Bertrand Yet for 20 musicians

Yet needs to be understood in terms of the concept of anticipation. Indeed, as in some pieces by Steve Reich, the first section of the work is a distillation of things to come. All the structural elements, which fuel the following sections, are presented, as are the harmonic fields, and these elements will be developed later. These structural elements are, respectively, the superimposition of accelerations and decelerations, a harmony stirring very slowly and moving around the space of the stage, rhythmic imitations that are out of phase, and finally a succession of vibrant, stroboscopic, highly virtuosic ostinatos. Everything is presented in shorthand, sketched form, but nothing is spelt out.

These elements, however opposed or even antagonistic they may be, are unified both by a limited number of harmonic fields, often close (still very diatonic, but distorted by micro-intervals, the natural harmonics of the strings and so forth), which circulate throughout the piece, and by a ‘dramatic tension’, perpetually present (in the directionality and continuous evolution of all the musical elements), even growing for more than half of the piece’s unfolding. In addition, the main common denominator of Yet is the use of stage space and the potential trajectories that develop as an integral part of the composition.

The architectural structure is based on the formal schema of the Japanese tanka (aba/bb), exploding over several levels. The result is a nesting of numerous short subsections marked by simple and recognisable elements (such as the interventions of wood-blocks), which play on the memory of the listener and allow us to feel the flow of the work.