In total darkness, or in a very large room, very quietly Since 2000, I have been spending much time writing Sufi Letters, despite the fact that I am not a Sufi, or even Muslim, and I do not speak ArabicŠ They are based on a Sufi chart connecting a vast system of symbolic interrelations to the 28 letters in the Arabic alphabet - a sort of methodical summary of metaphorical and mystical thinking, as it has been drawn once by Sheikh Abul-Muwwayid of Gujarat [India] for incantations. So Sufi Letters is a common work process, not a cycle in the classical sense of the word. The pieces are written for different instrumentations, according to the needs of the selected letter and the vagaries of life, and the global project is not a priori unified. Each letter is both unique - and so could be performed on its own - and deeply connected to all the other letters - and as such designed to be combined and form words. Meanwhile, I am moving and changing, possibly maturing, certainly ageing, and so this project also comes as a tale of initiation, to music and things. It took me ten years to write the first 13 letters and it is safe to say that I will probably need that much time to write the other 15, Inch AllahŠ.
Compositions Jean-Luc Fafchamps initially devoted himself to writing for small groups in which the piano plays a central role (Dynamiques, for two pianos; Melencholia si..., for two pianos and two percussionists; Neurosuite, for a keyboard trio), before his interest in non-tempered harmonies and polyphonies of timbres led him towards other sound combinations (A garden, for wind quintet; Bryce, for clarinet quintet, etc.). He is currently moving towards working for larger formations in which his taste for paradoxical constructions and his sense of synthesis are blossoming into mutually referential pieces. He is working on the development of a vast network of cycles - the Lettres Soufies - a manifesto for writing, stylistic openness as rhetoric and the use of analogue correspondences as the basis for a system: T for ensemble and electronics, K for orchestra, A for ensemble and orchestra, Z3 for trombone and electronics, and so on.
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