small ensemble

For some time now, I have been particularly interested in how communication may be effected by melodies that derive from a variety of sources, including my personal cultural background, radio broadcasts from my adolescence, my earliest experiences with classical music—scattered fragments of a multifaceted upbringing. When I first adopted this approach, I imposed the pre-compositional restrictions of working with a limited number of melodies (maximum 3), and creating forms in which sections and durations were circumscribed by the nature and exploitive potential of these pre-existing musical materials. As such, it is important to note that the musical discourse arising from these materials in no way derives from their connotative and referential meanings, but rather, they enhance the atmosphere of the composition. This type of piece is best described as the reverberation of its cantus prius factus. More simply, I wrest the essence from these musical objects and turn their shapes into the mindset of the piece. The outcome results in a sonic surface that is sometimes troubled, sometimes calm, through which I attempt to define myself, to seize upon a message or artifact that may be either personal or universal.

With Fil retors, for the first time I ceased to limit and order the number of pre-existent materials, exalting instead the interest I have for all of the everyday things, allowing the piece from the outset of its composition to tell me when and where to integrate these melodies. A friend recently pointed out the similarities between this process and the techniques used to compose rhapsodies (which weave together and transform melodies), like a twisted thread, a tie that binds us to something else. And there you have it.

  • Score available at CMC, Région du Québec.
  • Recording: CD: Amberola AMBC CD 7141