07/11/2017 - Paris, Maison de Radio France, Auditorium - Concours international Long-Thibaud-Crespin
Autumn Rhythm is a piece for violin and piano. Premiered in autumn of 2018, it was inspired by the work of the abstract impressionist painter Jackson Pollock (1912-1956), and in particular, by his all-over painting Autumn Rhythm (Number 30), 1950. In setting aside his brushes and easel, Pollock revolutionised the art of painting with his "drippings". To make his series of all-overs, he spread the canvas directly on the floor and projected the paint with splashes, drips, droplets and interlaced threads. In such a way, different layers and jumbled lines were superimposed to form a textural interplay and create depth over the entire surface of a huge canvas (without ever highlighting or neglecting any area). The all-overs therefore have no real starting point or end, since the eye is "caught" within the painting. In Autumn Rhythm, lines of black paint contrast with brown, ochre or white blots - the alternation of these light and dark blots creates luminous effects - the splashes overlap. At the same time, it is the priority given to texture, these superimpositions, the choice of shades, and these tangled bunches of threads that give the painting its insistent and captivating rhythm. I imagined a whirlwind of autumn colours, like a forest with rays of light attempting to pierce through the foliage. This was the inspiration for this work.
A single block, it was conceived as a window into painting's interior, as if we had been pulled into its depths. Violin and piano - inseparable - intermingle in different rhythmical and coloured layers to create various textures. The playing modes that are used (sul tasto, flautando, right and left hand pizzicati, harmonics, piano pedal, etc...) have an important role in these layers of colours, in particular in order to bring out certain melodic motives. From the first measures, the rhythm is unrelenting and functions over an unremittingly repeated "loop". The motion never really stops, it helps give the piece its heady and hypnotic feeling - the sensation of having plunged into the heart of this autumnal whirlwind girded by light.
I would like to use this program note as an opportunity to thank the Long-Thibaud-Crespin competition, and in particular Renaud Capuçon, for their trust.