Tiroirs

David Sawer (1961)

Tiroirs 1996

1(/picc/alto)·1·2(1/Eb/contl 2/contl)·1 - 2·1·1·0 - perc(2) - hp - pf(/cel) - strings(1 1 2 2 1)
Duration 
12
Publisher 

“...a random phrase from which I drew images by distorting it, a little as though it were the case of deriving them from the drawings of a rebus;” (from How I wrote Certain of my Books by Raymond Roussel)

This piece was prompted by the literary techniques of the French surrealist writer, Raymond Roussel, who invented word games and language 'machines' – rhyming puns, double-entendres and metagrams (whereby the meaning of a word is changed by altering one letter) – to create theatrical scenarios, images and characters, both magical and monstrous.

It is written in one continuous movement made up of interlocking episodes (tiroirs) which, with twists and turns, open up in the manner of a Russian doll.

David Sawer 1996

Performances 
15.2.97 Queen Elizabeth Hall, London: London Sinfonietta / Paul Daniel
4.10.97 Musica Festival, Strasbourg: London Sinfonietta/George Benjamin
1-9.12.98 UK tour (Bristol, Oxford, Nottingham, Stockton, Basingstoke, Cambridge): London Sinfonietta/Diego Masson
1.4.99 BBC Maida Vale, London: London Sinfonietta/Martyn Brabbins
18.9.99 New York: New Julliard Ensemble/Joel Sachs
5.6.00 Agora Festival, Paris: London Sinfonietta/Esa-Pekka Salonen
14.10.00 Queen Elizabeth Hall, London: London Sinfonietta/Oliver Knussen
19.12.00 Paradiso, Amsterdam: Schoenberg Ensemble/Micha Hamel
20.12.00 The Hague, Netherlands: Schoenberg Ensemble/Micha Hamel
17.11.01 Paul Sacher Hall, Basle, Switzerland: London Sinfonietta/George Benjamin
29.11.01 Imperial College, London: Sinfonia 21/Martyn Brabbins
16.1.03 Antwerp, Belgium: musikFabrik/Kasper de Roo
1.5.03 Turner Sims Concert Hall, Southampton: Sinfonia 21
6.5.03 CBSO Centre, Birmingham: Birmingham Contemporary Music Group
7.5.03 RNCM, Manchester: Birmingham Contemporary Music Group
8.5.03 Dublin, Ireland: Birmingham Contemporary Music Group
9.5.03 York: Birmingham Contemporary Music Group
10.5.03 Shropshire: Birmingham Contemporary Music Group
11.5.03 Oxford: Birmingham Contemporary Music Group
21.5.03 Southampton: Sinfonia 21
14.11.03 Odense, Denmark: Musikhost Sinfonietta/Stefan Asbury
28.2.05 Lisbon, Portugal: Birmingham Contemporary Music Group/Susanna Malkki
4.3.05 CBSO Centre, Birmingham: Birmingham Contemporary Music Group/Susanna Malkki
5.5.16 Oberlin, USA: Oberlin Sinfonietta/Timothy Weiss
1
Flute
doubling piccolo and alto flute
1
Oboe
2
Clarinet
1st doubling Eb clarinet and bass clarinet, 2nd doubling bass clarinet
1
Bassoon
2
Horn
1
Trumpet
1
Trombone
2
Percussion
1
Violin
1
Violin II
2
Viola
2
Cello
1
Double bass
1
Harp
1
Piano
doubling celesta
(Esc)