The principle of Khà’ is pitting the intimacy and profundity of the string quartet against a shrill, rude and tempestuous electronic environment. The whirling, tumultuous sounds attempt to make the concentration of the chamber music burst into pieces. The little skiff (‘l’esquif’) lost in this furious ocean that reaches to the horizon stubbornly resists being swallowed up in the uproar around it, taking a chance at crossing the dark waters. Khà’ is a dream of crossing over.
The composition unites two seemingly irreconcilable universes, but in fact, the quartet never stops integrating and transforming the noises and sounds around it – it is from this very chaos that it draws its power and its cohesion.
The electronics in Lettre Soufie: Kh(à’) (Esquif) were produced in collaboration with the Centre Henri Pousseur.
Lettre Soufie: Kh(à’) (Esquif) was commissioned by the French-speaking Community of Belgium and was premiered on 28 October 2012 by Quatuor Danel during the TRANSIT Festival. [J.-L.F.]