Prometheus, The Poem of Fire
Alexander Scriabin’s symphonic poem Prometheus, The Poem of Fire celebrates synesthesia and cosmic unity. Scriabin envisioned a total, mystical, consuming work of art that sublimed his audiences to another plane of consciousness.
Devised by San Francisco Symphony Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen, pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, and Cartier in-house perfumer Mathilde Laurent, the San Francisco Symphony and Cartier present a multisensory production of Prometheus that aspires towards transcendence, aiming to realize Scriabin’s vision of a truly synesthetic work of art.
This collaborative world premiere combines dynamic musical and light performance with olfactory curation, subsuming audiences in Scriabin’s creative vision more than a century after the piece of total art was composed.
ABOUT SCENT AND COLOR IN THIS PERFORMANCE
In Prometheus, The Poem of Fire, Scriabin envisioned a total, synesthetic work of art, where sounds would conjure images, colors, shapes, and smells.
For this multisensory production of Prometheus, scent accords created specifically for the performance by Mathilde Laurent, in close collaboration with Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Esa-Pekka Salonen, will be delivered during key moments using technology developed by Agence Desind for Cartier, specialists in digital scent systems based in France.
Discreet devices strategically placed throughout Davies Symphony Hall will diffuse scent during three key moments during the performance of Prometheus. The devices will utilize a dry-air diffusion technique (i.e. non-aerosol), where the air in the room is propelled through capsules infused with fragrances.
This performance also incorporates technology specifically designed for this project that combines haze (as used in theatrical productions) and scent formulated for the show.
Paired with state-of-the-art lighting technology, which will illuminate the concert hall in vibrant colors aligned with Scriabin’s vision of a color organ, the performances aspire towards transcendence, stirring our collective memory as the mortal beneficiaries of Prometheus’ brazen generosity.
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Artwork by Sho Shibuya
Photography/Video by Mynxii White