Philidor’s Ink

Psyché / Philidor’s Ink

Part of Antiphony

Prints, drawings, glass

The lyric tragedy of Psyché was written by the Baroque composer Jean Baptiste Lully in Versailles and copied by his scribe Philidor L’Aisné in 1702. 300 years later, the manuscripts were digitized for reasons of conservation. The scanning procedure of the sheets captured traces and shadows within the paper of the score, almost invisible to the naked eye. Through a digital treatment, traces of the scribes were revealed: deposits of ink, marks and stains, deleted notes. Through a digital treatment, these traces were darkened while the visible notes disappear. The video projection of the score reveals the hidden ink, superposing its visible and invisible parts. The hidden part of Psyché was then re-copied by hand and bound into a musical score. The score was set to music on a drum set stretched with paper.