Program note

Phaune was written in 2019 for Ensemble Paramirabo during its tour of Belgium.

The title, ...Phaune..., suggests a typo as does “Paramirabo”, Claude Vivier’s piece (very likely alluding to Paramaribo, the capital of Suriname). Additionally, Phaune/Phone is meant to suggest a “Faune de Phonèmes” [set of phonemes]... A space that these phonemes share, where they fuse, compete to survive and eventually produce new words, with new meanings. A space where literal becomes figurative and where meaning could eventually flow from non-sense, and vice versa. The process put in motion is inspired by Conway’s “game of life”; the notes/phonemes survive or die of isolation, of overpopulation, and are sometimes even resuscitated! The piano is central and the other instruments take turns trying to escape their destiny.

The ending is comic or tragic (wait and see), fluttering wings of an insect in its death throes under the quasi-solemn striking of the vibraphone, bell strike... or kill stroke?

- Jawher Matmati



Year of composition

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