Commission: Festival MNM — Société Radio-Canada (SRC), Festival Présences — Radio France

For some years my work has been oriented towards a critical rereading of the history of music. I’ve attempted to actualize, through the prism of a contemporary sensibility, certain aesthetic and rhetorical elements, certain interpretative and compositional gestures characteristic of various historical musical currents. There is therefore the willingness to explore, in the musical domain, what several literary theoreticians designate by intertextuality or hypertextuality. To make a connection – symbolic, cultural, aesthetic or technical – of a given text with other, earlier, texts, creating in the process a vast referential network that enriches, by scaling it down, the first level of perception.

The work of memory lies at the heart of my artistic concerns. In my compositions I seek to establish a fertile relationship between the present of the work and the past of the art. A ludic relationship with the history of music takes shape at several simultaneous levels. Games of remembering and forgetfulness, in an interpretation-manipulation of memory. A reconstruction of the past where one exhibits, by way of the work, the process through which memory makes, unmakes, remakes its own past by endlessly re-evaluating the shifting statutes of history, by projecting them constantly into our visions of the future; for memory is not neutral: it produces meaning. What’s involved here is not a return to a lost musical paradise; rather, I’m seeking to express this utopian idea of all times coming together in the lightning flash of the moment. Make known all eras past and future, in the present intuition of musical time. (Jean Lesage)

A commission of Radio-Canada and Radio France as part of the 2005 edition of Festivals Présences and Montréal/Nouvelles Musiques, Les Mécanismes multiples de l’ivresse et de la nostalgie (The Multiple Mechanisms of Drunkenness and Nostalgia) was premiered in Paris on January 29, 2005, by the Orchestre national de Montpellier under the direction of Juraj Valcuha.