Villa Mors Chaconne (2015)

Villa Mors (also known as La Tour Carree – The Square Tower) is an abandoned castle-like villa in Tourgeville, on the cold coast of France's Normandy region. Abandoned or simply empty vacation homes are a major feature of the region. Some used to belong to movie stars of the past. This one was built in 1905 and belonged to the Mors family, then-famous early pioneers of the in the automotive industry. The Mors automobile factory was eventually bought by Citroën, and few people remember Mors cars today. For photographs and some information on the history of the building, please see my Flickr album and the description of its first photograph. If anybody has any information to add – about the current owners of the villa, or about its history, or really anything at all related to it – please let me know at jashiin@jashiin.com

A very particular Google Street View shot, one of the earliest made in Normandy, was the inspiration behind the title and some of the music. Each section of this chaconne has a different length. The piece is related in some ways to the Prince Street Chaconne, which was also inspired by photographs of an abandoned place where people once lived. At the time of composing the piece, I couldn't dream of ever visiting Tourgeville, but about a year later a very fortunate opportunity arose to do just that.

PDF score | MP3 audio