On the 12th May 2019, Exils received the second prize from the jury and the audience prize at the International Composition Contest of Haute-Savoie 2018.

Exils tells the story about a return to the native land. I have intentionally put in my text an ambiguity about the real narrator’s motivations : the main character could be talking to a personification of her/his country or to someone she/he loves in this country. When the main character comes back, she/he is full of love for her/his family and friends circle, of admiration for the nature and of childhood’s memories. However she/he suddenly understands that things have changed: she/he feels the hate and fear around her/him. She/he does not want to share this blind rage and blame herself/himself for abandoning her/his friends and land. Finally she/he realizes what her/his love for the country is really made of and what it truly means. Thus she/he wants to take her/his life back to what it was.

The tonalities structure the work and are built in a mirror form. First, D major offers a serene atmosphere which reflects the sweetness of the memories while the main character comes back home. Then, F major expresses the return’s intense joy. But this episode is suddenly interrupted by the main problem of the whole piece, in D minor and then in F minor: “But where are you? Did I lose you?” The narrator does not seem to recognize her/his own country or perhaps the sadness of losing the one she/he loves is overwhelming her/him. So appears the central part in C minor: the narrator faces a new exile (this time an inner exile) and must struggle to carry on. She/he gradually gets her/his energy back with the appearance of Ab major (directly responding to F minor) and later of D major, as if everything was over for good. But her/his struggle is not over yet: in a harmonically denser part recalling the former tonalities, the main character is looking for a solution to the hate surrounding or eventually accepts her/his past and wants to find the lost love back. When F major comes finally back (as an answer to D minor), the narrator makes up her/his mind and delivers this conclusion: “The country I belong to is the country where you love me”.

2nd prize from the jury and the audience prize at the International Composition Contest of Haute-Savoie, organized by L’Union Fédérale des Musiques de Haute-Savoie.
Link to their website

Exils (lyrics)

Comment oublier
Les chemins escarpés,
Les pâturages verts,
La caresse de l’air
En apaisants baisers
Sur ma peau fatiguée ?

Je m’en rappelle encore
Les montagnes si fières,
Les blés dansant dans le vent,
Des cloches le tintement,
La joie de ma famille,
La paix de mon pays.

Je reviens à toi,
Elle est finie
Ma fuite sans répit,
Je reviens chez moi,
Vers mon amour
Viens, je suis de retour !

Mais où es-tu ?
T’ai-je perdue
Oh ma terre de progrès ?
Qu’ont-ils fait de ton engrais ?
Partout je vois leur haine,
Surtout je sens la tienne,
Pourras-tu me pardonner jamais ?

J’ai vu la haine,
J’ai vu les peines,
Si j’ai continué,
Si j’ai voulu lutter,
C’est pour que tu reviennes.

C’est eux que je vois toujours
Ils s’accaparent tes soins
Ils repoussent ceux qui ont faim
Ils t’appellent patrie
En ce nom ils sacrifient des vies
Pour nous est-il vraiment trop tard ?

Partout me suit mon passé
Comment ai-je pu partir?
Comment ai-je pu te laisser ?
Comment ai-je pu te laisser partir ?

Le pays auquel j’appartiens,
Le pays qui est le mien,
C’est le pays où tu m’aimes.
Je t’attendrai ici
Je te chercherai partout ailleurs.

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