- Year of composition: 1992-94
- Duration: 12:19
- Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
- Commission: ACREQ, with support from the CCA
Material substances and sound substance have never been so closely associated as in the acousmatic genre. Crystal Music, which originates in this genre, is a music of forms, colors and materials shaped by kinetic energies and perspectives in the inner space of the work. Like glasswork, the material has been expanded, moulded, transmuted in the fiery furnaces of experimentation. Like crystal, it has been worked upon by the imagination which imbues its transparency with the power of illusion.
Beyond pure matter, there still remain certain sham voices lost in factual collages, but also rhetorical phenomena of ruptures and antagonistic relationships between musical characters, strained nodes, suddenly subjugated by the whimsicality of an arabesque. The work is permeated by a bountiful style employing sound material as others use flat areas of color which they scratch with a nervous, angular graphism: it thus reveals a desire for plasticity which soon enough betrays a dramatic expression.
This work, composed largely with Bill Schottstaedt’s Common Lisp Music program, could not have been realized without the technical support and exceptional conditions I enjoyed at CCRMA (Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics) at Stanford University (California, USA) during the year 1992-93, as well as in the studios at the Faculty of Music of the Université de Montréal in 1994. The work was premiered on March 3, 1994 at the Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur in Montréal during the 15th anniversary concert of ACREQ (Association pour la création et la recherche électroacoustiques du Québec). Crystal Music was commissioned by ACREQ with support from the Canada Council [for the Arts] (CCA). I wish to thank the Faculty of Music of the Université de Montréal for having lent me its studios in order to complete the piece. Crystal Music was awarded the First Prize at the 3rd Prix international Noroit-Léonce Petitot (Arras, France, 1994). Crystal Music previously appeared on the compact disc Prix international Noroit-Léonce Petitot 1993 (NOR 3).
- March 3, 1994, 15e anniversaire, Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur, Montréal (Québec)