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Dayer Xavier

(28. 03. 1972)

Dayer Xavier
Dayer Xavier
Bürglenstr. 25
CH-3006 Bern
Suisse

Tel: +41 (0)31 351 28 57
Internet: www.xavierdayer.ch/

Biography
Xavier Dayer was born in Geneva. He studied composition with Eric Gaudibert in his native city and later with Tristan Murail and Brian Ferneyhough at the IRCAM and the Fondation Royaumont in Paris.
He received a diploma in classic guitar from the Conservatoire de Fribourg, where he studied under the tutelage of Matthias Spaeter.
He is the winner of several composition awards, including the prize of the Bürgi-Willert Foundation awarded by Heinz Holliger and the FEMS prize of the Sandoz Foundation, awarded by Henri Dutilleux.
He has received numerous commissions by the Grand-Théâtre de Genève, the Opéra de Paris, the IRCAM, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, the SWR-Vokalensemble of Stuttgart, the Ensemble Contrechamps, the Ensemble Collegium Novum Zürich, the Neue Vocalisten Stuttgart, the Niew Ensemble Amsterdam, the Orchestre de chambre de Lausanne, the festival Archipel and so on.
A feature concert was dedicated to him by The Festival d'Automne in Paris in 2004 and 2007. His opera "Mémoires d'une jeune fille triste" saw its world premiere at the Grand Théâtre de Genève in May 2005. The Atelier Lyrique of the Opéra National de Paris commissioned a new chamber opera entitled "Les Aveugles", which had its premiere in June 2006. His work "Delights" for eight voices, ensemble and electronics, which was commissioned by the IRCAM, premiered in May 2007 in the Cité de la Musique in Paris played by the Ensemble Intercontemporain. Since 2004, Xavier Dayer is professor at Berne University of the Arts (HKB / HEAB), where he will head the course "MA Music Composition/Theory" from 2009 onwards. In August 2008, he was teaching together with Brian Ferneyhough within the framework of the 19th composition course "Voix Nouvelles" of the Fondation Royaumont.
He will be a guest at the Villa Medici in Rome in 2008/9.


Work list
Echos (1992/94)
for piano
In three movements.
Duration: 12' 00"-13' 00"
Editions Papillon
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La Ronde des Heures (1994)
Seven pieces
for chamber orchestra (2(1.pic).2(1.ca).2(1.bcl).2(1.cbn)/2.2.0.0/hpd/8.6.4.4.3)
This piece tries to describe an internal journey during the course of a day. It consists of seven short parts:
- Lent et très intérieur
- Vite et avec légèreté
- Souple et modéré
- Très lent, extatique
- Presto, quasi mécanique
- Très lent et mystérieux
- Vif et énergique

The shortness expresses the fleetingness of our moments of perception. The instrumental writing is close to chamber music in order to obtain an intimate atmosphere revealing too much about what is inside.
Duration: 13' 00"-14' 00"
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Trois Chants sur des poèmes de Paul Celan (1995)
for mezzo-soprano and piano
Texts: Paul Celan
Intense and lyrical notation.
Duration: 12' 00"-13' 00"
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Promenade avant l'éveil (1996)
for guitar
This piece, written on the occasion of Eric Gaudibert's 60th birthday, describes for me the journey through spaces not mastered by consciousness. The spirit, emblematised by the music lingers around and looses its real objective. The fragile and ascending themes refer in a tongue-in-cheek manner to certain endings of pieces by Eric Gaudibert who's teaching and friendship mean so much to my work.
Duration: 4' 30"
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Tenebrae (1996)
for sixteen female voices
Texts: Paul Celan
Based on a poem by Paul Celan. One movement, deprived and dark. An attempt to evoke an absence.
Duration: 7' 00"
Edition Ferrimontana
Am Schieferstein 7
D- 60435 Frankfurt/Main
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"In hellem stillem Zimmer..." (1996)
for mezzo-soprano, bass, flute with piccolo, violin, violoncello and accordion, based on poems by Robert Walser
Texts: Robert Walser
The instrumental and vocal parts are, for the most part, written independently of each other.
