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Commission: Geneviève Savoie

This composition is a tribute to the book “The Dialogue of Silence” by Itsuo Tsuda, the philosopher of Ki. Throughout his life, Tsuda taught an approach to Ki via his development of a school of breathing. His philosophy makes us aware and trust that behind every cycle there is an immutability. I wished to musically convey this long road leading to trust. The music of Dialogue du silences is inspired by a form of Arabic improvisation known as taqasim, a technique governed by rules dictated by the mode used. In Arabic music, there are about 280 modes. Each has its own name, a feeling it evokes, its strong and weak notes. Each mode also has its own ornaments and starting and ending notes. Taqasim, which translates as “time division,” places great import on silence. In the work, the silences punctuate the phrases. They serve as transitions, as echoes of the preceding phrase, as cadences or as points of attack for the beginning of a phrase. The length of the silences is left to the discretion of the performer, hence Le Dialogue du silence.