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Annette Vande Gorne

Programme notes
To François Bayle, whose prodding, ceaseless research on the sound-image has allowed the experience of this work.

This piece was inspired by the shortness of the haiku and its long resonance in the imagination. It evokes contrasting realms from the five Japanese seasons set within an ambiophonic space (spread over 16 channels in concert).

Nature, the cycle of its seasons and the human activities pertaining to them, provides the perfect playground for a sonic landscape, a genre native to acousmatic music. I had already dabbled in it with Paysage / vitesse in 1986.

This time, series of short tableaux, one per season, use a selection of classical and contemporary Japanese haikus to stimulate an imaginary world, mental pictures, and emotional memories in each listener. These tableaux rest on the same pictures and dynamics/movements the Western repertoire offers, from Antonio Vivaldi to Jean-Michel Jarre.

The prime quality of a haiku according to the disciples of Bashô — invariance and fluidity — is answered by the “permanence and variation” pair from Pierre Schaeffer’s typology, which characterizes any Apollonian style where “all is order and beauty” (Charles Baudelaire).

[English translation: François Couture, v-20]

Haïkus, its five seasons and 17 haikus, was realized in 2016-20 at the Métamorphoses d’Orphée studio of Musiques & Recherches in Ohain (Belgium) with several creation grants from the Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles (Administration générale de la culture, Service de la musique). The complete Haïkus premiered on October 25, 2020, during the Espace du son festival at Théâtre Marni in Brussels (Belgium).


  • October 25, 2020, Premiere of the complete work: L’Espace du son 2020: Création d’une œuvre d’Annette Vande Gorne, Théâtre Marni, Brussels (Belgium)
  • Composer(s): Annette Vande Gorne
  • Year of composition: 2016-20
  • Instrumentation: 16-channel fixed medium
  • ISWC: T3026395693
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média


Jour de l’an

Japanese culture envisions New Year’s Day (just before spring) as a season in itself, due to its unique experience.

Feux d’artifice (d’après Debussy) [Fireworks (After Debussy)] announces the overall topic of the work: to bring together, as much as possible, the historical repertoire of high brow European music and current studio music writing practices: acousmatic music. Here, the prelude for piano mentioned in the title is taken as a temporal, structural and literal commission.

Jour de fête [Celebration Day]: That midnight in Japan, temple bells call for renewal and hope in the future. Listening to this moment is experienced as a cultural fabric (with bells from all regions of the world) and a spatial fabric thanks to 18 channels of sound distributed in a dome.

[English translation: François Couture, vi-20]

Jour de l’an [New Year’s Day] was realized in 2020 at the Métamorphoses d’Orphée studio of Musiques & Recherches in Ohain (Belgium).

  • Year of composition: 2020
  • ISWC: T3026152143 / T3035454145


Spring is channelled through a sequence of three haikus: Jeux d’oiseaux [Bird Games], Jeux d’eau [Water Games], Jeux d’enfants [Children’s Games]. These tableaux put side by side snippets of the classical repertoire — shakuhachi, Olivier Messiaen, R Murray Schafer, Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy — and composed sonic landscapes.

Dear Annette,

To assemble iridescences as fleeting as fundamental particles (cohobated in your electronic still with much patience and desire), to compose sonic spurts out of those scattered myriads, to bring forth new theories out of their fulguration, and to let whoever listens to them completely free to chase their light — while listening to your Haïkus, I was left unsure whether I were in a concert hall or at the CERN witnessing an experience that was pushing the limits of physics or an event at the frontiers of music.

What you stretched out in front of our eyes was not a corny saccharine springtime, but the sacred crescendo of lively mornings, decisive beginnings where sap shoots up vigorously so that summer may come, when the opening of the most delicate of buds is imbued with imperative absolute — may Life outlive the winter of oblivion.

I perceived more than trite landscapes, I perceived a concertante power; more than descriptions, a sum; more than vignettes, something green and fresh. And in that regard your work comes closer to poetry: it does not, under the naked notes, like with naked words, present facts: it invokes valences, it convenes values, it entreats freedom.

May that springtime come!

Miguel Mesquita da Cunha, Grand-Leez (Gembloux), on this Europe Day of 2017

[English translation: François Couture, viii-20]

Printemps [Spring] was realized in 2016 at the Métamorphoses d’Orphée studio of Musiques & Recherches in Ohain (Belgium) and premiered on November 9, 2016 during the Hors-les-murs: Haïkusmatique concert as part of the Ars Musica festival in the Centre Wallonie-Bruxelles in Paris (France).


