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Vivre Sa Vie : Composer's Cut (quartets: flute, clarinet, percussion, piano)

by Felicity Wilcox (2017)

Score Sample

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Audio Sample

Performance by Ensemble Offspring from the CD Uncovered Ground

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Uncovered Ground


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Uncovered Ground : Collected Chamber Works / Felicity Wilcox.

Library shelf no. CD 3201 [Not for loan]

Vivre Sa Vie


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Work Overview

This piece is to be played in sync with a bespoke 'composer's cut' of the French New Wave classic "Vivre Sa Vie" (Jean-Luc Godard,1962), which I made for this project, with the filmmaker's generous permission. The video contains no sound for diffusion to the concert hall, functioning in effect like a silent film. The piece is structured in 12 short movements to reflect the film's original structure in 12 vignettes. Each movement is separated by a title on black, with French text. The story revolves around Nana, a beautiful young Parisienne who leaves her husband and ends upfalling into prostutition to make ends meet. The film is both whimsical and hard-edged, presenting the conflicted reality of 60s France, where the new hope offered by a burgeoning feminist movement, was not always what it seemed.

The piece works as a stand-alone composition in the event groups are unable to obtain the film to screen during performance. Access to the video should be obtained by contacting the composer. If this is not possible, please watch the film and interpret the music as part of the larger narrative. For more background to the composition, please go to:

Work Details

Year: 2017

Instrumentation: Flute (doubling alto flute), clarinet in B flat (doubling bass clarinet), percussion (vibraphone, high tom, low tom, bongo, 3 unpitched metals), piano.

Duration: 16 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Written for: Australia Ensemble

Commission note: Commissioned by the Australia Ensemble for 'The Sound of Pictures' program

First performance: by Australia Ensemble at Australia Ensemble - The Sound of Pictures (Ford / Wilcox) (Sir John Clancy Auditorium) on 16 Sep 2017

Please contact the composer for access to the video prior to rehearsal and performance. 

The piece also works without the image as a standalone work, but should be played with the film's story in mind.

The composer notes the following styles, genres, influences, etc associated with this work:
silent film, live score, new music, art music, quartet, French New Wave, Jean-Luc Godard


Resonate article: Uncovered Ground by Felicity Wilcox

Resonate article: Insight: Vivre Sa Vie, Composer’s Cut by Felicity Wilcox

Performances of this work

15 Sep 2018: at Spel by Ensemble Offspring (Albany Entertainment Centre). Featuring Ensemble Offspring.

11 Sep 2018: at Spel by Ensemble Offspring (Subiaco Arts Centre). Featuring Ensemble Offspring.

11 Sep 2018: at Spel by Ensemble Offspring (Subiaco Arts Centre). Featuring Ensemble Offspring.

16 Sep 2017: at Australia Ensemble - The Sound of Pictures (Ford / Wilcox) (Sir John Clancy Auditorium). Featuring Australia Ensemble.

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