ward de jonghe

Au – for 3 voices and 3 percussionists

duration: ca 6’30”

instrumentation: 3 singers (of similar voice type) and  3 tubular players, or 1 singer, 1 tubular player and tape

written in 2022 as a part of the Wunderhorn song cycle, with support of Sabam

first performance: 2022-12-04 by Goggles at Leietheater, Deinze

view score

programme note: 

With text in several languages, a limited mode of pitches and use of a cantus firmus, canons and isorhythm, this composition refers to a motet from the late Middle Ages. Slowly the text becomes intelligible and at the end you hear the point of departure: Es sungen drei Engel einen süßen Gesang. Of the Mahler song, however, only a wink remains: bimm bamm!

The sound of golden bells wafting across the warm fields of Combray is an image of Proust’s that I can’t let go of. Bells may be mostly bronze, gold perfectly suits their rich, full, complex sound. I once had the opportunity to play church bells (with golden mallets!) together with Graindelavoix: another reason for me to associate this piece for voice and tubular bells with the symbol Au.