Frissons d'Aile ("Thrills of a wing")
for violin and orchestra (2004 - 30 min.)
Dedicated to Ning Kam
Commissioned by the Liege Philharmonic Orchestra
Composed at the occasion of a residence at Civitella's Castle (Umbria-Italy) provided by the Foundation Civitella Ranieri (USA).
The work starts where Le Cercle de Rangda / The Circle of Rangda (for piano and orchestra – 1998) ended : anevanescent arabesque ; more prosaically, a poetic sound synthesis realized by acurious instrumental association with flute, celesta, harp and double basses, supposed torepresent some delicate hisses whispered by the Balinese wind. The threemovements of this “concertante” will develop this initial figure, designed as afundamental germ, a musical molecule whose atoms will be revealed progressivelyto our hearing, at the point to constitute a melody on which all the thirdmovement will be built.
The title is in connection with somephysicists’ thoughts about wings of butterfly having the potential to upset thewhole universe. A strong image located at the crossing of the concepts of“genesis” and “disturbance”. One could even imagine it as a meeting placebetween the physical world (in every senses of the word) and the mythical world(which tries for millennia, whatever its geographical origin, to explain theorigin of things, its expansion and its disorders). Expressed musically, thisidea gives birth to a score between concrete sensations – like sensuality ofarabresques and other evocations of dance – and sounds allusions towards thecontemplation of the subtle orchestral timbres issued from spectral analysis.
Then comes the East, according to itssounds and its musical techniques. Thus, Frissonsd’Aile embodies my intense desire to handle the musical structures such Iwas able to discover them during my Indonesian stay in 1998. Le Cercle de Rangda was already influenced by the Balinese music. But here, the object of my fascination is more the Javanese gamelan (a set of percussion instruments whichalready influenced Debussy at the beginning of the XXth century). Studying andpraticing these instruments during my stay allowed me to understand thesubtlety of the Javanese models of composition, constructions where the complexheterophony is the result of simultaneous variations of a single musical utterance. The main textures of my concerto are derived from that principle. Thefirst bars of the piece contain the whole work ; the rest consists only onalternating variable complexities of heterophony where emergences of thesoloist are insufflating a new energy to the original germ.