Aspires to echo the poems and life of Robert Walser.

Duration: 11' 00"
SME/EMS
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CHF: 42.00
Cantique dans la fournaise (1997)
for Soprano and electronic
Texts: Bibel
The singing can be meditative, joyful or even agitated, it changes from one to the other in the rhythm of thinking - as in an inner monologue. The electronic part consists of the sounds of spoken voice, cymbals, organ and computer generated parts.
Duration: 9' 00"
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"J'étais l'heure qui doit me rendre pur..." (1998)
for bassoon solo and wind ensemble (1(pic).1(ca).1(bcl).1/1.1.1.0)
Tender for a moment, for an hour.
This moment is gone by and there remains nothing but a trace in the snow: it's the bassoon solo which relates it to us tenderly, sad and sometimes almost imprisoned in its own agitations.
Duration: 8' 30"
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Hommage à François Villon (1998)
for mixed choir and ensemble (1(pic).1(ca).1(bcl).1/1.1.1.0/perc/cel.pf/1.1.1.1)
Texts: François Villon
There is the Villon of distress, the one of easiness and one which makes us, his human brothers, to a witness. To sing his poetry means at the same time to change it. What remains is an appropriation from far which would like to be a way through overlays, the austerity, the subtelness and the mockery.
Duration: 15' 00"
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Chants de la première veilleuse (1998)
for soprano and alto saxophone
Texts: Fernando Pessoa
.
Duration: 9' 00"
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Dans un lointain sommeil (1998)
for mezzo-soprano, alto saxophone and percussion
Texts: Fernando Pessoa
These three songs will be integrated into my chamber opera "Le Marin", based on texts from an early work by Fernando Pessoa. The work stages figments of a dream whose existence, past and life are put into question. These human beings are at the same time several and a single one. They are modelled after F. Pessoa's heteronyms. Here is the first night watchwoman in her attempt to turn herself against her childhood memories.
Duration: 8' 00"
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Sur le parvis de l'invisible (I) (1999)
for two pianos (six-handed)
Duration: 3' 10"
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To the sea - hommage à Cy Twomby (1999)
for alto flute
These are the indecipherable writings by the painter and sculptor Cy Twombly, whose words build a mysterious horizon. The surfaces are almost white, distant sentences are only scarcely visible.
My piece is nourished by this and attempts to travel through time without ever imposing upon it. At the very end though appears a "subtle clock".
Duration: 7' 00"
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Le Marin (1999)
Chamber opera in eight scenes
for three voices, clarinet, saxophone, violoncello and orchestra (1.1.1.1/1.1.1.0/2perc/pf(cel)/1,1,1,1,1)
Texts: Fernando Pessoa, Bernhard Sesé
a's work stages figments of a dream whose existence, past and life are put into question. These human beings are at the same time several and a single one. They are modelled after F. Pessoa's heteronyms. Their voices come together, distinguish and meet. The idea of incarnating and staging them allows these beings not only to become visible but also to bring them through music closer or further away to reality, to make them oscillate between over there and here.
The whole construction has its origins in the poet F. Pessoa. The instrumental trio acting like a magician represents him. Its sonorities allow the apparition of the materialisation of the dream (the stage). At the same time it can allow them to disappear. The trio has some constant resonances in the ensemble of the instrumentalists. Its presence as origin of the sound is thus also put into question regarding the lives of the figments of dreams.
The formal construction of the opera consists of a prelude and 8 pictures. The prelude starts in the trio and continues in the ensemble. The first three pictures follow the dramatic art at the beginning of Pessoa's text. They try to install a timeless universe, each time in a different way. The next three scenes are exclusively consecrated to the moments where the night watchwomen turn against their childhood memories. On a musical level, this is expressed by a succession of interrupted songs. The seventh scene contains the work's climax: the sailor's dream narrated by the second night watchwoman. On a musical level this scene is composed of an air sung by the second soprano. The last scene returns to the initial dramatic art. Every scene gets its inspirations by quotes from Pessoa taking reference to sound, be it as an opening to the dream or as a source of pain. The quotes come from the book "Livre de l'Intranquilité" by F. Pessoa.
