Consisting of two movements, Initiation for flute and marimba (2003) was composed at the request of renowned flutist Marc Grauwels for the duo he forms with Canadian percussionist Marie-Josée Simard.
The variations of the first movement are based on a harmonic succession of seven chords. The tension gradually increases from one variation to the next, whether through the use of a long, obsessive ostinato on the marimba, or through the use of a tight canonical writing that calls upon the full virtuosity of the performers. Unlike the second movement, which uses only the flute in C, the first movement also calls for an alto flute (in G) and a piccolo flute in order to vary the colours of the timbres as much as possible. A seven-note ostinato on the marimba opens the second movement, an ostinato to which is superimposed a melody exposed on the flute. These two elements will be at the base of the whole development, which is also based on abrupt modulations. The measures used here are exclusively in three, five and seven beats. A common point in both movements is an extremely expressive melodic writing mixed with an implacable rhythmic construction.
Initiation is dedicated to Marc Grauwels and Marie-Josée Simard. They recorded it on a CD entitled “Music for Flute and Percussion volume 1” (Naxos label 8.557782).