‘Mare Nubium’ means ‘Sea of Clouds’. Although lengthy, it is essentially a poetic work. All material for Mare Nubium was derived from a single family of short synthesised sound gestures. A selection of these original sounds appears throughout the piece, arranged in small groups that are positioned according to prime number ratios. Together they form one continuous story line, made up of short phrases and extended over the entire length of the piece.
Within this framework, a second story line is developed, which is made up of various heavy transformations of the original material. In these transformations, the internal musical gestures of the original sounds are illuminated and interrelated in different ways. This happens by means of various gestural transitions between line-like textures, cloud-like textures and dot-like textures. These transitions follow many different lines of transformation, such as filtering, swelling, 'coagulation', crumbling, resonance, ‘zooming in’ and ‘zooming out’.
Mare Nubium was composed in 1999 in the composer’s studio and in the studios of the Institute of Sonology in The Hague.