The lyrics are sung in French based on a translation by B. Sesé (Editions José Corti). B. Sesé is referring to a French translation sketched by Pessoa himself.
Duration: 60' 00"
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Sonnet XXII - Sur un sonnet anglais de Fernando Pessoa (2000)
for counter-tenor, archlute and instrumental ensemble (fl-g(bfl).cl/hn.tbn/perc/pf(cel)/vc.db)
This piece opens a series of works inspired by the 35 English poems by Fernando Pessoa.
On the occasion of the composition of the Sonnet XXII, I surrounded myself with different references. Ockeghem's music kept me interested by its "complex" and irresistible acoustic framework deriving from a light breath. He avoids all imitation. The voices follow each other and yet every single one has something very different to tell…" (Paul Hillier).
It seemed to me as if a verse from Charles Baudelaire's poem Correspondances: "Like those deep echoes that meet from afar, In a dark and profound harmony" could approach the universe of the Flemish master and would be able to build a link between the musical and the historic time.
This idea of distant correspondences is also present in a painting from the series "To the Sea" by the artist Cy Twombly, where mysterious, faint writings build a maritime horizon. Thus one comes back to Pessoa and the Sonnet XXII, comparing the poet's soul to "some Egyptian art than Egypt older, Found in some tomb whose rite no guess can scan".
The archlute, an instrument predominantly used in the repertoire of the 16th and 17th century, offers a paradox novelty effect since the techniques of its use in contemporary play have hardly been explored. Its choice allowed me to opens some poetic resonances of the times so present in Pessoa's work. It is certainly due to the enthusiasm and the talent of the lute player Matthias Spaeter that this idea could be realised. I experience my work as two universes with multiple arborisations: the universe of the ensemble consisting of three instrumental groups in confrontation with the solitude of the past (archlute and counter tenor). Or to put it in different words, the "contemporary sound" facing the sediments of history which came down to us.
The mutual premiere together with a new work by Eric Gaudibert, also based on a text by Pessoa, made me keep in mind the marvellous quality of his sound, that of a conscience on the border of dream, all so present in his music which I admire so deeply.
Duration: 17' 00"
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Sonnet XXI - Sur un sonnet anglais de Fernando Pessoa (2000)
for vocal sextet (two sopranos, two altos, one counter-tenor and one bass-baritone)
This piece is the second in a series of works in progress inspired by Fernando Pessoa's 35 English sonnets. It follows the sonnet XXII for counter tenor, archlute and instrumental ensemble. In their own way, each of these pieces represents a journey setting off from the strong interdependence of the musicians and going towards a form of liberation of the individuals.
The voices try to separate from each other in the same way as in sonnet XXI. For some time they succeed but are then brought back together as in the initial situation - an obscure point. Once the singers are effectively allowed to split, they sing paradoxically with one voice.
This illustrates a verse by Pessoa: "The thing once touched, if touch be now omitted, Stands yet in memory real and outward known."
I also felt the need to make references to some verses from William Shakespeare's sonnet XLIII. I did this with the intention of incarnating the Portuguese poet's memory ("Shakespeare as Pessoa's memory"), a memory emerging from the low alto reaching onwards to the counter tenor. Thus expressing an allusion to the recurring Dark Lady and the young man in the Elizabethan's sonnets.
Duration: 16' 00"
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As who would like to swim without the river (Sonnet VI) (2000)
After the sonnet VI by Fernando Pessoa
for trumpet-C and two percussion instruments
This opus is the third in a series of works in progress inspired by the 35 English sonnets by Fernando Pessoa. The trumpet mixes – for short moments – with the timbre of the surrounding percussion. I experience these moments as fragile flashes, like furtive phantoms of a lost memory and that's how I sense the English of the Portuguese poet's childhood in South Africa. The frequent isolation of the trumpet is a reminder of somebody who would like to swim without a river. He crosses alone the bed of an imaginary stream of water.
