The inspiration for this piece came from a sonnet by Lorenzo di Piero de’ Medici. I discovered this patron of the arts and poet in his spare time by researching the life of Igor Markevitch, who is buried in Saint-Cézaire, where the piece was created. He himself worked as a composer on the poet’s Canzoniere. This one-piece work is an active, physically engaged meditation suggested by the poem. The poem is full of paradoxes, and refers us back to our own; the astonishing prose of a very powerful nobleman, sheltered from need, who reveals his fragility, exposes himself. I conceived the work so that it could be performed by a string quartet or a four-part string ensemble. Through the delicate interplay of scales and modes, I wanted to convey this unfathomable paradox in an open “cantata aria” format. And it seemed obvious to me to give the floor to a woman to sing this man’s words and complete the timbres and vocals. Finally, I was sensitive to the idea of a “stormy sea” on which one’s ship is steered. This music, in its own way, is also, personally, an unvarnished exposure.