for flute (2007)
Gu Hongzhong, Festivités nocturnes de Han Xizai

Duration: 10 min.

If it can be stated that music is not identifiable with language – it is both inferior to it by its means of expression and superior by its means of impression, it can maintain persistent relationships with it in which the composer must free himself to expand the possibilities of his craft; Prima is an attempt to escape narration as a trace of language and to construct a musical universe in the time of hearing.

To go against the narrative, we must not let the music go with the flow of irreversible time, but on the contrary channel its energy into structures capable of disturbing the ordinary functions of our ears which are still too romantic, accustomed to wait, grasp then forget the characters of a dramaturgical flow. So, there is no development in Prima; there are simply three planes, between which combinatorial exhaustion and formal rupture are opposed, the juxtaposition of which alone creates the unity of the work.

Prima, in Italian, is of course the first of a work, but it is also first, the mark of what comes first. By trying to move away from acquired modes of perception to construct her own, Prima refuses the simple statement; it remains the sketch of itself until the end where, freezing the material, it makes it heard in a certain permanence, as if time had no hold on it and could not put an end to it.

As always, a work never achieves its objectives, it is always beyond or below. Music is always nearby, because it is not our language, it imprints what it is in our consciousness and disappears, leaving us devoid, in silence, of the possibility of grasping it, indefinitely.

prima is dedicated to the flautist Sophie Dardeau


June 7, 2008 by Sophie Dardeau, soloist of l’ItinéraireLux – Scène nationale de Valence

prima (extrait)