Category / Instrument
Bass flute (or alto), viola, cello and percussions
Commissioned by
Aspects des musiques d'aujourd'hui
Caen (France)
Festival Aspects des musiques d'aujourd'hui
Ensemble Fa
Dominique My (conductor)



Garrigue is one of the pieces of a cycle of chamber music that I am progressively building.
The title of the cycle is Portulan (after medieval navigation maps). The total line up is 8 musicians: fl cl cor pno perc vl vla vlc.
One or two works will be for the complete group of eight players, the other pieces will be written for various smaller combinations.
At this moment, 4 pieces have been written:
1. Feuilles à travers les cloches (1999) fl pno vl vlc, 6'
2. Les ruines circulaires (2006) vl cl, 5'
3. Seven lakes drive (2006) fl cl cor pno vl vlc, 8'
4. Garrigue (2008) fl vla vlc perc, 7'
Portulan is a sort of virtual - or indirect - autobiography in so far as all the pieces are motivated by something - a place, a book, etc... - which has a special meaning to me: Feuilles refers to Debussy and to rural France, Les ruines has to do with Borges, Seven lakes is a beautiful road which runs through Harriman State Park, close to my US home.
Among the planned pieces will be Paludes, after the novel by André Gide.
Garrigue is a type a vegetation often found in Mediterranean France, consisting of bushes and flagrant plants (thyme, rosemary, savory, juniper...). The piece is a sort of a counterpart of Seven lakes drive, since the "garrigue" is to be found just on the other side of the road from my other house, in French Provence. I love to hike there - in summer the heat is extreme, but enjoyable because of the dry atmosphere - the silence is full of millions of vibrations, crickets, cicadas - the blinding sun reverberates on the white pebbles of the trail that goes endlessly uphill...

Tristan Murail


1 CD Kairos, KAI0015050, Portulan
Seven Lakes Drive - Feuilles à travers les cloches - Dernières nouvelles du vent d'ouest - Les Ruines circulaires - Garrigue - Paludes - La Chambre des cartes
Ensemble Cairn, Guillaume Bourgogne (conductor)