Duration: 9' 00"
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Shall I revisit these same differing fields (Sonnet XX) (2001)
Trio after the sonnet XX by Fernando Pessoa
for violin, violoncello and piano
This piece belongs to a series of works in progress inspired by Fernando Pessoa's 35 English sonnets. I like to return to these texts – echoes of the Portuguese poets teens spent in South Africa - like returning to a diary.
"Reverrai-je ces mêmes champs, semblables, différents quand mon âme vagabonde à nouveau fera l'essai de la terre oubliée?" This is one of the questions from Pessoa's sonnets guiding me towards a music trying to get back on itself through small circular movements. It is as if the musical time would retire while spreading itself. This idea inspired me to work on a concentration of the thematic material in the sense of an enlacement of the instrumental lines and also as an attempt to lead the piece towards an expression of "veiled memory", a "volatile breath".
Duration: 9' 00"
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Because the string's lost and the plan forgot (Sonnet XVIII) (2001)
After the sonnet XVIII by Fernando Pessoa
for orchestra (3(1pic).3(1ca).3(1bcl).3(1cbn)/2.3.2.1/3perc/hp.pf/12.10.8.6.4) and instrumental choir (1.1.1.0/1.1.0.0/1.1.1.1.0)
To me, this piece is like a sprout rooting in the labyrinths of the thinking described by Fernando Pessoa in his Sonnet XVIII. It seems impossible to escape from the labyrinth. The building plans have been destroyed and the thread once leading the path back is lost: Theseus condemned to errantry. In the same way, the musical elements persist in pretending that there is a certain logic and yet they continually guide us beyond solution or sense, like the "exquisite corpses" of the surrealists.
The role of the instrumental choir (a miniature orchestra: flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, trumpet, 2 violins, viola, violoncello) located behind the percussion is essential. For me it is an element symbolising the other place, the mystery. They are neither voices nor soloists but shadows, the other half of the self, the other half of the poet. I like the idea of a voice that has lost the use of words, condemned to insignificant sounds. Furthermore, the two levels (orchestra and instrumental choir) illustrate for me the first verse of the Sonnet XVIII.
Duration: 13' 00"
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Purgatory quartet (2001)
Scenic music in five fragments
for string quartet and baritone
.
Duration: 25' 00"
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Sept fragments de Faust (2002)
Music
for 21 musicians (1(pic, afl-G).3(1.ca).1(bcl).1(cbn)/1.1.0.0/perc/4.0.4.3.1)
At the centre of this music are seven quotes from Fernando Pessoa's text "Faust". To me this piece is a journey ending with the monologue to the night, describing the poet's wish to be confounded with the darkness. The music sees itself as a distant comment of this journey, not telling the story of the text itself but remaining reticent, trying to express the time of the lecture with its multiple hesitations, its set backs, its incomprehension and even abandonment. Reading should start resembling listening and listening reading. Within this space of resemblance and within the interval of these two realities, I locate for myself a sort of imaginary world.
Duration: 30' 00"
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Sonnet XIV (Danse de lutins) (2002)
for alto and six musicians (1(pic, fl, alt rec-G).0.0.1/0.1.0/0.0.1.1.0)
This piece belongs to a series of works inspired by the 35 English sonnets by Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935). All these pieces share the idea of a musical tour setting off from a polyphonic situation heading towards some faint moments where the instruments converge. In my poetic understanding it is about tension towards an obscure point, towards something ineffable.
In this piece I also make some references to the poem "Danse de lutins" by Fernando Pessoa, mainly with the intention of extending the nocturnal tendency of the sonnet XIV as well as the continuous presence of the voice due to the size of the text. The vocal score is situated in the middle between "arioso" and "recitativo" but also between an instrumental part and traditional vocality. I dream of finding a music equivalent to the poetic identity described by the Portuguese poet:
"I'm the space between what I'd like to be and what others made of me,
Or half of the space, because there's life there too."
(I'm beginning to know myself, Pessoa-Campos).
Duration: 11' 00"
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Sonnet XI (2002)
for choir and orchestra (2(1pic).2(1ca),2(1bcl),2(1cbn)/2.2.3.0/perc/8.6.4.4.3
To the poems of Fernando Pessoa and Walt Whitman.
