24 wind instruments, 5 percussions and pipe organ

Commission: SMCQ, with support from the CCA

Premiere: September 27, 2007, Fall Festival (2007), Homage Series Claude Vivier: Musiques du feu, Église Saint-Jean-Baptiste, Montréal (Québec)

Ho-Ma: recent abbreviation referring to the Montréal neighborhood of Hochelaga-Maisonneuve. The piece commissioned by the SMCQ was to be created here… The following theme still remained.

Hochelaga: Native American (Iroquoian?) community visited by Cartier but disappeared shortly after. The Aboriginal. The relationship between Her culture, Her “religion” and Nature. Form of this 1st part: ritual entry of the Winds with, in sequence, two groups of clans bird totems.

Maisonneuve: the founding of Ville-Marie is mandated as a project to convert the “Savages”, with trade in background. Progression for this 2nd part: the organ declares its sermons, successively, then superposed, on the spiraling moaning of the dead and the pains of hell — irrefutable logic of the European, a repetitive rhetoric of the proselytism — a speech to which the “nation” of Winds, at first attentive, eventually reacts to.

We have trade, negotiation, exchanges, dialogue, where one puts on the table what one has, what one is. It is the 3rd part: alternations, “hiccups”, interbreeding through the intertwining of the thematic material (Gregorian!) of each: the Veni Creator (Winds), the Circumdederunt me (Organ).

How to conclude if not with a few puffs of calumet and the gift of a wampum?

It is in a church that this pow-wow is taking place. A cave? A “Shaky tent” for a collective healing? A dome of light which evokes something “Greater than oneself”?

Inspiration: Bruce Trigger’s “Bible” on the history of the Huron people ( Children of Aataentsic); the impressive totems and sculptures of the British-Colombia Native Americans; paintings from Emily Carr and the Group of Seven.

Dedication: to the First Nations, and to those who subsequently settled in this country. Let us talk. And to Walter Boudreau as well, aboriginal to the tip of his shoes and to his baton, and to the musicians of the Ensemble and the artists of the SMCQ.

[English translation: Julie Dang]

Performances