for solo flute (flute in C and Alt Flute) and ensemble of thirteen instruments (2006)

 The starting point of this composition was a personal reaction to an inglorious event that occurred in December 2005 in our country, international though its vocation may be: the expulsion of a Mongol journalist and her young child. Considered persona non grata in her own country for having denounced the corruption there and the violations of individual rights of freedom, Hanà Tserensodnom was forcibly repatriated, insidiously so via the Netherlands, the Minister of the Interior thus avoiding any confrontation with the media, despite wide spread mobilisation of journalists. Far from being some sort of metaphorical description, the music was intended to exploit its work of ‘memory’ – Sanaalijal in the Mongolian language – something that, to be sure, does not mean that reference to Mongolia is absent. On the contrary, this distant Orient is evident right throughout the piece owing to the presence of three types of materials: a traditional pentatonic song whistled in its original form; a modelisation of the flute and voice simultaneously present in some folk traditions in the mountains; finally the celebrated Khöömi, a diphonic song that has delighted so many Western composers. These three elements are never taken up literally, Sanaalijal in this way aiming at avoiding the trap of a discourse based on a linking of musical anecdotes. On the contrary, these latter are subjected to telescoping and operations of intense - even violent - sound distortion in which the vertical component progressively gives rise to horizontal concepts and vice versa. A process of double inversion, the fragmentary memory of which activates our listening and creates an expressive direction that, deliberately void of any sort of tragic or expressionist intent, does not hesitate to breathe out a scent of hope and optimism.

 Sanaalijal was commissioned by the ensemble Musiques Nouvelles. The work is dedicated to Berten D’Hollander, a remarkable flautist for whom this concerto was expressly composed.

The work took its premiere at the Festival Ars Musica 2006 by Berten D’Hollander, solo flute, and the Ensemble Musiques Nouvelles conducted by Jean Thorel.

"Sanaalijal" is recorded on CD by the performers of the premiere - Label Cypres / "Claude Ledoux : D'Orients".


for solo flute and ensemble (13 instruments)