Duration: 14' 00"
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Promenade de Ricardo Reis (2002)
for guitar solo
"Murmurant, le fleuve passe, et le son ne passe pas, car il est nôtre, non au fleuve."
Ricardo Reis (odes retrouvées)
This verse by Ricardo Reis, one of the heteronyms of the poet Fernando Pessoa, accompanied me during the writing of this promenade. It evoked in me the image of a plucked string, inviting the listener and interpreter to continue the resonance within themselves.
The song, without lyrics, also appears in this music and resembles a gurgling river.
Duration: 10' 30"
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Bientôt, dispersés par le vent (2003)
for 36 voices a-cappella
In this piece I wanted to surround myself by various statements about the basic human condition of being confronted with darkness and light by making references to texts by Brant, Kleist, Shakespeare, Calderon and Pessoa. The idea of light and shadow but also of "seeing" and "hearing" is for me the common denominator of these five pieces written in five languages.
At the same time, there are some "foreign bodies" – often in the form of moral, ironic or absurd quotes taken from The Ship of Fools by Brant – putting the seriousness of the proposition into perspective.
The dispersion of the individual is illustrated by the polychorality and the 36 individual parts. The musical form is in one piece without return or repetition. It is like a promenade and even if we do go back the same way, our perception has changed.
I would like this work to resemble to some music located in a work by Fernando Pessoa entitled "O privilégio dos caminhos".
Duration: 15' 00"
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Sonnet XXIV (2003)
for soprano, panpipes and guitar
Texts: Fernando Pessoa
This piece belongs to a series of works in progress inspired by Fernando Pessoa's 35 English sonnets. It was my intention here to create a music that could express a part of what precedes existence and of that which comes before the appearance of the tensions of reality. I was interested in the mysterious questioning of the preceding moment, lesser violent by far then the fear of the moment to come. I tried everything, therefore, when launching the guitar, the panpipes and the voice except for dramatic effects in connection with the expectation of an end.
Duration: 10' 00"
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Sonnet X (2004)
for 2 a-cappella choirs
Texts: Fernando Pessoa
The timbre of the "Maîtrise du CPM" guided me towards sonorities evoking some ancestral rituals, as if something archaic could be transmitted by keeping the voices close to their origins. The poetry of K'iu Yuan, a Chinese poet of 400-300 B.C., also known as the Warring States Period, seemed to me the closest to the universe I wanted to enter. This poetry seems to refer to a religious ceremony where a divinity of undefined gender can scarcely be fathomed.
After reading the poem "L'esprit de la montagne" in a French translation by M. Yves Hervouet, revised by M. Max Kaltenmark, I discovered numerous similarities with movements in contemporary poetry. Are we not immediately reminded of Maurice Maeterlinck and his "Aveugles" when reading lines like "Le soleil est caché : il fait noir en plein jour" ? This game of correspondence between the very close and the very far has nourished my imagination.
It seemed to me that the piano and the percussion are the appropriate interlocutors for these strange rituals. The link between voices and musicians I understand as a series of mutual unveilings.
Duration: 11' 30"
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Sonnet VIII (2004)
for alto flute, violoncello, ensemble (1.1.1.1/1.1.1.0/2perc/pf/2.2.2.2.2) and an instrmental choir (bcl, hn-F, va)
Texts: Fernando Pessoa
The melodies are like songs without words, they are ascribed to the two solo instruments: the cello and the flute. Nevertheless, these melodies are full of expectation, like breaking through the first mask: the instrumental ensemble.
Fernando Pessoa wonders in his Sonnet VIII "If for self-sport the soul, itself unmasks,
Knows it the last mask off and the face plain?" [sic!] This verse by the Portuguese poet, disguised by the use of the English language, followed and possessed me for years.
This work would like to be the reflection of a presence, of a face afar, almost lost behind the masks. For me it is about an instrumental choir, the ruins of a choral writing, the memories of a flower who's fruit we own today.