  • November 9, 2016, Ars Musica 2016: Hors-les-murs: Haïkusmatique, Salle de cinéma — Centre Wallonie-Bruxelles, Paris (France)


  • Year of composition: 2016
  • ISWC: T9239483386


To Mario Mary

Summer comes to mind because of “nagging insect games” (Jeux d’insectes lancinants) that muddy the torpor of “a midsummer afternoon’s dream” (Songe d’un après-midi d’été), a kind of “motionless journey” (Voyage immobile). The heat of summer excites extravagance, the “witty dance of the wisps” (Danse folle des feux follets). Each tableau features its own sonic and spatial writing, its own dynamic pictures taken from Robert Schumann (Papillons, op 2, and Traumes Wirren from Fantasiestücke, op 12 no 7), Claude Debussy, György Ligeti, Paul Hindemith, Hector Berlioz, Hugues Dufourt, Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky, Jean-Michel Jarre, Antonio Vivaldi, and Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev. These conduct the polyphonic behaviour of sonic pictures and the development of movements in a split ambiophonic space.

[English translation: François Couture, v-20]

Été [Summer] was realized in 2018-19 at the Métamorphoses d’Orphée studio of Musiques & Recherches in Ohain (Belgium) and premiered on April 20, 2019 during the Rencontres internationales de musique électroacoustique de Monaco (RIME) at the Théâtre des variétés.


  • April 20, 2019, Monaco électroacoustique 2019: Concert 3, Théâtre des variétés, Monaco (Monaco)
  • Year of composition: 2018-19
  • ISWC: T3026338201 / T3035454065


To Bruno Letort

A different writing style imbues each of the four haikus, a style selected for its correspondence with an emblematic moment of autumn in the city or the country.

Jeux mécaniques [Mechanical Games] disposes of the seeming monotony of iterative machines, in relation with Pacific 231 by Arthur Honegger.

Jeux étendus, brouillard [Extensive Games, Fog] maintains an unclear, distant rapport with a few iconic and spectral traces (from the non-harmonic to the harmonic spectrum) with the short homonymous piece for piano by Claude Debussy.

Jeux fragmentés, feuilles d’automne [Fragmented Games, Autumn Leaves] sputters Feuilles mortes by Claude Debussy as a myriad of tiny multicoloured leaves.

Jeux répétés [Repeated Games] — a tribute to Pierre Henry — takes as a reference point Pierre Henry’s repetitive writing at the onset of L’homme à la caméra (1929), a film by Dziga Vertov. The sitar being used in this piece is played by Mark Bogaert, a jazz musician whom I thank for his creativity in the art of improvisation.

[English translation: François Couture, v-20]

Automne [Autumn] was realized in 2019 and in 2020 at the Métamorphoses d’Orphée studio of Musiques & Recherches in Ohain (Belgium). The sections Jeux mécaniques [Mechanical Games], Jeux étendus, brouillard [Extensive Games, Fog], and Jeux répétés [Repeated Games] were commissioned by Ars Musica for its 30th anniversary and premiered on November 16, 2019 during the Ciné-concert: Hommage à Pierre Henry concert as part of the Ars Musica festival in the Palace in Brussels (Belgium). Jeux fragmentés, feuilles d’automne [Fragmented Games, Autumn Leaves] was realized in 2020.


  • Year of composition: 2019-20
  • ISWC: T3026152041 / T3035444889


To Daniel Teruggi

Hiver [Winter] translates feelings of standstill time, monotonous silence, frost and warm cocoon, all elements tied to how we picture winter. These are reflected in the themes imagined for each tableau: Jeux de pas sur la neige [Footsteps on The Snow], Jeux monotones [Monotonous Games], Jeux de grains au coin du feu [Games of Grains by The Fire], and Jeux de sons [Sound Games] (a tribute to Bernard Parmegiani). Claude Debussy, Franz Schubert, Hugues Dufourt, Francis Poulenc, Paul Hindemith and Bernard Parmegiani (who inspired the writing through inlays and attack substitutions from the 1st and 7th movements of his De natura sonorum) are this season’s imagined or dynamic references.

[English translation: François Couture, v-20]

Hiver [Winter] was realized in 2017 at the Métamorphoses d’Orphée studio of Musiques & Recherches in Ohain (Belgium) and premiered on January 26, 2018 during the Compagnons de route concert as part of the Multiphonies series presented by the Ina-GRM in the Auditorium Saint-Germain of MPAA (Paris, France). The piece was commissioned by Ina-GRM.


  • January 26, 2018, Multiphonies 2017-18: Trajectoire 1: Compagnons de route, Auditorium Saint-Germain — MPAA, Paris (France)
  • Year of composition: 2016-18
  • Commission: Ina-GRM
  • ISWC: T9305936430