Trois petites histoires concrètes

Stéphane Roy

Trois petites histoires concrètes

  • Stéphane Roy
  • Year of composition: 1998
  • Duration: 12:59
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • Commission: Réseaux des arts médiatiques
  • ISWC: T0719862960

To Pierre Schaeffer

Trois petites histoires concrètes (Three Short Concrete Stories) is a triptych commemorating the 50th anniversary of musique concrète. It is centered on three major topics that characterize the concrète approach: acousmatics, sound ‘shooting,’ and the exploration of sound space.

The acousmatic “rupture”: Surprising rupture! It was a legitimate hymen: the sound and the object to which it refers as a sign or a signifier. Such a union could be seen as an absolute necessity. This Pierre Schaeffer has thrown a stone into the pond and caused frogs to lose reason and sense, enough to render them completely acousmatic. But, splashed that we are, let us rejoice in our chronic acousmatism that opens up unsuspected horizons. Let us celebrate the closed but O so fertile furrow and the chromatism of a bell sounding the mourning of its attack.

The “micro-confidences” of the sound shooting: The microphone, its centering, its magnifying effect allow the recording of small frictions, slips and whispers which, caught on the fly, exacerbate the sensuality of hearing and modulate the intensity of the work. Micro-confidences commemorates the advent of sound shooting and modern phonography, great accomplices of this unfaithfulness to sounding bodies we have been practicing in closed rooms for the last 50 years, sometimes even hidden inside a cupboard.

Let’s “pythagorize” space: The opacity of the curtain Pythagoras hid behind was used to give transparency and depth to his teachings. With a similar opacity, dark and austere groups of loudspeakers, apathetic propagators, have been shouting, howling, whispering and singing our concrète selves for 50 years. This “curtain” of boxes and cones dissimulates to help us dream, wander, and get lost at the very edge of the sound horizon. Soloist in spite of himself in the first concrète music works, the loudspeaker has multiplied and takes the importance of an orchestra which confers to the works multiple colors and crazy kinetic trajectories in order to combine the horizons of the imaginary and the sound space.

[English translation: François Couture, ix-03]

Trois petites histoires concrètes was realized in 1998 at the composer’s studio in St Louis (Missouri, USA) and premiered on 28 October 1998 as part of the Rien à voir (4) concert series presented by Réseaux at Théâtre La Chapelle in Montréal. Trois petites histoires concrètes was commissioned by Réseaux des arts médiatiques.


  • October 28, 1998, Rien à voir (4): concert solo + carte blanche, La Chapelle — scènes contemporaines, Montréal (Québec)