«Like doves on the shoulder of the hill »


After « Colline » by Jean Giono (Ed Grasset)

For flautist and narrator

First novel published by the writer from Provence, Jean Giono, »Colline » is a narrative describing everyday life of people working in the fields in the moutain of  «Lure ».From a rather simple plot, crops up a mighty drama.

The works of Jean Giono and more particularly « Colline » brings me back to my own roots. Born in Provence, grand-son of a shepherd from  « Luberon » ,I couldn’t but be attracted by this literary work and wish to « settle myself » in this beautiful story.

It’s a genuine homage to Mediterranean Nature of Provence, to its smells, its colours but also to its strength which can be source of dramaturgy.

Rationality , magic , mysticism are skillfully combined to give Nature the part of a human being : «  the flesh of Earth, the bleeding sainfoin under the olive trees.. »

The writer makes animals as well as water-spring , wind,  talk…

Natural elements and their outbursts are assimilated wih evil , and diabolical characters : « bull lashed by shrubs » and writing about the Fire « under its feet , one can hear the bones of the garrigue creak »..

Sound is always there , with, to emphasize dramaturgy, the heaviness of silence.

Like in many cases , the text contains its own music.

Confrontation with the music of words has inspired me for years and has led me to compose several operas and numerous vocal music pieces.

To enter Jean Giono’s world , I have chosen to make of Janet the centre of my composition.He is at the same time the narrator and in the midst of a powerful dramaturgy staging a beautiful , magnanimous, wild and cruel Nature…
The flute ( the flautist ) represents the people surrounding Janet « the chatterbox »  who gets on their nerves with his chatter but who is also respected as the « wiseman » of the village as he knows all the secrets…

Having in mind a  « landscape of sounds » , the music I composed for the flute is simple, almost narrative , using notes reminding us a pastoral universe with some sounding objects played by the flautist and narrator .This aims at highlighting and strengthening   the text..

However , the music written for the flute is also violent , in relation with dramaturgy, when played solo.

Even if it is composed in a duet way, the relationship between text and music is taken into account but a great liberty or more exactly autonomy is given to the text.

The construction of some musical instants is left to the perspicacity of the duet flautist/ narrator so that they can give shape to a common interpretation.