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Works en abyme bear within themselves miniature reflections of themselves. The term mise en abyme, borrowed from the language of heraldry by André Gide, is described by Lucien Dällenbach in Le récit spéculaire (1977) as an ‘aspect enclosed within a work that shows a similarity with the work that contains it’. The French word abyme (a variant spelling of abîme) means ‘abyss’, suggesting ideas of depth, increasing velocity, descent, infinity, interiority, spiraling, vertigo… These suggestions are manifested in this work in nested descending scales that increase in velocity and occurrence, though as material feeds back on itself these structural markers are increasingly obscured.
en abyme was commissioned by Mette Leroy as part of her Doctor of Musical Arts performance and thesis research, and was premièred by Leroy, under the auspices of the Karlheinz Company, at the University of Auckland in May 2007.
Commissioned by Mette Leroy
for Mette Leroy