soprano, clarinet, trombone, percussion, viola and processing

Commission: SMCQ, for Ars Nova

Premiere: April 12, 2012, Ars NovaConcert, L’Hippodrome Scène nationale, Douai (Nord, France)

In L’état des lieux, I have arranged almost completely static musical intermissions, following upon and often colliding with one another. These intermissions can also serve as spaces, imaginary places, meeting spots, stemming from the real world and transmitted by loud-speakers; in the course of my wanderings through Montreal, I experienced several moments when it seemed to me that the human presence musicalized the environment. To add a layer on this whimsical portrait of the city, I articulated the work around a text dating from 1870 which has been completely forgotten today, the Histoire populaire de Montréal depuis son origine jusqu’à nos jours, by Adrien Leblond de Brumath. From a statistical analysis of this text, I built four poems corresponding to the four sections of L’état des lieux. The original sense of the text is almost completely obliterated, but the juxtaposition of the words and the sentence segments evoke the history of the city and moreover, from a distance, the perspective of a man from the 19th century. As with all my recent works, I have endeavored to achieve an almost total formal transparency. The extremely simplistic rhetoric of the music incites the audience members to adopt an attitude of active listening, to appropriate the discourse, to become deeply involved.

Traduction Peggy Niloff