• Category / Instrument
    6 voices and instrumental ensemble
    S.Mz.A.T.Bar.B / 2cor / 2trp / 2trb(T&B) / tub / 2perc
  • Duration
  • Commissioned by
    Ministère de la Culture (France) pour le festival Voix Nouvelles, Fondation Royaumont
  • Published
  • Premiere
    Abbaye de Royaumont (France)
    Vocal ensemble Sing Circle
    Ensemble intercontemporain
    Annick Minck (conductor)


Michael Jarrell's works are published by Editions Henry Lemoine :

27, boulevard Beaumarchais
75004 PARIS
Tel. : +33 (0)1 56 68 86 74




All these hieroglyphs drawn from right to left in mirror-fashion, broken up by an attempt to describe and understand a world laden with mystery and the unknown, are exceptional in that they all emanated from a man who was probably out of the ordinary, and who was able to see things both as an artist and as a naturalist and physicist. From this dialogue between descriptive observation and scientific explanation is born a deeply mysterious poetry. The title of Formes-Fragments is an allusion to my attempt to organize various selected fragments into one or more musical forms.

Michael Jarrell

Look at the light and consider its beauty. Close your eyes and then look again what you see now was not there before, and what was there is no longer. Who is he that made it again, if he that made it must continually die ?
Just as the stone thrown in the water becomes the centre and the cause of various circles, as sound produced in the air spreads out its voice in a circle, so do bodies spread out, thus will any body placed in the bright air spread out in a circle and fill the nearby places with its infinite images (that is, its own image infinitely reproduced), and will appear to be everything, and in every small thing.
All the things that lie hidden beneath the snow in winter are revealed and uncovered in the summer. Thus will a lie be that cannot remain obscured.
Movement is the reason for all life.
Contemplate the end, consider the end first.
Let us take the example of the sun. If you follow the course of a river, for as long as you walk by the river's edge, so will the sun appear to take the same path as you, and this is "because of you", because the sun is everything and in everything.
All suffering leaves an unpleasant memory except for the supreme suffering which is death, which kills memory at the same time that it kills life.
The air is sky blue by reason of the shadows above it, because black and white make the sky blue. All violent movements become weaker the further they are separated from their origins.
Cold, wet moon. Water is cold and wet. Our sea has the same influence on the moon as the moon has on us.

Text by Leonardo da Vinci,
translated by Mary Criswick

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© Michael Jarrell