La Dentelle du Signe


Duration 23′

State commission

For flute, bass clarinet, violin, cello and piano

Created 14 décembre 1989 in Besançon by the Tetraktys ensemble

Dentelle du Signe is dedicated to my Father who died tragically

The title brings us a cosmic dimension, since the Dentelle du Cygne (the Cygnus Nebula) is a supernova, a very luminous type of star, but also, through its signs, a human dimension in the semantic sense.

The macro-system of this atomised star transmits signs through spectra of light and brilliance, and through nebulous gasses released by the formidable energy generated by pulsating instability.

The human micro-system also exists by transmitting signs generated by vibrations, (voice, vision, sound); and in particular music entirely made of complex and unstable vibrations.

A series of new ways of playing traditional instruments offered me the possibility of calling up these vague semi-gaseous, semi-pointillist masses with a sometimes well-defined brilliance, lines, long trailing curves dissipating into infinity; bursts of sounds glistening on a background of breath or of sweeping harmonics.

The structure of the piece is based on this notion of a coherent harmonic spectrum : series of heights, harmonic verticals; in contrast to the incoherent spectrum of white noise or inharmonious sound: blown notes, multi-phonic notes, slaps, playing to the back of the stand, clusters, etc…

In order to interpret this piece, the five instrumentalists must have mastered the art of contemporary playing, since the playing techniques must be an integral part of the musical statement.

“La dentelle du signe” means “Lace of the Sign” &endash; much more evocative in French (Translator)

Editor : Jobert

available at Librairie Musicale Internationale

Christian ELOY