En dérive – (…paysage d’oubli…)


Fragment for (mezzo)soprano and nine instruments (bass clarinet, (contra)bassoon, horn, trombone, harp, piano, percussion, violoncello & double bass) (ca.8′) (2013)

En dérive – (…paysage d’oubli…) for soprano and nine instruments can be seen as a musical counterpoint to (…de l’Immense Infini.), a composition for baritone and large orchestra which I wrote in 2012. Both compositions use the same text, a fragment of Fernando Pessoa’s Book of Disquiet which describes a pre-apocalyptic vision. The starting point of En dérive – (…paysage d’oubli…) were some small musical fragments of (…de l’Immense Infini.). However, these fragments soon go in a different direction and lead a life of their own. Whereas the orchestral piece works with extremes and violent orchestral tutti passages, this new ensemble composition is more mild and discrete.


O vento levantou-se… Primeiro era como a voz de um vácuo… um soprar no espaço para dentro de um buraco, uma falta no silêncio do ar. Depois ergueu-se um soluço, um soluço do fundo do mundo, o sentir-se que tremiam vidraças e que era realmente vento. Depois soou mais alto, urro surdo, um urrar sem ser entre um nocturno ranger de coisas, um cair de bocados, um átomo de fim do mundo.

Depois, parecia que (…)

The wind was rising… First it was like the voice of a vacuum, a sucking of space into a hole, an absence in the air’s silence. Then there was a sobbing, a sobbing from the world’s depths, the realization that the panes were rattling and that it really was the wind. Then it sounded louder, a deafening howl, a disembodied weeping before the deepening night, a screeching of things, a falling of fragments, an atom from the end of the world.

And then it seemed (…)

First performance:

29-06-2013, Paris, Le 104 (Festival ManiFeste), Valérie Philippin (soprano), Ensemble Intercontemporain (cond. Jean Deroyer)


Score available on request