‘Qui Parle Ombre’


January 23, 2023


Théatre Municipal de Rezé, France (organisation La Soufflerie)

Midget! (Mocke Holden and Claire Vallier)

Gavin met Mocke and Claire through Bertrand Belin, who sang (memorably) in Gavin’s opera The Collected Works of Billy the Kid. They first met at the opera’s performance in Rotterdam on May 25 2018.

Gavin has made arrangements for a group of songs by Mocke and Claire for a mixed chamber ensemble of voices and instruments that have been written for a new album. Subsequently another song was added, Premier Soleil, taken from a previous album but substantially rethought and rewritten. The whole set of pieces was first performed at the Centre 104 in Paris in March 2022 and a second at Opera Underground, Opera de Lyon in May.

The idea underlying this work, which began with the composition and continued with Gavin’s arrangements, is to find an articulation between art music and popular music. The ensemble consists of a four female chorus, four strings (violin, viola, cello, bass), four wind (flute, clarinet, horn, bassoon) plus percussion. Claire sings, and Mocke plays guitar, often using microtonal techniques. Gavin conducts the ensemble.

Composition : Midget ! (Claire Vailler / Mocke) Arrangements : Gavin Bryars

: Claire Vailler; Guitar: Mocke
Instruments: Ensemble O; Choir: Macadam Ensemble

Gavin Bryars