In this remarkable 20-minute work for ensemble and electronics – commissioned by IRCAM for the 10th anniversary of the Pompidou Centre, and premiered there in 1987 – two modern flutes commune with their ancient predecessors in the form of two keyboards creating microtonal melodies from the sounds of panpipes. The flutes hocket melodies from left to right whilst eight strings act as a background, often in the form of a dance-like accompaniment. This active, energetic music is threatened by two deep, growling, trombones and two percussionists –the latter playing almost exclusively on a plethora of anvils.
‘Disciplined, engaging, and very beautiful.’
The Observer (Andrew Porter), 1 August 1993