Moll, opéra lilliput pour six roches molles

Marcelle Deschênes

  • Year of composition: 1976
  • Duration: 22:55
  • Instrumentation: 2 clarinets, 3 trombones, 3 percussions sets, toys and stereo fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • Commission: SMCQ, with support from the CCA
  • ISWC: T0729105376


ISRC CAD500619870

  • 96 kHz, 24 bits

To our “fleeting body, neither lasting nor stone.” — Roger Caillois

A transposition of children’s dreams of sea, earth and sky from a research project in music teaching (Université Laval, 1975), this suite of 17 miniatures is the result of long, obsessive hours spent looking at the ordinary gray pebbles found on the Bas-Saint-Laurent beaches.

No one knows quite why, but the fascinating force of the Origins and memories of a lost paradise rule the tiny world of pebbles and grains of dust. All these forgotten, undecipherable signs look strangely like the sea, the stars, an insect, the red moon, the mountain, the thunderstorm, human dramas, and abstract points, lines and spirals. The wonders of children? If you shrink down and mineralize yourself, they offer a sanctuary or vertigo, vague daydreaming or initiation, “hearing the sounds of the hermetic stone under a tiny spot on the inside of the heart” (Mahmoud Shabistari). I also wanted to express the revelation of a crazy itinerary through the slow grind of Time. Exploring the underside of tiny things, introspecting in the world of childhood, the infinitely big littleness, hardness turning into something soft, tender, flexible, inert becoming alive, drama turning to wonder, sadness becoming sweet madness.

[English translation: François Couture, viii-06]

Moll, opéra lilliput pour six roches molles [Moll, Lilliput Opera for Six Soft Rocks] was realized in 1976 in the studio of the Université Laval (Québec City) and premiered on March 18, 1976 at McGill University’s Pollack Hall in Montréal by the Société de musique contemporaine du Québec (SMCQ). It had been commissioned by the SMCQ with support from the Canada Council for the Arts (CCA). Thanks to Stéphane Clark for the dreamy narrative. Moll, opéra lilliput pour six roches molles won First Prize (Mixed Works) at the Bourges International Electroacoustic Music Competition (France, 1978) and it was later awarded an Euphonie d’or in 1992 “as one of the twenty most significant works from two decades of the Bourges Awards.”


  • March 18, 1976, Concert 75, Salle Pollack — Pavillon Strathcona — Université McGill, Montréal (Québec)



About this recording

This recording was realized and mixed in 1978 by Jean Corriveau at Studio Jean Sauvageau in Montréal; mastering by Dominique Bassal in 2005.





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    Moll, opéra lilliput pour six roches molles (1976, 22:55) by Marcelle Deschênes