Instrument(s) soliste(s) et ensemble
14 min.
Solo Bass Clarinet and ensemble (8 musicians and a conductor)
Effectif complet

solo Bass Clarinet 

flute, horn, percussions, two violins, alto, cello and double Bass

Date de création
The title of my play is inspired by an extract from "The Ister", a poem in German by Hölderlin:

Herunter? [...]
Sind sie die Kinder des Himmels.
Aber allzugeduldig Scheint der mir, nicht Freier, und fast zu spotten.


Down here? [...]
They are Heaven's children.
But too patient it seems to me, no freer and almost mocking.

Hölderlin, The Ister


These verses speak of the poet's fascination with rivers, the meeting places of those who follow their course to the ocean (the Ister - the ancient name for the eastern Danube - opens out onto the Orient) and those who travel upstream. Once again, such a configuration evokes my passion for crossovers, the possibilities of transversality and a fascination for otherness (the encounter with the other and the alteration of oneself).
From then on, music becomes a metaphor. Like a river, it erodes materials, deposits alluvial deposits on other shores of sound, causes the sedimentation of one sound material in another material that is a priori foreign to it. The score undergoes so much erosion that the notes eventually disappear, leaving only breaths and whispers of filigree snatches of Hölderlin's poem.

Like a river whose waves are always different, but the same to our vision, the music fascinates by its short ritornello that constantly punctuates the form, a return always the same in listening, but each time different, eroded, enriched, filtered, sublimated.
The bass clarinet is our frail boat for such a voyage.
As for the prefix 'her-' in the title, it implies a movement coming from below, in this case from the soloist's low tones, from which everything starts, rises and returns.

The work was premiered on 19 October 2023 at the occasion of LOOP festival (Brussels), by Benjamin Maneyrol (solo bass clarinet) and Ensemble 21 conducted by Marc Collet.