Désirs de Lune
Wind quintet, bottles and small resonant percussion (14 '- 2010/11)
You ask how many friends I have?
Water and stone, bamboo and pine.
The moon rising over the eastern hill
s a joyful comrade.
Besides these five companions,
what other pleasure should I ask?...
Yon Son-do (1587-1671)
When the oboe player Thierry Cammaert asked me to write a new work for Ensemble Quartz, with some references to the Korean culture in order to propose the premiere in Seoul during their tour in Asia, I did not hesitate a moment. Furhermore, the idea of composing a new work based on cultural elements from an Asian country I had not yet investigated before seemed to me very fascinating. Thus, many bars of these "Moon's Desires" take root in the sounds discoverd when listening the music from the "Land of the Morning Calm". But the score was also composed in relation with some structural analysis of Korean traditional music and literature. The poem of Yon Son-do (here above) seems to fit perfectly with the idea of the quintet. Indeed, my piece tries to folow the overall shape of the poetry. Structurally, but also emotionally, in relation with the human and metaphysical questions that surround the joyous feeling of a moon, poetic evanescence calling much more for imagination than incarnation. Nevertheless; the dance will be in the game, but a translucent dance, strange, shaken by the breath of the voice of the performers who will whisper another poem from the Sijo tradition :
Without the pines / the wind is silent;
without wind / the pines are still;
Without you / my heart is voiceless,
without that voice / my heart is dead.
What potent power / of yang and yin
pairs us / before we sleep?
Anonymous (16th Century)
Therefore, silences and joyful dance are at the heart of a duel / dialectic flow of music, metaphor of the interwaves of the Water and the Wind, calling fo the use of "bottles" ; but also an invitation to meditation (or sleep) addressed to us by a resonant Tibetan bowl. The more attentive ears will gather the elements of the second poem articulated by the musicians in their respective instruments to create a feeling of an imaginary choerography inspired by some structures of traditionnal Korean dances, appearing in the center of the work as a rocker axis around which spread more meditative sections.
The work is dedicated to the Ensemble Quartz which premiered it in 2010, in a partial version at Ilshin Hall of Seoul. The following year the
dédicatees proposed the premiere of the complete score of these Desirs de Lune (Moon's desires) during their China tour, at the Shanghai Normal University Art Center.
for wind quintet