Fable de la démission et du cendrier  (1994)

Fable of the resignation and the ashtray


for two pianos and two clarinets  — (25′)

Commissioned by Radio France.

Premiered at “Presences 95” Radio France, February 1995

In 1982, I created an association. It joined together in a workshop, some musicians coming from different horizons. We called it: La MUSE en Circuit, studio in the electroacoustic tradition of work on the tape, but not specially turned towards the magnetic composition, rather towards the complicity of means and kinds.


I was the president of this association, I was thus the person in charge and I directed it at my manner. It became in the musical world, a little special, but recognized place.

At the end of 12 years, I thought that it was time to let it live without me, that it was time for me to take again my freedom. This is why I resigned of my load of president.


This decision was not easy, neither for me, nor for my friends, and it lasted several months between ripening of the decision, the declaration and the consequences. During the same time, exactly, I wrote a score for 2 pianos and 2 clarinets following all the adventures of this matter.


Perhaps in terms of composition, the feelings mixed, because I do not believe creation innocent, and naive and blind the depths of the invention, but, one can say that besides the same time which passes, at the same time with the two concerns, there is not an other apparent or audible relation between this composition and my resignation.


But I said myself, this same time lived with intensity in two different fields, is a unique opportunity, it should be meant like such. Then I named the piece fable of the resignation and the ashtray.


For the same period, I invented a formal process, which I called with certain impertinence: Hyperserialism Post-data processing!


What is singular in this story is the time, the spring, how grows the vegetation which makes the ideas, how these ideas found themselves grouped in the same time and the same musical piece. In this sense it is a Fable.


I would still say some words to explain the ashtray. The ashtray, diverted from its natural function that is to collect ashes, is a convenient utensil to accommodate a certain quantity of folded bits of paper.

It is my ashtray, it is deep and round.

The principle is thus to draw from the ashtray figures indicating the notes, or the rhythms, the effects, the elements, etc.

The composition, as that is indicated in the score, is articulated around a certain number of plays with the ashtray.

Thus by the chance of the gesture and time, came out the notes, the rhythms, with which I composed.


So, that’s the story of the Fable of the resignation and the ashtray.



July 5, 1994