Three Salomonian Houses

für (Mezzo-)Sopran, Flöte/Piccolo, Gitarre/Mandoline und Schlagzeug (1997)

Dauer: ca. 15 min
Uraufführung: Köln, 6.2.2000

GEMA-Nr.: 4498795


Den utopischen Entwurf New Atlantis schrieb Francis Bacon vermutlich um das Jahr 1624 herum. Er hinterließ den Text jedoch unvollendet – das Fragment wurde posthum in der Sammlung Sylva Sylvarum: or a Naturall Historie veröffentlicht. Den Kern des Textes bildet die Beschreibung des College of the Six Days Works, auch Salomon's House genannt, eine Art "ideale Akademie", die neben engine-houses und einem mathematical house auch verschiedene perspective-, sound- und perfume-houses enthält. Sogar houses of deceits of the senses werden erwähnt und vor allem vor möglicher Kritik verteidigt.

Die folgenden Passagen liegen den drei Sätzen dieser Komposition zugrunde:

  1. "We have also sound-houses, where we practise and demonstrate all sounds, and their generation. We have harmonies which you have not, of quarter-sounds, and lesser slides of sounds. Divers instruments of music likewise to you unknown, some sweeter than any you have; together with bells and rings that are dainty and sweet. We represent small sounds as great and deep; likewise great sounds extenuate and sharp; we made divers tremblings and warblings of sounds, which in their original are entire. We represent and imitate all articulate sounds and letters, and the voices and notes of beasts and birds. We have certain helps which set to the ear do further the hearing greatly. We have also divers strange and artificial echos, reflecting the voice many times, and as it were tossing it: and some that give back the voice louder than it came; some shriller, and some deeper; yea, some rendering the voice differing in the letters or articulate sound from that they receive. We have also means to convey sounds in trunks and pipes, in strange lines and distances."
  2. "We have also perspective-houses, where we make demonstrations of all lights and radiations; and of all colours; and out of things uncoloured and transparent, we can represent unto you all several colours; not in rain-bows, as it is in gems and prisms, but of themselves single. We represent also all multiplications of light, which we carry to great distance, and make so sharp as to discern small points and lines; also all colorations of light: all delusions and deceits of the sight, in figures, magnitudes, motions, colours: all demonstrations of shadows. We find also divers means, yet unknown to you, of producing of light originally from divers bodies. We procure means of seeing objects afar off; as in the heaven and remote places; and represent things near as afar off, and things afar off as near; making feigned distances. We have also helps for the sight, far above spectacles and glasses in use. We have also glasses and means to see small and minute bodies perfectly and distinctly; as the shapes and colours of small flies and worms, grains and flaws in gems, which cannot otherwise be seen; observations in urine and blood, not otherwise to be seen. We make artificial rain-bows, halos, and circles about light. We represent also all manner of reflexions, refractions, and multiplications of visual beams of objects."
  3. "We have also perfume-houses; wherewith we join also practices of taste. We multiply smells, which may seem strange. We imitate smells, making all smells to breathe out of other mixtures than those that give them. We make divers imitations of taste likewise, so that they will deceive any man's taste. And in this house we contain also a confiture-house; where we make all sweet-meats, dry and moist, and divers pleasant wines, milks, broths, and sallets, far in greater variety than you have."

zitiert nach: C. Carena (Hrsg.): Francesco Bacone, Nuova Atlantide – Nova Atlantis – New Atlantis, Milano 1996, S. 271-74