Bertrand Virya for 4 musicians

Virya, a Sanskrit word that means ‘energy, vigour, force’, juxtaposes various materials of a disparate nature: very rhythmical sections that descend quickly from the high to the middle register; rapid movements that resonate around a reduced number of sounds in the middle register, in a decidedly microtonal context (of quarter tones and ‘whispers’); sweeps made up of piercing sounds layered one over the other at different speeds, slightly displaced by micro-intervals and glissandi, which in this way give rise to beats, vibrations and ‘phantom’ sounds. Each of these elements tends to shift independently, generally in accordance with a paradigm of accumulation/saturation, crescendo and harmonic amplification. Several ‘zips’ (rapidly ascending scales that in some sense constitute harmonic summaries and are developed later on in a highly virtuosic section) bring together apparently very diverse materials, which ultimately display numerous common features: various dips in unchannelled energy, very similar modular harmonies and imperceptible beats. Seven brief minutes, jam-packed with vitality and virtuosity, without respite, characterise Virya, commissioned by Dr Francis Rueff and dedicated to Frédéric Kahn.