Composed in


8 players

flute (& alto flute), clarinet (& bass Clarinet), bass trombone, percussion, piano, violin, viola & violoncello

ca. 13′

First performance
October 24, 2008. ’t Stuk, Leuven (B). Opening Concert of “Transit Festival”. Spectra Ensemble, cond. : Filip RATHE

Commissioned by
“Transit” New Music Festival

Dedicated to
Mark Delaere & Filip Rathé

Recording available
from the composer



Luc on Cardhu

“Cardhu” is the penultimate work in my series of pieces bearing a ‘single malt whisky’ title. The work was commissioned by the Transit Festival for New Music in Leuven (B) and by the Spectra Ensemble who first performed the work on October 24, 2008 at the opening concert of the 2008 edition of the festival, conducted by Filip Rathé.

The piece is scored for 8 players and is -in the first place- a further exploration of the spectral/harmonic preoccupations which I -in a way- discovered in my opera “L’uomo dal fiore in bocca” about two years ago. The music is still basically spectral, of course, but I extend the harmonies by frequent use of extra quarter-tones which aren’t necessarily part of the basic overtone series. I found out that the music remained surprisingly consonant, in spite of these adjunctions, and I wanted to go further into this exploration, also by the use of lots of (mostly quite slow) glissandi. On the other hand I’ve recently been quite preoccupied by the concept of motion in spectral music and I also try to extend that idea in this work. The tempi are fluctuating, it’s the first time in ages that I’ve written accelerandi and ritardandi, and I suppose it certainly will have quite an influence on the feeling of the music. Finally, some melodic aspects also come forward, albeit in a less prominent way. The fast passages are at first very brief, almost like signals for the slower music following each time, but in the course of the piece these passages gain importance and gradually become longer to culminate at the Golden Section of the work. Towards the end the difference between these ‘fast’ and ‘slow(er)’ music is almost abolished and the piece ends -so to speak- in “total harmony” with itself.

The score is dedicated to Mark Delaere, director of the festival and to Filip Rathé, the conductor of the Spectra Ensemble and also a great composer and friend.

Luc Brewaeys