Cry by cry

Cry by cry

Lisa Bielawa (USA) and Thierry Pécou (France)
Encounter between two composers-performers and two continents



Ritual cries, cries of love or pain, cries for help... Cries are the expression of a basic language shared by all human beings as well as a majority of animals. This program is not only a celebration of cries as a vital force, from Lisa Bielawa’s highly expressive vocalisations to the erotic cries of these Les Machines désirantes / Desiring Machines, but also an encounter between two composers-performers (Pécou from France and Bielawa from the USA) who will interpret their own works in complicity with the Ensemble Variances, leading thus to a real exchange between their respective continents.

The heart of the concert will be a work by each composer, each following the same pattern: a concertino-like piece for a soloist accompanied by the instruments of the Ensemble Variances (flute, clarinet, saxophone, violin, cello and piano). Bielawa will sing the solo vocal parts of her new work herself while Pécou will play the solo piano parts of his Les Machines désirantes. Bielawa’s piece is a new work comissioned by Radio France for the Ensemble Variances. Pécou’s piece is a reprise of a previous piece composed in 2009, also commissioned by Radio France.

This program celebrates the cry as a vital force transcended as a musical gesture, expressed in an explicit and conscient way particulary in the works of Bielawa and Pécou; and by allusion in Sequenza for sax of Berio, or Birimbao/Jaguar of Paul Desenne. Canadian composer Walter Boudreau wrote, for Ensemble Variances, a new instrumentation of Claude Vivier’s Hymne an die Nacht: the program finishes with this great cry in the night, paying hommage to the composer whose whole work discusses the cry and during the 30th anniversary of his premature death in 1983.

Lisa Bielawa
US Tour 2015, Atlanta, Lisa Bielawa, Ensemble Variances
Photo Jan Gates
US Tour 2015, Atlanta, Lisa Bielawa
Photo Jan Gates
US Tour 2015, Atlanta, Liana Gourdjia
Photo Jan Gates
Arsenal de Metz, 5 avril 2013 / April 5, 2013
Arsenal de Metz, 5 avril 2013 / April 5, 2013
Arsenal de Metz, 5 avril 2013 / April 5, 2013
Stephan Grögler, staging and lighting concepts / mise en espace et création lumière


Lisa Bielawa

Gargoyles for solo flute

Luciano Berio

Sequenza VIIb for solo saxophone

Lisa Bielawa

Incessabili Voce for voice, clarinet, saxophone, violin, cello and piano
Commissioned by Radio France

Paul Desenne

Birimbao / Jaguar for solo cello

Thierry Pécou

Les Machines désirantes for piano, flute, clarinet, saxophone, violin and cello

Claude Vivier

Hymne an die Nacht for voice and ensemble
New version by Walter Bourdreau

Number of people

Guest artist

Lisa Bielawa (USA) composer-vocalist

Ensemble Variances

Anne Cartel flute
Carjez Gerretsen clarinet
Nicolas Prost saxophone
Liana Gourdjia violin
David Louwerse violoncello
Thierry Pécou piano

Staging and lighting concepts

Stephan Grögler


Co-production Ensemble Variances, Radio France, Arsenal de Metz
In partnership with Institut Français
With the support of Spedidam
This concert is supported by the The French Interregional Touring Charter : ONDA, ARCADI, OARA, ODIA Normandie, Réseau en scène - Languedoc-Roussillon et Spectacle vivant en Bretagne from September 2014 to December 2015

The Ensemble Variances receive support from Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication - Drac Normandie, Région Normandie, Spedidam, Sacem, Ville de Rouen, Odia Normandie, Onda. The Ensemble Variances is member of Fevis, Futurs Composés, Bureau Export and Profedim. It is member of Groupement d'Employeurs Solstice, supported by Région Normandie. Caisse des Dépôts, main sponsor of Ensemble Variances.