Le Palais du silence is the title of a piece Debussy planned to write in 1914 but never composed.
The title, and still the absence of a original score become a chance for the analysis of Debussy’s attempts to transform some mute landscapes into sound. The “palace collecting silence” is a space for the perceptible absence of the dead or the unknown, now invaded by surfacing natural sounds.
The notion of fragments cut out of a natural continuum, which Debussy attached to the formal conception of some of his Préludes through the choice of the titles, is amplified by dissections and combinations, starting from Le Vent dans la plaine, Des pas sur la neige, La Cathédrale engloutie, Feuilles mortes and Jardins sous la pluie (from Estampes).
Piano fragments are transposed for ensemble in order to cast the piano as a generator of sound synthesis Debussy might have intended to realise or concrete sounds which could have been origin and model of his search.
The original scores are considered as cryptographies, sketch books for decoding the sounds implied by titles. As if they were negatives, they show the potential lights, shades and colours, but reversed.