for ensemble (2013 - 2014)

Duration: 15 min.

lithium (extract)

Something in music is more faithful to thought than language or speech. Whereas everyday expression requires us to order our ideas and then juxtapose them – even if only in the space of a sentence – music, through the superimposition of its own states, gives an account of the complexity and multiplicity of reasoning and sensation. It’s this density, this reticular nature of the mind, that I wanted to explore here: instead of imposing a univocal path, lithium proposes an architecture in which perception can evolve more freely, replacing juxtaposition and succession with superposition and entanglement.

Starting with heterogeneous sound states evocative of metal (resonances, inharmonic textures, noises of different colors, etc.), I experimented with the help of the computer-obligatory at this level of combinatorics-with an exhaustive form that coordinates each small arrangement in a continuous but directionless flow. The machine also finds its place on stage, among the other instruments, in the form of an analog synthesizer, a symbol of the psychedelic fashions of the 1970s, which enriches the fusion of timbres and colors of the ensemble.

This “something” I mentioned at the beginning, and which I’m trying to formalize, is perhaps the result of a certain madness, of that fundamental disorder born of the gap between writing and sound, which always places the listener in the impossibility of discerning everything that makes up music, but in the necessity of grasping what resembles it. This is what gives lithium its title, at once a metal with ephemeral forms and a possible remedy for troubles of the mind.


September 27, 2014, by the Ensemble de Musique Contemporaine de Strasbourg, conducted by Armand Angster, Festival Musica, Salle de la Bourse, Strasbourg.

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