Procession (2002)
Composer: Jean-François Laporte
for 4 roman organ pipes

Tribute to an instrument, tribute to an acoustic space, Procession wishes to reveal the sonic richness of the Royaumont abbey's Roman organ in conjunction with one of its rooms - the old refectory.

As an artist, I was moved by the location's vibrations, trying to create a ceremony worthy of its spiritual depth. The organ rediscovers its primary form; it is not a fixed keyboard instrument any more, but rather an assembly of mobile, independant pipes : four musicians, each one operating a single pipe animated by their own breath, fill the space with harmonies that elude the keyboard's traditional play. The 'organists', traditionally hidden behind their instrument, can now show their human face while leading a procession towards the spectators. Progressively, the sounds will scatter all around, investing the location in all its dimensions like a strong creative breath.

The novelty of the playing techniques applied to the Roman organ - in contrast with the instrument's ancient origins - enable them to breathe a new life into it. Indeed, Procession allows the organ to free itself from the habitual constraints of its immobility, while revealing the hidden harmonic richness of its pipes. From the depths of the XIIth century, a location, an instrument arise again, and let us discover a newly found modernness.

Procession was commissioned by the Royaumont abbey, and was supported by the Canadian Arts Council. It was created in the Royaumont abbey on September 28, 2002.