Listen: Recorded by Xocas on the CD Doubles


‘ceux qui sont venus du ciel’ is a short, ironic piece written for Joaquim Meijide Failide (Xocas). During the solo we hear the line “We thought to find civilization” which is sung/spoken by an imaginary species from outer space that visits the earth and sees the daily occupations of mankind. The idea was conceived when Van Deurzen read Houellebecq’s novel ‘La possibilité d’une île’.  In the novel we meet a sect who believe that man was created by aliens (‘ceux qui sont venus du ciel’) and that at an unspecified moment in the future the aliens will come back to reunite with mankind in paradise. This would appear to be an outrageous idea, but such a sect really exists, calling themselves the Raëlians! The clarinet solo could be seen as a song from the aliens, with micro-tones to underline the unearthly origin of the song. In the beginning the micro-tones are used in a light and playful manner but gradually becoming more and more dramatic with lamenting Jewish-like gestures. At the end we hear one of the most famous A-clarinet solos from the orchestral literature: the opening of Richard Strauss’ “Salome”: a symbol of corruption and violence.

Joshua Johnsonn 2007