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Du souffle

Philippe Leroux

Du souffle

The inspiration for the creation of Du souffle was three excerpts from the Rainer Maria Rilke anthology, Chant éloigné, Poèmes et fragments: “Là-bas, comme tu appelles, appelles, appelles, appelles, comme si ta vie était en jeu.” “Car c’est au cœur du souffle qu’ils ont souffle, et s’évanouissent quand le son s’évanouit.” “Mais soudain fait irruption secrètement la grande pulsation.” The first version of this piece, for wind quintet, was composed in 1996. This second version, for saxophone quartet, dates from 2003. Du souffle is representative of a period (along with M for 2 pianos, 2 percussionists and electronics) during which I was most concerned with the notion of gestural movement in sound in pure simplicity. These formal gestures (of calling, followed by echoes, in the first section; of birth and then sound dissipating in the second; and of an invisible pulse throughout the work) repeat, elongate, multiply, unite and overlap, becoming textures in themselves. The aspect of playfulness underlying these processes of continuous transformation serve to involve listeners in the musical activity while also drawing their attention to the notion of transition and the fascinating transformations inherent to the musical material and its figures.

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