Les petites creatures (The little beings)

2011 listen

When I started this piece, I came across a very profound citation from Saint Thérèse de Lisieux's writings: "They say that all souls are tempted by the devil at the hour of death, so I will have to go through that. Yet no, I'm too small. With the very small, he can't."* I was astonished by how clearly Saint Thérèse expresses the invincible character of smallness. Smallness is incorruptible, not as an attribute but within its own nature (smallness is nothing, so there is nothing to gain from it). That's why it's often laughable.

I remembered many times this citation during the composition of this work. As a kind of investigation: let's put together some "little musical beings" and make sure their grandeur is their simplicity. I was lucky the commission from Continuum featured a barrel organ - smallness is unavoidable with such an instrument...

* The original French text from Saint Thérèse's Carnet Jaune 818 (8 août, §5): "Puisqu'on dit que toutes les âmes sont tentées par le démon au moment de la mort, il faudra que j'y passe. Mais pourtant non, je suis trop petite. Avec les tout petits, il ne peut pas..."

Given its World Premiere by Continuum on February 12, 2012

Petar Klanac CA

Petar Klanac began his musical studies with the violin. Later, he studied guitar, wrote his first compositions, and went on to study with Gilles Tremblay and Gérard Grisey in Paris. During these years, he regularly participated in workshops and seminars such as the Centre Acanthes in Villeneuve les Avignons and the Composition Sessions at the Fondation Royaumont. He also sang in the Saint Joseph’s Oratory choir in Montreal for nine years.


Petar Klanac