Duration: 17' 00"
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Mémoires d'une jeune fille triste (2005)
Opera after the novel "menina e moça" by Bernardim Ribeiro
for soprano, vocal octet, choir and orchestra (3(1pic).3(1ca).3(1bcl).3(1cbn)/2.3.2.1.3/perc/hp.pf/12.10.8.6.4)
The starting point of this work was the discovery of a text - an astonishing carrier of modernity and depth. The prologue of "Menina e Moça" is a monologue of a young girl, which has been taken far away from her mother's house. In an undefined place (we only know it sits between the mountain and the sea) in the greatest solitude (according to other versions, the text is also known as the book of solitudes) she attends the death of a nightingale. A lady of bygone times arrives and tells her three tales of deceived love.
The work's duration is approximately 70' without break. I worked parallel on the
libretto and the music. The young girl, played by a soprano, is a very important role from a musical and a dramatic point of view. She is surrounded by an octet of vocalists offering her, as in a dream, fragments of the three tales of deceived love as if a sonnet by Shakespeare would have been added to Ribeiro's text. The choir (offstage) sings troubadour texts referring to the death of the nightingale. The orchestra takes the role of an enormous choir, hence the counterpoint score and the musical material, which is essentially planned as a prolongation of the voice.
My first intention is to present a lyrical work depicting the enlargement of the intimate, the expression of the interior universe of solitudes full of free associations belonging to the flow of our consciousness. The inside world is projected on the outside world by the intervention of sounds, stage and singing.
Duration: 70' 00"
Editions Papillon
Route d'Annecy 46
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Les Aveugles (2006)
Chamber opera after the piece "Les Aveugles" by Maurice Maeterlinck
for 12 singers and 5 musicians (1fl(pic, alt rec-G).cl(bcl)/perc/gtr/vc)
A nocturnal journey without motion.
Twelve silhouettes, six men and six women, are sitting on rocks. They start talking to each other. It becomes obvious that they are blind people waiting for a priest who was guiding them on their promenade from the other end of the island where their home for the blind is located. The priest, however, is absent. The very close noise of the sea leads one to suspect that there are dangerous cliffs. There is no question to feel one's way in this wild landscape. The blind people therefore keep waiting. They only move around to swap places and become aware of the situation: the priest is still amongst them but he is dead. How will they find their way home?
Duration: 60' 00"
Editions Papillon
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CH-1256 Troinex/Drize
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Mais je me suis enfuis (2006)
for flute (with piccolo and alto flute in G), oboe (with English horn), viola and violoncello
During the composition of this work I was attracted to the idea that the four instruments try constantly to come together in a single sonority and timbre. It is a situation, which reminds me of a kind of predestination. As if their behaviour has something compulsive. I decided to react against this. In the final score, therefore, they fight against this attraction, they play melodic lines trying to enlace themselves and attempt to free themselves from their true identity. I had in mind some works of the 15th century (Dufay, Ockeghem) where the voices are constantly in an imitational relationship without this relation being an exact or logic one. My intention was that the instruments are like human beings having lost their common language: they are certainly attracted to each other but most of all have the desire to go towards a vanishing point, a different state, a liberation from their condition.
Duration: 13' 00"
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"…d'un amour lancé" (I) (2007)
for violin and viola
This is a poetic journey over the metaphor of a bird's flight. The violin and the viola attempt to converge by way of broken phrases spread throughout numerous ascending, melodious curves.
"When I ascended higher
my vision was dazzled,
and the most difficult conquest
came about in darkness"
St. John of the Cross


Duration: 10' 30"
Editions Papillon
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"…d'un amour lancé" (II) (2007)
for violin and organ
I was inspired by a poem entitled "I went out seeking love" by St. John of the Cross. It is a poetic journey over the metaphor of a bird's flight. The violin is located at the opposite end of the church in the same fashion as was done with the Venetian double choirs at the end of the 16th century. The organ and the violin attempt to converge by way of broken phrases spread throughout numerous ascending, melodious curves.
