Sing Into My Mouth (2005)
for eighteen players (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet, trombone, percussion, 4 violins, 2 violas, 2 cellos, 2 basses) [6:00]
Sing Into My Mouth is an invocation, a prayer to the muse for a sliver of inspiration, in the spirit of Apollonaire’s couplet:
J’ai soif villes d’Europe de la France et du monde.
Venez toutes couler dans ma gorge profonde.
From a dry and distant opening, a duet emerges: a two-voice invention in microtonal counterpoint between the E-flat clarinet and the alto flute. This short phrase becomes the springboard for allusive transformation, resurfacing continuously in various stylistic guises: horn chart hits, Monteverdian cantus firmus writing, jazz call and response patterns… The piece proceeds at a restrained, measured pace, with occasional frantic outbursts from the winds and brass, while the strings provide mainly harmonic support, forming major chords and spectra primarily from open strings and harmonics. The percussion grounds the ensemble with a ticking ostinato, interrupted by occasional inspired outbursts of its own.
The players are seated in a symmetrical formation, with the strings on the left side in standard tuning and those on the right retuned a quarter-tone. The alto flute and B-flat clarinet are also tuned a quarter-tone lower, and the trombonist and horn player both double on wood block.