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September 196833'Mixed music


A few words about the work (in 1968):

• The musical function is to man what their cries are to animals, not so much language as exorcism, and appeal.
• Between a monkey’s cry and an orchestra’s cry there is no boundary other than prejudice.
• The power of Orpheus does not mean that beasts like religious music, but that music is man’s natural voice, older than any language, and which connects him to the world. Reason, plus spells.
• Rituel d’oubli is an anabasis. Its amnesia is regained.

[Read further]
• Discourse, reason, lives through memory, and it is through memory that the Ego is constructed, but the desire to live feeds on oblivion.
• Elements : Water (sea, swimming pool…)
Fire (blaze of dry grass…)
Wind (rhombus, Brittany…)
War (street fights, hunting in Sologne…)
• Living creatures : Insects (bees, cicadas, locusts…)
Various amphibians
Birds (hornbill, red-legged partridge, chicks, etc.)
Mammals (lion, pony…)
People: Pikygi, Guayaki Indian reciting a myth
Kiepja, last survivor of the Selk’nam people, whose language died with her (Tierra del Fuego).
• Rituel d’oubli is the first of my works to attempt to integrate raw recorded sounds with orchestral writing.


2 fl., 2 A♭ clar., 2 clar., 1 b-clar., 2 bsn., 1 c-bsn., 3 tpt., 3 tbn., 1 b. tbn., 3 perc., fixed sounds

First performance

06/11/70 Strasbourg, Palais des Fêtes, (Ars Nova dir. M.Constant)



Commissioned by

commande de l'État

Dedicated to

Marius Constant


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