Program Notes

Several words about the title:

In the Franco-Provençal dialect of Courmayeur (Aosta, Italy), Magnuns signifies “black clouds attached to the slopes of (mountain) passes.” This highly evocative word reminds me of several trips in the Alps and the Pyrenees. Being irrationally afraid of the high seas, I prefer mountains. Mountains are natural barriers against invasions, -linguistic or armed,- and are places of formidable atmospheric and terrestial phenomena.

Several words on the music:

The harmony and atmosphere of this piece are inspired by a faux-bourdon section of the Credo of Josquin’s Missa Pange Lingua. The musicians must find an equilibrium between written material and improvisation, between string and wood sound, single notes, and dense, held chords.