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Du libe tu?

Elsa Justel

Programme notes

“The Gods have become machines. And machines think. They do, therefore they are; they build, therefore they act; they act, therefore they live. They have the movement, breath and style of life. Let us close our eyes to better see them. [noise] At the end of such a journey, the only thing that matters is courage, imagination, and intelligence; where Man shall stop, tired, uneasy with all his conquests; where he shall remember that a single word — the key to comprehension — means both to listen and to understand. That musician will make anything his own, be it God, table or toilet. With the same musical ear, he will spy on the nightingale’s modulations, the breath of machines; and from tropical birds, he will be able to create his own score.” — Pierre Schaeffer, excerpt from the conference «Retour aux sources», Festival de la Recherche organized by RTF, Paris (France), May 26, 1960.

To you, o great provocative man, o boy looking for trouble, I answer back with the same breath of machines — those capricious Gods — untroubled by my foolish witticisms, because you gave me the crazy courage that carried the imagination, this boldness allowing me to create illusions, without restraint nor compromise.

The title Du libe tu? is an anagram on the title of Pierre Schaeffer’s work Bidule en ut, of which parts of the theme are quoted herein.

[English translation: François Couture, viii-07]

Du libe tu? was realized in 1996 at the composer’s studio in Paris (France) and premiered on May 31, 1996 at the Hommage-Tombeau de Schaeffer concert as part of Synthèse, the Festival international de musique électroacoustique de Bourges (France, 1996). The piece was commissioned by the Institut international de musique électroacoustique de Bourges (IMEB, France) for the anniversary of the death of Pierre Schaeffer. The recorded voice of Pierre Schaeffer was taken from the archives of the Institut national de l’audiovisuel (Ina).


  • May 31, 1996, Synthèse 1996: Hommage-Tombeau de Schaeffer, Théâtre Jacques-Cœur, Bourges (Cher, France)
  • Composer(s): Elsa Justel
  • Year of composition: 1996
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • Commission: IMEB
  • ISWC: T0031055158
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • Duration: 2:14
  • ISRC: CAD500720700