Visita Interiora Terrae, Rectificandoque, Invenies Occultum Lapidem is the hermetic and alchemical motto that inspired the composition of the four pieces of Interiora Terræ (2014). All of them are based on a characteristic minimalist material that immediately establishes the particular atmosphere that permeates each of them.
The first one is meditative, with the violin enunciating a motif in regular values in the low register, soon joined by the piano, which seems to play in a different metric. Bathed in a rather dark atmosphere at the beginning, the piece opens gradually, passing through various colours (widening of the instrumental tessitura, harmonic colours, canon writing, brutal modulations etc.) all of which brings an intense and passionate climax that stops abruptly on a bass note held by the piano. The initial motif then returns, but as if “dissolved”, the notes become rarefied to end on a question mark.
The second one has a falsely playful rhythmic character. It is based exclusively on bars 3/8, 5/8 and 7/8. The tension almost never eases, until the final chord that emerges at the conclusion of an obsessive and frenetic race to the abyss.
The third one is extremely expressive and melodic and is built on a principle of variations on a sequence of chords. The beginning and the end are bathed in a rather introspective atmosphere that contrasts with the central part, which has a passionate and even violent character.
The fourth one is the most openly minimalist and repetitive of the cycle. A few melodic-rhythmic cells are gradually built up, the virtuoso surge of notes bringing a kind of luminous apotheosis.
Interiora Terræ is dedicated to the Duo Gemini – Jean-Frédéric Molard (violin) and Jean-Noël Remiche (piano) -, who commissioned the work and gave its world premiere on 23 November 2014 at the Musée Charlier (Brussels) as part of the Ars Musica Festival 2014. A CD recording is available by the same performers (Illuminations, Musicube 5191 label).