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Un jour il y aura autre chose que le jour
for piano

Work no. 266


    The title of this piece is the first two lines of a poem by Boris Vian. There is a beautiful English translation by Maria Freij (published at OAPEN and freely accessible to everyone):
    One day
    There will be something other than the day
    A more honest thing that you will call the Yodel
    Yet another, translucent like resin
    That you'll set in your eye most elegantly
    There will be the goldenear, more cruel
    The spirelf, more unravelled
    The last straw, less everlasting
    The hot impro, always snow-covered
    There will be the chalamonder
    The drunkaninny, the heroi-baroque
    And a whole plantation of anahologies
    The hours will be different
    Dissimilar, inconclusive
    No point settling now
    On the exact details of the how
    One certitude subsists: one day
    There will be something other than the day.

    The sentiment the poem expresses, and the use of invented words, made me think of my favorite Russian writers, the OBERIU collective. There are many parallels, I think, in the dissatisfaction with the world, the belief that a different existence is possible, the attempts to glimpse it through art, the self-referential humor, and the tragic fate that befell them (most members of OBERIU were killed during the brutalities of the Soviet regime in the 1930s and early 1940s; Vian died of a heart attack at age 39).

    This piece was originally supposed to be a pendant to – Je l'aimerais volontiers, déesse et immortelle. (Work No. 263, 2024), titled after a line from Baudelaire. The French poétes maudits were on my mind, but the music I wanted to write was an arpeggio etude, like Bach's famous C major piece, or one of my favorite Kapsberger toccatas, the Libro I Toccata arpeggiata. It didn't quite work out that way, but you can still see the vestiges of Bach's form in the music, and certainly much of the French decadent poetry spirit. I'm not good at composing humorous music, or including humorous elements in my pieces, so for self-referential humor, I went for an inside joke in the dedication.

    Un jour il y aura autre chose que le jour – PDF score  

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