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Les Voix Humaines

viola da gamba  |  8'

Written for Liam Byrne

First performed in Berlin


Score extract

Les Voix Humaines score_edited.jpg
Les Voix Humaines 3.heic

Les Voix Humaines uses Marain Marais' work of the same title as a starting point. I have appropriated every pitch and phrase from Marais' work, but changed the techniques and registers, as well as reordering the phrases. The performer reads Marais' material as they play through the piece (notated on a separate, opaque staff), using this to guide their tempo and phrasing. You could say that they play this music through in their head, while fingering the pitches I have written. In a sense, they are performing a deconstructed, weathered ruin of the older work - transferring some of the elegance, poise, and visceral resonance of this work into mine.

...that stony effigy in frozen music, horned and terrible, of the human form divine, that eternal symbol of wisdom and of prophecy which,

if aught that the imagination or the hand of sculptor has wrought in marble of soultransfigured and of soultransfiguring deserves to live...


Stephen, his blood wooed by grace of language and gesture, blushed.


James Joyce | Ulysses

Les Voix Humaines 4.heic
Eric Egan — Les Voix Humaines [w/ score]
Play Video

Liam Byrne performing

Les Voix Humaines

in Belin in July 2020

and January 2022.

Les Voix Humaines 2020
Play Video
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