Duration: 10' 30"
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Delights (2007)
for eight voices, ensemble (1.1.1.1/1.1.1.0/2perc/pf/1.1.1.1.1) and electronics
Texts: Marianna Alcoforado, Fernando Pessoa
The work with electronic sound marked for me the turning point in my way of composing. Usually I follow the poetic tracks long before the appearance of any strictly musical track. But this time I did the opposite: in order to explore first the electronic sounds, I stayed away from all textual tracks and all poetic structures. Together with Gilbert Nouno, we focused our research in the studio on the elaboration of a large quantity of instrumental resonance models serving as white noise filters controlled in real time by the eight vocalists. Then came the quest for the lyrics deriving from two sources: on the one hand side (in French) letters by a religious Portuguese woman (Mraianna Alcoforado, 1661) and on the other hand side (in English) the poems "Epithalamium" (Fernando Pessoa, 1913). Both texts deal with the remembrance of the loss of a young girl's virginity and this memory is excessively idealised by both Alcoforado and Pessoa. In the Portuguese letters the reader discovers a religious woman whose whole existence is now determined by nostalgia and diremption in regard of this delicious moment. Pessoa's poem though, is focused on the idealisation preceding this loss: the biggest joy is yet to come, eagerly awaited. In my opinion the tonal colour resulting from the electronic parts corresponds to a sort of unreal orchestration attempting to illustrate the artificiality of a mental universe, which is the victim of the confusion of the senses linked to idealisation.
As far as the instrumental and vocal writing is concerned, it was my intention to partly underline with great clarity certain elements of the text or the orchestra, but in general it was an attempt to cast some doubt on the source of sound. To me it is like the spinning of the senses and the perception - as if one could somehow no longer distinguish between what one feels and the imagination of feeling.
Duration: 15' 00"
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L'esprit de la montagne (2008)
for children's choir, 2 pianos (4-handed) and 2 percussion instruments
Texts: K'iu Yuan
The timbre of the "Maîtrise du CPM" guided me towards sonorities evoking some ancestral rituals, as if something archaic could be transmitted by keeping the voices close to their origins. The poetry of K'iu Yuan, a Chinese poet of 400-300 B.C., also known as the Warring States Period, seemed to me the closest to the universe I wanted to enter. This poetry seems to refer to a religious ceremony where a divinity of undefined gender can scarcely be fathomed.
After reading the poem "L'esprit de la montagne" in a French translation by M. Yves Hervouet, revised by M. Max Kaltenmark, I discovered numerous similarities with movements in contemporary poetry. Are we not immediately reminded of Maurice Maeterlinck and his "Aveugles" when reading lines like "Le soleil est caché : il fait noir en plein jour" ? This game of correspondence between the very close and the very far has nourished my imagination.
It seemed to me that the piano and the percussion are the appropriate interlocutors for these strange rituals. The link between voices and musicians I understand as a series of mutual unveilings.
Duration: 12' 00"
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Ceneri (2008)
for guitar quartet
This work is the first part of a triptych consisting of the following three pieces:
- "ceneri" for guitar quartet
- "de le ceneri" for guitar solo
- "cena de le ceneri" for guitar and string orchestra
They are all inspired by the scattered ashes of and texts by Giordano Bruno, an Italian philosopher, which was burnt by the inquisition in 1600 on the Campo dei Fiori in Rome.

Non sta, si svolge e gira
Quanto nel ciel e sott'il ciel si mira.
Ogni cosa discorre, or alto or basso,
Benché sie 'n lungo o 'n breve,
O sia grave o sia leve;
Ch'una medesma parte
Or di su in giù or di giù in su si parte
Ed il medesmo garbuglio
Medesme tutte sorti a tutti imparte.
(Giordano Bruno, De l'infinito, universo e mondi, 1583)

The picture of the ashes scattered to the four winds followed me throughout the composition of this work. On a musical level the four guitars draw some circular lines where the slightest change in direction of one can evoke some unpredictable consequences for the others. The one directing them all is like a breeze.
Duration: 12' 00"
Editions BIM
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De le ceneri (2008)
for guitars
This work is the second part of a triptych consisting of the following three pieces:
- "ceneri" for guitar quartet
- "de le ceneri" for guitar solo
- "cena de le ceneri" for guitar and string orchestra
They are all inspired by the scattered ashes of and texts by Giordano Bruno, an Italian philosopher which was burnt by the inquisition in 1600 on the Campo dei Fiori in Rome.

