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et inspiravit

The carillon piece et inspiravit references “breath”, “Spirit” and “angels”.

The title comes from the creation of Adam in Genesis 2:7 “et inspiravit in faciem eius spiraculum vitae,” which in English reads “and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.” The piece draws extensively from Veni Sancte Spiritus, the sequence from the mass for Pentecost, the time when the Holy Spirit came “as of a rushing mighty wind.”

The piece is in the form of a suite played without pause.

The first section au commencement , or “in the beginning”, refers to the Genesis account.

The next section is the angelus with backward references to the first section. The angelus is a triple stroke ringing of a bell rung in three groups with pauses between the groups of three. This is a tradition associated with the recitation of the triple Ave Maria devotion. The name “angelus” comes from the incipit of the devotion, “Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariæ ("The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary").

The next section le lien, or nexus, is a link, a bridge section, between the previous, introductory sections and the dances that follow.

La danse isorhythmic I, or isorhythmic dance number 1, uses parts of the Veni Sancte Spiritus chant as the color for the talea. In other words, pitches for the chant (the color) appear in the pedal and are expressed in a repeating rhythm (the talea), independent of the original rhythm of the chant. Above that is a melody with a 12/8 feel where each phrase is a variation on a section of the chant. The overall feel of the rhythm of this section is that of an isorhythmic motet from the 14th century, a style that would be in existence when the Perpignan cathedral was first being built.

Chanson I, or song number 1, is a more lyrical section that, again, references the Veni Sancte Spiritus chant. Marking each phrase of the song is a variation on the au commencement themes.

Following sections are a second isorhythmic dance and a second song.

La danse des anges, or dance of the angels continues to reference the chant, now in a sprightly 6/8+2/4 rhythm.

The piece concludes with a sounding of the angelus, similar to the first but with a cadential feel to the final “breath.”

et inspiravit won the 2nd prize in the carillon composition competition conducted by the Perpignan Sacred Music Festival 2014.

Code: OLEI

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