Commissioned by Héloïse Werner
The world premiere was performed at Wigmore Hall on June 4th 2022 by Héloïse Werner and Laura Snowden.
From a short French poem by Antoine Thiollier, Stephenson uses an Oulipian process to amalgamate the words with similar sounding English words to gradually abstract the meaning behind them; the words seemingly melt into musical sounds. The hypnotic nature of the guitar writing allows this to happen almost imperceptibly with long phrases of sustained emotional atmosphere rising and falling quite naturally before the music appears to gently evaporate at the close. The way in which the two languages merge is a touching reflection of the fact that Stephenson and (Héloïse) Werner, friends since childhood in Paris, both moved to the UK to study and there continued their long friendship.