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Ipso Lotto


1st part of Lostery 2 (2nd part of Lostery, a triptych of sound and visual installations and of works for contrabass clarinet and electronics).
A multimedia work.
3rd part of in ipso tempore (a series of electroacoustic works).

Duration: 8'05.
Instrumentation: electronics.
Date of composition: January 2017.

BERLIN SENAT COMPOSITION GRANT 2015 (DE).
MUSICA NOVA 2018 - Finalist (Prague, CZ).

Commission: ECLAT  FESTIVAL.
Residency: ELECTRONIC STUDIO of the TECHNISCHE UNIVERSITÄT (Berlin, DE).
World premiere: ECLAT festival (Stuttgart, DE), 03/02/2017.

Other concert: Les in:entendues festival, Neuvy-le-Roi (FR), August 2021. New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival (US), 16/07/2018.

Technical rider (pdf)

 

Portfolio of the visual installation
(pdf)

2017

Ipso Lotto, a piece by Clara Maïda
 

[ Visual installation: projected image ]

Programme note

Ipso Lotto for electronics lies at the intersection of two series of pieces, Lostery and in ipso tempore.
If the piece is played as part of the series Lostery, it can be presented in three different ways: whether separately played in a concert; or considered as the sound part of a visual installation and played on a loop in the place in which the installation is shown; or else associated to the piece Later gambler for contrabass clarinet and electronics.
If the piece is played in the context of the series in ipso tempore, it is played in a concert and can follow the piece Ipso facto for electronics.

Lostery 2 has been premiered in its double form: a sound and visual installation and a concert. The works Ipso Lotto and Later gambler have been successively played in the place in which the visual installation was exhibited.

The title Lostery condenses the words "lost" and "Lottery". Thus it expresses a rather pessimistic state of mind in which what has been brought into play leads most of the time to failure. It accounts for the economic and social crisis that we have been experiencing over several years and for the increasing inequality between people.

Lostery questions two structural parameters which have a significant impact on our lives - on the one hand, the gearwheels of the societal machine in which we are immersed and which mostly conditions our destinies, and on the other hand, the notion of chance which plays a part in the path that we will or will not be able to follow. It divides individuals on the side of the more or less lucky or unlucky according to the socio-political and economic system of the country in which they were born (more or less favoured and equalitarian), their life in a country at peace or at war, the socio-cultural level of the family they have been brought up in, the possibility to study or not, the greater or lesser freedom of choice given to them, etc.

From the Latin locution "ipso facto", which means "by the very fact", "therefore, automatically", I coined the title, Ipso Lotto, which might mean "by the very lot", by what one can get (or not).
The piece uses the sound recording of the machines present in game rooms or casinos (slot machines, balls rebounding on a roulette, banknote counter, chips shaken in a cup, sound of the jackpot, etc.). Ipso Lotto recreates the atmosphere of these places in which to win money is the only important, sometimes even obsessional fact. The different sound morphologies evoke the mechanical dimension of the machines as well as that of the players who keep repeating the same gestures. The splinters, the jolts, the rolls, the rebounds or ricochets, the falling movements, recur in a circular space which recalls the structure of the roulette in a casino. A more abstract and structural dimension evokes the potential and endlessly recomposed multiplicity of the combinations of chance. Kaleidoscopic sound objects materialize this redistribution of chances each time the dice are thrown on a table or the chips on a roulette, for instance.

The musical work is played in a space that includes visual elements and objects related to the games of chance. A huge abstract animated machinery projected onto a screen gives a visual counterpoint to the sound mechanics of the piece. Its interlocked graphical motifs evoke the complex gearwheels of a world beyond any control. This kind of entangled web gives the feeling that the individuals are trapped in an obscure mechanism which completely randomly casts the dice. Its black and white graphics recalls that the game is binary. We win ("jackpot") or we lose ("jack shit", "nothing" in slang). It is double or quits, all or nothing. Real objects (five Bingo machines) are placed before black stands on which built objects (spheres of various sizes, small cubes) present the same abstract black and white graphics as that of the machinery and create a connection between the objects related to the games (Lotto balls, dice) and the projected image. They seem to be debris rejected by a system with an inflexible mechanics.

What is chance? Are we born on the right or the wrong side? How far can we really decide on our life? The accumulation of the sound and visual connections in Lostery induces the perception of a kinetic, bruitist and machinic whole. Which place is it possible to find in such a system or, inversely, how is it possible to step aside and to get out of it?

Clara Maïda, December 2016

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Ipso Lotto/Lostery 2, a drawing by Clara Maïda

Lostery 2 - Visual installation - Drawing for the projection
ECLAT festival (Stuttgart, DE) - February 3, 2017

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