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February 19699 à 15'Orchestral


Rules of the game:

Here’s how it’s planned to play on April 3 in Royan: the audience and the orchestra are mixed in groups as far as practical needs and the topography will allow. The conductor plays his traditional role; he also has the role of a chairman, giving the floor to this or that group of the audience; finally, he decides on the use in the orchestra of one or other of the four sound tactics provided for according to the attitude of the audience. The instruments assigned to each listener are bird calls, normally used to imitate the cries of different animals. Here they are diverted from this use, and it is not necessary to specify what the partridge, the grouse, the hare or the sparrow play in nature.

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Here are the main methods of use:
Red partridge (fig. l): tap the upper part of the bird’s body with short, sharp strokes of the fingertips. .
Sparrow (fig. 2): tap the middle of the skin bag held flat with the middle finger.
Redwing thrush (fig. 3): turn the key in the thread alternately to the left and to the right at varying speeds.
For the other calls (figs. 4, 5, 6), you can either simply blow or articulate by blowing the consonants T, K or R and their various combinations.
Répliques begins with a trial sequence for the calls, entirely improvised by the audience, thus demonstrating the imprecision of the work’s temporal and spatial limits. This is followed by nine linked sequences in which the audience intervenes at specific points. The writing of these sequences, deliberately simple and broad, bears witness to a profound taste for raw sounds, in other words for music in its native state.

Royan programme, 3 April 1969


3 fl., 3 ob., 3 clar., 3 bsn., 3 perc., 10 v1, 8 v2, 6 vla., 4 vc., 2 db. and 1 bird call for each listener

First performance

4.3.1969 Royan Festival, Orchestre philharmonique dir. Charles Brück and 600 listeners


Commissioned by

commande de l'État

Dedicated to


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