percussion

Vivier’s Cinq Chansons pour Percussion impresses even before the first note is played—as soon as the audience lays eyes on the magnificent percussion instruments for which the work is scored. Originally from Indonesia, Thailand, Japan, and China, these instruments appeal to the eye as much as their Oriental sounds appeal to the ear. But with Vivier, the Orient is reworked, revisited in a way that highlights the pure sonority of these instruments through extremely calm, musical dialogue that resonates over a long period. Vivier also offers listeners music in which repeated rhythms tempt the ear into a trance, to an extreme state of consciousness and total abandon. The composer aptly described these works, specifying that “the word ‘chanson’ should be understood in the Asian sense: five musical utterances composed rather liberally out of a few notes. The work could also be called Aikea, or ‘little poems.’”

[viii-07]