La nuit déchirée

Instrumentation: string quartet

Duration: 6 minutes

Year composed: 2013

Performers: Mivos quartet

First performance: Mivos quartet, 6th New Music Week of Shanghai Conservatory, October 23, 2013, Shanghai, China

Program note: La Nuit déchirée is composed of three movements corresponding to the different cycles of the night.
The first movement, Crépuscule, is commensurate with sunset and thus signals the beginning of the cycle. It is primarily moulded around the râga Shrí.

This is the raga of the sun’s disappearance. The Db recalls the precise moment of the sun setting on the horizon. The night’s awakening progressively brings to life different elements, creating multiple interactions evolving toward an apparent serenity.

The second movement, nuit noire, is inspired by the Olbers paradox. This particular paradox is a contradiction between the fact that the sky is black at night and the fact that the universe is supposedly static and infinite; with the light of the starts, the sky should be just as luminous at night as it is during the day. In this movement are numerous paradoxical variations and one auditive illusion: the continuous glissando.

The last part of the nocturnal cycle, aurore, concludes the quartet in a welter of sonorous objects that come to life and grow, all the time evolving toward the final chord, the sign of the sun, identical to the first chord of the quartet. The first movement witnessed this chord dissolve progressively, subsiding into the black night, only to reappear, concluding the nocturnal cycle with the return of the sun.

Score available at