Works Mimetismo Stéphane Roy


  • Stéphane Roy
  • Year of composition: 1992
  • Duration: 10:36
  • Instrumentation: guitar and stereo fixed medium
  • Commission: Arturo Parra, with support from the CCA

I worked out the initial ideas for this work with the firm intention of producing a mixed music based on compositional processes which draw closely from acousmatic music. The search into new articulations, timbres and styles possessing distinctive morphologies, which characterizes my own approach to electroacoustic processing of the instrument, is the outcome of exploratory work in close collaboration with the performer. Imitation between an acoustic and an electronic source is the basis of this process.

The acoustic and electronic components of Mimetismo call out to and mimic each other, at times becoming one, within a sound material in constant evolution. The guitar abandons its traditional role as soloist: its timbre merges with the electronic materials. Homophony, homorhythm, and above all the similarity of the timbres blends the sonority of the instrument into that of the tape. The usual predominance of pitch is replaced by variations of intensity and of harmonic spectrum which give to the instrumental writing an extraordinary and unpredictable character. An adequate amplification of the instrument allows for the exploration of new guitaristic utterances.

Mimetismo is the result of a genuine collaboration between a performer and a composer. The traditional role of interpreter, handed down to the performer, needs in this case to be redefined. In effect, Arturo Parra contributed to the realization of the work by his exploration of new instrumental sonorities during improvisation sequences guided by verbal instructions. This process allowed him to generate, throughout the compositional process, a palette of rich and subtle sonorities from which I chose in accordance with my creative plans.

The electronic materials of Mimetismo were generated with the assistance of the SYTER system during a period of work at the Groupe de recherches musicales (GRM) in Paris, as well as at the composer’s studio; the work was completed in the studios of the Faculty of Music of the Université de Montréal. Mimetismo, a mixed work, composed with the collaboration of guitarist Arturo Parra, was commissioned by the latter with support from the Canada Council [for the Arts] (CCA). Mimetismo received First Prize in the 14th International Luigi Russolo Competition (Varese, Italy, 1992) as well as a Mention at the Prix Ars Electronica competition (Linz, Austria, 1992). Mimetismo was included, in 1993, on the compact disc Presence One (DIV 2) produced by Divided (Chicago, USA).




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