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Plonge for cello and 12 voices (2015), dedicated to Henri Demarquette

Plonge tes yeux dans les yeux fixes / Des Satyresses our des Nixes                            Charles Baudelaire (L'Avertisseur, Fleurs du Mal)

"Plonge" (eng. "Plunge") for cello and 12 voices (2015) was commissioned by Henri Demarquette and the vocal Ensemble Sequenza 9.3  for their programme "Vocello" and premiered at a special concert at the Philharmonie de Paris on the 3rd of June.

The recording was released by Decca records:  "Vocello: Henri Demarquette & Sequenza 9.3" in March 2017.

As my previous pieces were mostly written for strings (especially cello) and voices, usually in "monochrome" ensembles, I was really curious to mix, fuse these timbres together in a very homogeneous texture, revealing the "cantabile" quality of both and exploring very different colours of different ranges of the cello which may correspond to different timbres of the choir. When I discovered "Vocello" repertoire, I got completely taken by Dido's Lament by Henry Purcell the musicians included into their programme, which is based on a continuously descending basso continuo. In terms of baroque rethorics this figure is called catabasis, a musical symbol of the descent to the underworld. Then by a pure accident my attention had been captured by a related ecxerpt from Charles Baudelaire's poetry, creating a mystic vision of sinking into a state of stasis (Plonge tes yeux dans les yeux fixes / Des Satyresses our des Nixes from L'Avertisseur, Fleurs du Mal). So my piece is an acoustic metaphor of all these inspirations together. The musical process is an extremely gradual catabasis although with a "happier end", rather bringing to an ecstatic, hypnotic state unlike the tragic Purcell's final. The musical structure of the piece could remind of a whirling vortex that is gradually getting more and more slow, wide, profound until the cellist gets drowned and melted in the sea of voices which accumulate like increasing resonances of the cello line... Through this slowing vortex the connection between the musical time sensation and space is also being explored: the more the acoustic space is filled in with sounds, the more their spectrum becomes wider and richer, the more the time gets slow until completely freezes. Juste Janulyte

more at: www.vocello.fr

Performances

3 June 2015, Philharmonie de Paris (FR) 16 August 2015, Murten Classics (CH) | 17 August 2016, Festival du Perigord Noir (FR) | 28 March 2017, Le collège des Bernardines, Paris (FR) | 26 August 2017 Festival des Lumières, Espace Gartempe, Montmorillon (FR) | 31 August 2017  Festival musical d'Annecy, èglise Sainte-Bernadette, Annecy (FR) | 20 October 2017 Cité de la musique et de la Danse, Soissons (FR)