Figures d’un silenci (Shapes of a silence)

Mezzo-soprano, piano, clarinet, cello
Duration: 10’33’’
Lyrics: Jordi Sala

Comment by the composer

«This composition puts music to memories, sensations, and feelings written with Dr Pere Folch Mateu in mind; he was a founding member of the Spanish Society of Psychoanalysis. The work was performed for the first time in the posthumous homage to Dr Folch held in the Casal del Metge on 15 February, 2015. A musical expression of the thoughts and feelings expressed by the poet Jordi Sala through haikus included in his poetry collection, L’instant obert.»

Text (catalan version)

A tanta absència
dóna forma el silenci
que a tu ens apropa!

L’àmfora buida
contingué tants desitjos:
els fèiem nostres.

Fremir de fulles
en l’aire nou: ens torna
velles converses.

No és tot nostàlgia
i abaltiment: recorda
quin goig ens dàvem.

El goig és ara
d’encarnar les paraules
que entrellaçàvem.

A festa grossa
venim: per la florida,
per la granada.

Com al punt àlgid
el cirerer quan vessa
de fruita i saba.

I com l’espígol,
que acull brunzir d’abelles,
perfum de l’aire.

Esclata l’ona.
De la roca s’aparta
el cant de l’aigua.

S’obre un nou dia
i ens encén les pupil·les.
Tu, un món animes.

Sota un sol àrid
l’esforç amb què aixecàvem
noves mirades.

Tan improbable
la veu i la presència
que se’ns imposa.

I el gebre, a l’alba,
tan palpable presència
feta a les fosques.

No demanar-te
res més. Si preguntàvem
tu callaries.

El mar no cessa
de sobreeixir. No moren
els rius. No es perden.

English version (Sam Abrams)

So much absence
shapes the silence
that draws us closer to you!

The unloaded amphora
held so many desires:
we made them ours.

Quivering leaves
in the new air:
old conversations are brought back.

Not all is longing
and weariness: remember
the shared joy of being alive.

Now the joy is
to embody the words
that we exchanged and joined.

We come to a great feast:
for the blooming fields,
for the harvest.

Like the highpoint
of the cherry tree when it overflows
with fruit and sap.

Like lavender
that welcomes buzzing bees
and scents the air.

The wave breaks.
Water’s song
moves away from the rock.

A new day awakes
lighting our pupils.
You liven up a world.

Under the arid sun
the trying effort we made to nurture
new visions.

Our voices so doubtful
and a presence
that bears down on us.

And the frost, at dawn,
a tangible presence
crafted in darkness.

We ask no more of you.
If we raised questions
you would be silent.

The sea never ceases
to overflow. Rivers never die.
They are never lost.