Written within the context of Cursus I (IRCAM)
First performance: 25/03/2009, Ircam, ESPRO, Paris (C. Grezes, sax.)
Two versions are available: a live electronics version, and a click track version
One of the most intense moments in the “Cyrano de Bergerac” by Edmond Rostand is the instant in which (in the last act) Roxanne realizes that Cyrano is not actually reading the last Christian’s letter, but he’s reciting that by heart (“How can you read at present? Night is falling.” would be a literal translation of the title, and the crucial verse of the play). In this epiphany, Roxanne reads again all the previous events under a new light, a new perspective. After that, nothing is going to be same, but it will be too late.
The piece reflects this “before” and “after”, with the opposition of two ideas. The first one is a strong flowing rhythmical idea, focused on micro-gestures and on a very close relationship between the soft hues of saxophone slaps and the timbrically refined electronic work. The second idea is a sort of mirror image of the first one, with a very strong focus on sound spatialization: the saxophone sound gives life to “spinning tops” circling around. The tones are everywhere soft and delicate, which gives the piece the register of a real nocturne. The electronic part of the piece was realized at the Ircam, Paris.