Premiere: February 25, 2023, Montréal / Nouvelles Musiques 2023: Les mystères de l’accordéon, Goethe-Institut Montréal, Montréal (Québec)

In the Christian tradition of the Middle Ages, Carnival was a time of celebration, freedom and revelry that preceded the frugality and austerity of Lent. Townspeople feasted in masks and costumes in a kind of liberating ritual in which traditional social hierarchies were reversed (slaves became masters, children became adults, etc.). At a time when the Church dominated spiritual and political life, the carnival responded to an existential need to represent the reversal of the world order through mockery, ambiguity, disguise, and masquerade. The participants united around common rituals, combining the sacred with the profane, where an ethic of excess dominated, opposing the established norms. This carnival freedom was in my imagination when I composed Mascarade