of champagne
And a dolphin-head fountain under the ice
My wife with her matchstick wrists
My wife with fingers of chance and the ace of hearts
Fingers of mown hay
My wife with armpits of sable and beechnut
Of Midsummer Night
Of privet and angelfish nests
With arms of foam of sea and the locks
And the mingling of wheat and the mill
My wife with her spindled legs
With movements of clockwork and despair
My wife with calves of elder-tree pith
My wife with feet carved of initials
With feet of bunches of keys of caulkers that drink
My wife with a neck of pearl barley
My wife with a throat of Valley of gold
Of rendezvous in the very bed of the torrent
With breasts of night
My wife with her submarine molehill breasts
My wife with breasts of the ruby’s crucible
With breasts of phantom of roses under dew
My wife with the belly of an unfurled fan of days
With the belly of a giant claw
My wife with the back of a bird in vertical flight
With a back of quicksilver
A back of light
With a nape of rolled stone and moistened chalk
And the fall of a glass from which one has just drunk
My wife with her cradling hips
Hips of lustre and arrow-fletches
And the stems of white peacock feathers
Of imperceptible balance
My wife with buttocks of sandstone and mineral asbestos
My wife with swan’s-back buttocks
My wife with buttocks of spring
With gladiolus sex
My wife with her sex of rich sandbanks and platypus
My wife with her sex of seaweed and old boiled sweets
My wife with her sex of the mirror
My wife with eyes full of tears
With her eyes of violet panoply magnetic needle
My wife with savannah eyes
My wife with eyes of water to drink in jail
My wife with eyes of wood always under the axe
With eyes of water-gauge air-gauge earth and fire

(English translation by A. S. Kline © 2011.)

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