Haylanduru 1 (L'eau souterraine)

Année de composition
30 minutes
Instrumental ensemble [6 musicians]
Bass clarinet, baritone saxophone, viola, cello, two percussions
Commissioned by the French State

A musical creation within the framework of Palimpseste

Haylanduru is an instrumental work in three movements, composed for the ensemble C Barré as part of the Palimpseste project. This project is based on the surveys that we started in the fall of 2020 with the artist Hendrik Sturm, on several territories of the Southern region. My collaboration with Hendrik Sturm began several years ago, and has led to a variety of experiences (see below). Today, our desire is to live an open experience of these territories, taking the necessary time for this, notably through the elaboration of musical walks on the ground. Our guiding thread is the Chappe telegraph network, installed in the region around 1820 and of which there are many remains in the surroundings of Marseille and in the city. However, it is the discovery of these territories as they live today that interests us; the encounters that one can make there; the multiple layers of history, of the past as well as of the industrial and social present, written right on the landscapes, that Hendrik Sturm explores and whose unexpected depths he restores.
The creation of Haylanduru will be spread over three of these walks. Haylanduru means walk, tour, peregrination, in the Fulani language.

Experience and musical devices

Haylanduru will be nourished by and give an account, musically and sonically, of the approaches and certain experiences lived in the field. The music will not be descriptive or merely metaphorical, but will create musical forms and devices in dialogue with the nature of the surveys.
Thus, Hendrik Sturm’s work essentially consists of a reading and interpretation of spaces. He uses specific devices for this – for example, explorations based on a transect layout, or in interlacing and entanglement – that integrate temporality, and thus are inspiring protocols for musical composition.
For example, a movement by Haylanduru will work on the link between maps and musical notations. This link will be perceptible by the audience, and the piece will integrate a shared visual device.
Another movement will take into account some of the predominant materials of one of the walks, emblematic of the economy of a territory. I am thinking in particular of composing from the sounds of very varied fabrics, and to make the instruments dialogue with these sound researches.
The formal and visual vocabularies of the Chappe Telegraph, a kind of semaphore, will also animate certain passages of the composition.
Finally, I want to take into account the temporality and the energy that are inseparable from walking. A movement will take wandering as a motivation for the composition. I don’t know yet if it can be played in situ while walking, but the dimension of spatial displacement will be at the heart of the musical work.

Sound design

The various instrumental numbers will be taken from the singular instrumentarium of the ensemble C Barré, with whom I have carried out several creations, some of them inspired by the works of the artist Jean Tinguely. My research on instrumental writing has integrated an increasing part of work on very diverse modes of play, the gesture as a source of sound events, the metamorphosis of timbres. The ensemble C Barré is in love with research, animated by the will to decompartmentalize the spaces of perception as well as the audiences. For Haylanduru, we are thinking with Sébastien Boin about mobile devices, integrating for example a portable cymbalum and different kinds of guitars. We will privilege a sound and dramaturgical coherence between the musical program of the walks, which I am co-constructing with Sébastien Boin, and each of the movements of Haylanduru, which can be played in three separate movements but also in its entirety, as a concert piece.


Jean-Christophe Marti


Commissioned by the French governement. With the support of the SACEM. 

Création mondiale
Septembre 18th | Program Palimpseste | Salle des Miroirs du Musée de la Vieille Charité, Marseille, France

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