Adapted from the music composed for the play L’Éden cinéma by Marguerite Duras, staged by Brigitte Haentjens at the National Arts Centre (Ottawa), and at Festival de théâtre des Amériques (Montréal), in May 2003.
The stage and the concert musics were composed in parallel, as if they were parts of the same fiction but corresponded to different purposes. Duras’ play contains over eighty indications about when and how music should be used. The only way to fulfil these indications, according to me, was to have the music played continuously during the play. So I imagined music made of very long sound loops over which very little happens, some sound events disseminated here and there over time and space. In the concert version, extra elements are added to the loops, representing the different aspects of the sonic universe of the play — Vietnam, where Marguerite Duras was born and raised until her teens, the Éden cinéma’s piano, some evanescent atmospheres, the gramophone — that evoke, thanks to the omnipresence of rhythm, the road, the journey, the departure.
Éden was realized in 2003 at the composer’s studio and premiered on May 12, 2003 during the Les musiques 2003 festival in Marseille (France). The final version was completely revised in the fall of 2003 at the composer’s studio and premiered on November 27, 2003 at the Royal Academy of Music, Aarhus (Denmark). Éden was commissioned by the Groupe de musique expérimentale de Marseille (GMEM). The music quoted at the beginning is a Laotian Song that appears on the disc India Song et autres musiques de films, that composer Carlos D’Alessio wrote for Marguerite Duras released by Le Chant du Monde (LDX 274818).