for string quartet (2012 - 2014)

Duration: 15 min.

plasma (extract)

For every composition, one issue persists: to write a music that yields neither to the narration nor to the dramaturgy. As literature, yet closer to the language, can emancipate itself from the form of a story, I’m not interested in a music that tells something – or even expresses something that should come first. It matters more to me that the music impresses, that we can enjoy it through the part of us that thinks and blooms without the means of the language.

The specificity of music is probably not expressible, but we can glimpse an essential part of what distinguishes it from a language: its ability to superimpose heterogeneous materials. Instead of juxtaposing its components, as do syntax and grammar, the music continuously decomposes them, modeling the sound like a chemical reaction, by fusion, fission, aggregation, dissolution, etc.

Plasma is a sound reaction: there is no strategy outside music that makes its form; there is only the opportunity of collisions, interferences and affinities that lie between its different internal states. The string quartet realizes this experience of instability, erratic directions and stripes, perhaps evoking the way energy is dissipated during a lightning storm or an aurora. Instead of preparing the permanent surprise of a drama, plasma is an invitation to “contemplate the agitation” and take as a form the stability that remains beyond the waves of the moment.

Plasma is dedicated to the Stanislas Quartet for its 30th anniversary.


May 12th 2014, by the Stanislas Quartet, Salle Poirel, Nancy, France