Non sta, si svolge e gira
Quanto nel ciel e sott'il ciel si mira.
Ogni cosa discorre, or alto or basso,
Benché sie 'n lungo o 'n breve,
O sia grave o sia leve;
Ch'una medesma parte
Or di su in giù or di giù in su si parte
Ed il medesmo garbuglio
Medesme tutte sorti a tutti imparte.
(Giordano Bruno, De l'infinito, universo e mondi, 1583)
Xavier Dayer: Delights
Duration: 7' 00"
Editions BIM
case postale
CH-1674 Vuarmarens
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Ars memoriae (2009)
for chamber orchestra (0.2.0.0/2.0.0.0/str)
Duration: 15' 00"
Manuscript
14 inscriptions (2009)
for flute, clarinet, piano, violin and violoncello
Duration: 23' 00"
Editions Papillon
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Solus Cum Solo (2009)
for violoncello solo
Manuscript
Un combattimento lontano (2009)
for clarinet, violin and violoncello
Duration: 11' 00"
Manuscript
Haiku - Sonnet (2010)
for soprano and percussion
Texts: Fernando Pessoa
Duration: 5' 00"
Manuscript
Le désert, c'est ce qui ne finit pas de finir / L'océan, c'est ce qui finit de ne pas finir (2010)
for ensemble (1.1.1.1/1.1.0.0/perc/pf/str)
Duration: 13' 00"
Manuscript
De Umbris (2010)
for flute and string quartet
Duration: 12' 00"
Manuscript
Sous la voûte étoilée (2010)
for 2 pianos and 2 percussion instruments
Duration: 14' 00"
Manuscript
Mémoire (2011)
Circles
for oboe, violine, viola and violoncello
Duration: 11' 00"
Editions BIM
case postale
CH-1674 Vuarmarens
Suisse
Tel. +41 (0)21 909 1000
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(2014)

Duration: 5' 30"
Manuscript
Diskographie
Ensemble vocal Séquence (Musiques Suisses Nr. MGB CTS-M 126, 2010)
Interpreten:
Ensemble vocal Séquence
Werke:
Dayer, Xavier: Sonnet XXI - Sur un sonnet anglais de Fernando Pessoa (2000)
Bolens, Nicolas: Ou le mystère précipité hurlé (2007)
Menozzi, Sergio: Moments musicaux d'après Scriabine (2008)
Mit weiteren Werken von: Jean-Sélim Abdelmoula
Info: www.fonoteca.ch
Ensemble Contrachamps (Grammont Porträt Nr. 82, 2003)
Interpreten:
Holliger, Heinz
Cuendet, Olivier
Ensemble Contrechamps
Werke:
Lehmann, Hans Ulrich: Book of Songs (1998-1999)
Dayer, Xavier: "J'étais l'heure qui doit me rendre pur..." (1998)
Wen, De-Qing: Piping and Drumming (2000)
Mit weiteren Werken von: Brian Ferneyhough, Elliott Carter
Info: www.fonoteca.ch
Bibliography
Dayer, Xavier: Eric Gaudibert (1936-2012), in: Dissonanz 119 (2012), S. 80-81 [Internet]
Festival de Saint-Denis – Le volet lyrique du Festival: les Aveugles, de Xavier Dayer, in: L'Humanité (27 mai 2006) (2006)
Dossier de presse: "Les Aveugles de Xavier Dayer", Atelier lyrique de l'Opéra National de Paris, Paris 2006
Merlin, Christian: Statisme ou monotonie?, in: Le figaro (23 juin 2006) (2006)
Dunnett, Roderic: Opera: Mémoires d'une jeune fille triste. Grand Théâtre Geneva, in: The Independent (19 mai 2005) (2005)
Albèra, Philippe: A la recherche de la liberté: entretien avec Xavier Dayer, in: Dissonance 61 (1999), S. 32-37