L’inaudible Stéphane Roy

Cover art: Maddi Berger, Connections (Montréal, 2018)
  • Canada Council for the Arts

… a well meandering, varied and close to indescribable journey into one of the most experimental spheres of the electronic music scene in terms of compositional approach. nitestylez.de, Germany

Un concentré de textures ordinaires pour une plongée dans l’extraordinaire. SilenceAndSound, France

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L’inaudible

Stéphane Roy

Notices

About L’inaudible

In my approach to composition, the path a piece will take is never determined upfront. Form and structure do not exist prior to the realization of the piece: when I probe the imaginary world, indeterminacy is my modus operandi.

This approach begins with observations and explorations of sonic materials usually drawn from acoustic sources. As any good plastic artist, I explore every nook and cranny of this material: I knead it, chisel it, scratch it, cut it and colour it, until the material acts as a catalyst that reveals underground meanings. Through what I call “transcendent listening,” my explorations push me to neutralize the sediments of accrued meanings (the nature of reduced listening), allowing me to be on the lookout for deep-running trends that run through “unconscious space.”

To reappropriate Hans Robert Jauss’s beautiful expression about the process of anamnesis in literature, transcendent listening allows one “to push the interrogation to depths unavailable to surface perception, which has been banalized by habit, to find lost experiences in the unconscious realm and bring it into the art realm, where it becomes language.” [Hans Robert Jauss, Pour une esthétique de la réception (1978), Gallimard, Paris (France). Our translation.] The capturing power of transcendent listening feeds the creative act. It allows meanings to emerge as strong, prominent images that, when articulated, will sketch the shape of the work-to-be.

To probe the imagination, the immaterial realm through shaping and modeling sound is the modus operandi underpinning all the works on this album. “The audible part of the work is musical only if it evokes the inaudible,” rightly wrote Jean-François Lyotard. [Jean-François Lyotard, “Musique, mutique” in L’idée musicale (1993) edited by Christine Buci-Glucksmann and Michaël Levinas, Presses universitaires de Vincennes, Saint-Denis (France). Our translation.] The creative act transcends the perceptible reality of the audio material to probe the other world, the world of pure abstractions. The idealistic aspect of my approach resides in this dialectic between the audible (linked to modelling sonic matter in the blast furnaces of experimentation) and the sphere of the inaudible it attempts to penetrate.

This quest starts anew with each piece. And each time the creator believes he is getting closer to the purely inaudible, only to realize all the way left to go to get there, this inscrutable distance then reigniting the desire to create.

Stéphane Roy [English translation: François Couture, x-19]

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In the press

  • Baze Djunkiii, nitestylez.de, February 8, 2020
    … a well meandering, varied and close to indescribable journey into one of the most experimental spheres of the electronic music scene in terms of compositional approach.
  • Roland Torres, SilenceAndSound, January 5, 2020
    Un concentré de textures ordinaires pour une plongée dans l’extraordinaire.

Review

Baze Djunkiii, nitestylez.de, February 8, 2020

Released only recently via the 1990-established imprint Empreintes Digitales is L’inaudible, the third full lenght album effort by Montréal-based composer Stéphane Roy. Working on the acousmatic side of things we see Roy presenting a selection of seven pieces on this longplayer, all created within the past twelve years with some being finished in multiple sessions spread over several years. Opening with Maelström the first step of the musical journey is a twisted, whirling and grinding piece built from cold digital Noize eruptions regularly, yet irregularly bending, twisting and interrupting tender, and partly dramatic, Ambient atmospheres in a collage’esque manner whereas the Train d’enfer brings tension in form of dark, brooding atmospheres and various scraping, clanging metal pieces before the subsequent triplet of “Section 1 — 3” provides a perfectly intense, nerve-wrecking score of sorts for your favorite underground psycho horror flic out of the 60s or 70s. Les aurores pourpres first sees Stéphane Roy on a fragile, ethereal Deep Listening Music tip, slowly progressing from a minimalist approach into large scale drama with hefty sonic masses grinding and shifting within the stereo field before making way for spatial sparseness once again, Les territoires secrets caters cold, quivering and somewhat retrofuturist Ambient pulses which are evoking echoes of memories of very early Oval works and other intense, experimental Deep Listening adventures of the late 90s alongside various background rumblings, sounds of pouring liquids and short percussive eruptions before the final cut named Voies crépusculaires ventures off into solemn Dark Ambient territories with a certain cut-up twist paired with (Neo)Classical influences to provide a closing for a well meandering, varied and close to indescribable journey into one of the most experimental spheres of the electronic music scene in terms of compositional approach.

… a well meandering, varied and close to indescribable journey into one of the most experimental spheres of the electronic music scene in terms of compositional approach.

Critique

Roland Torres, SilenceAndSound, January 5, 2020

Le son est un matériau que les musiciens traitent et maltraitent, pour en extraire des substances aux variations multi-directionnelles, en fonction de là où ils veulent l’entrainer.

C’est sur les territoires des l’expérimental et de l’électroacoustique que Stéphane Roy opère, regroupant les sources sonores et les field recordings, pour les coller et offrir des géographies accidentées, éprises de science-fiction et d’aridité spatiale.

L’inaudible rassemble des œuvres composées entre 2008 et 2014, le tout formant un ensemble à la cohérence forte, de par les atmosphères développées tournant définitivement le dos à la détermination et la délimitation, pour se laisser porter par le seul flux créatif.

L’artiste offre des œuvres aux contours sculptés dans l’énergie de notre époque, grossissant l’infiniment petit, pour le mettre en exergue aux cotés d’un quotidien harassant, devenu sourd à nos oreilles. Un concentré de textures ordinaires pour une plongée dans l’extraordinaire.

Un concentré de textures ordinaires pour une plongée dans l’extraordinaire.

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