siren organ and fixed medium

Commission: Productions Totem contemporain

Premiere: February 20, 2009, Jean-François Laporte, siren organ • Montréal / Nouvelles Musiques 2009, Totem électrique: Les totems électriques, Studio multimédia — Conservatoire de musique de Montréal, Montréal (Québec)

The title Plateformes (Platforms) refers to industrial structures that allow oil to be extracted in the middle of the ocean. This analogy served as the inspiration and referential image at the conceptual level for this piece—the organ and the recording take turns functioning as either the platform or the extracted oil. This work has five different movements, each written in order to permit a marriage of sounds between the organ and the recording. Work began with the recording, with listening to the pre-recorded organ at the same time. Here I assembled sound matter mainly drawn from orchestral instruments (timpani, bass, and gong), on which I could further position, orient and further overlay various sounds from the organ. The sounds on the recording were also used for their spectro-morphological qualities, in order to interact with the organ spectrally, so that the organ could disappear in the background of the recording, rather than act as a soloist. At times, frequency multiplication of a single instrument creates a dense glaze over the whole; the organ functions as a background layer. The goal here was to make it seem as though the organ was emerging from the recording.