In Love in the eye of queen Mab Thomas Bjelkeborn reforms the old swedish text-sound tradition in an exciting exploration of Shakespear. This is the second piece in a cycle of six pieces with inspiration from the play Romeo and Julia by William Shakespear. Again the composer collaborates with the renowned swedish actress Therese Brunnander of the Royal Theatre Dramaten in Stockholm Sweden.
In this piece the focus is on the celtic myth about Queen Mab who is the "fairies' midwife" in combination with the instant when Romeo and Julia falls in love at first sight.The music tries to balance the trembling anxiety for loosing yourself in an intense love at first sight. Somehow the aire of Queen Mab obscures Romeo and Julia and the music enters a mystical world of dilution. Maybe queen Mab visits us through this music to tempt us to endure our love for her, a love on the verge between fear and joy.
The music was created in 2008 during a artistic residency in Visby International Composers Center in Sweden with the support of a grant from Helge Ax:son Johnson Foundation. The first performance appeared at ElektroMediaWorks08 in Athens Greece.
This is a mastering edit done in 2011.
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The composer has chosen parts of the text as follows:
Act I, Scene iv
O, then, I see Queen Mab hath been with you.
She is the fairies' midwife, and she comes
In shape no bigger than an agate-stone
On the fore-finger of an alderman,
Drawn with a team of little atomies
Athwart men's noses as they lie asleep;
Her wagon-spokes made of long spiders' legs,
The cover of the wings of grasshoppers,
Her whip of cricket's bone,
Her wagoner a small grey-coated gnat,
Not so big as a round little worm
Her chariot is an empty hazel-nut
And in this state she gallops night by night
Through lovers' brains, and then they dream of love;
Sometime she driveth o'er a soldier's neck,
And then dreams he of cutting foreign throats,
Drums in his ear, at which he starts and wakes,
This is that very Mab
That plats the manes of horses in the night,
And bakes the elflocks in foul sluttish hairs,
Which once untangled, much misfortune bodes:
This is she—
Peace, peace, Mercutio, peace!
Thou talk'st of nothing.
True, I talk of dreams,
Which are the children of an idle brain,
Begot of nothing but vain fantasy,
Which is as thin of substance as the air
Act I, Scene v:
O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!
Did my heart love till now? forswear it, sight!
For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night.
- Text-sound poetry