"Page d’écriture", for double bass, flute and classical guitar, is based on the Prévert poem by that name, in which the child in the classroom simply cannot concentrate on his lesson. He is bored and wants to be free like the bird outside.
The rhythms of the piece are based on my father's translation of the poem.You can hear the incessant "one and one make two" chanting style of old fashioned lessons and the bird song outside (mainly represented by the flute) inviting the child's imagination to wander.The instruction "Frappez" to the guitarist means: knock on the body of the guitar as a teacher would strike the desk, to wake up a lazy pupil, and this is followed by the peremptory command from the double bass: "Now concentrate!".
The piece was originally intended as a song, forming part of a sequence of Prévert translations and settings in collaboration with my father. After hearing the singing tones of some of the great contemporary double bass players, especially the French contrabassist Thierry Barbet, I was inspired to recompose it for this combination.
This recording was made using Finale 2004; note the curious use of low frequency woodblock for the "frappez" instruction!
There have been several live performances by Gerhard Ganahl's group Flubasstar in Austria - at some point an mp3 of one of these will become available.
Meinau Rag was originally a guitar and violin piece written in La Meinau, near Strasbourg, where I lived in 1976.
It has since been performed in versions for cello and guitar and even for recorder orchestra.
After a discussion with Gerhard Ganahl, I decided to arrange it for his group Flubasstar, who will be premièring it shortly.