Année de composition
9 minutes
Soprano and instrumental ensemble [7 musicians] : flute (also piccolo), clarinet (also bass clarinet), 2 trumpets, 2 trombones and cello

Aks is a work with rather particular origins. Commissioned by the Society of Friends of the Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions for the fiftieth anniversary of the museum, I composed this score for mezzo voice and 7 instruments (flute, clarinet, 2 trumpets, 2 trombones and cello) on musical material provided by the ethnomusicological department of the A.T.P.


Except for the first measures of the cello, no song is however quoted “in extenso”. The observation and the intensive manipulation of the modal and rhythmic structures of the chosen popular songs impregnate the whole work without ever yielding to any “folklorism” which would have altered these astonishing musics of French oral traditions and my own work. All the harmony and melodic conduct are built on autonomous processes whose origin always comes from the “memory” of this beautiful museum.


I add that the musical attitude adopted for the construction of this score is a perfectly arbitrary act. It is therefore not necessary to look for a coherence with social or historical will or even any musical “demonstration”. I hope that ethnomusicologists will not hold a grudge against me for having played with this rich musical soil. I must admit, however, that I had great pleasure in doing so, which is _in itself_ a good reason…

The text, in Occitan (and related to the melody quoted on the cello), speaks to us of the herdsman who ploughs, of rave, of small cabbage, of thin lark, of the depths of the cellar and of the pilgrims who will pass, of poor Bernarde, who went straight up there with the goats, amen, amen…

I thank the Society of the Friends of the Museum of the A.T.P for having honored me with this commission, Mr. Jean Cuisenier, director of the museum, and the music department, in particular Miss Maguy P. Andral and Mr. Jacques Cheyronnaud who so kindly entrusted me with their archives, as well as the complicit enthusiasm of Marie Chantal de Tricornot
Aks is dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the Musée National des Arts et Traditions Populaires and to my son Louis’ third year…


Pascal Dusapin


Lo Bouvé


Yébé dé laura kan lu buyébé dé laura
Plant oiki so gulado a é iou plantoi ki so gulado

Trobo lo destr’al pé dél fyok trobo lo déstr’ol pédél fyok
Tuto déskunsulado tutodéskunsulado

Obyo torsatlu rubinét abyotorsatlu rubinet
Omaisèro omaisèro pintado omaisèro pintado

Sésyèi molauto dyazu sésyéi molauto dyazu
Té farenun putatei téfarenum putatei

Anbéuno rabéun kaulét
Éuno lauzéto ma gro éuno lauzétomagro

Kansérai mwortontoramé kansérai mwortontoramé
Ol téfundé lakabo al téfundé la kabo

Léspébiratbo laporét léspébiratbo la poret
Lu katjyula kanèlo lukatjyu la konèlo

Luspiligrinké pasorow luspiligrinké pasorow
Pendraudayo sinado pendraudayo sinado

Diraw en patèr èinabé diraw en patèr éèinabé
Pèi la pauro bèrnado pei la paura bèrnardo

Kéniz anadol syèl tu drét keniz anadol syèl tu drét
Anbun a mé laskabroz amun anbé los kabro

A mena respundébèrnat a mena réspundébernat
Kusi tau byen plosado a eio u kusi tau byen plosado


Création mondiale
January 13th, 1988 | Musée des Arts et Traditions Populaires, Paris
Lo Bouvé, occitan popular text

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