- Year of composition: 2004-05
- Duration: 14:35
- Instrumentation: 4.1-channel fixed medium
- Commission: Réseaux des arts médiatiques, with support from the CCA
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“The sudden catastrophe caused by the tsunami in Phuket (Thailand), in December 2004, happened while this work was under way and, as such, influenced the work. Every day at lunch I always watched the news and, for several days, the news mostly showed footage from Phuket. These images inspired sonic allegories in me and, little by little, a theme arose: drowning. Since I didn’t want to slide into pathos with this theme, which can be perceived at first as morbid, I chose to approach it more dreamily, to evoke the state of ultimate being that comes right before you lose consciousness, according to drowning survivors.”
Hence, this piece is at first putting emphasis on the development of a raw morphology in which there is a clear articulation around thematic variations on construction/deconstruction. New sound materials are introduced later, based on attack/resonance and density/thinness articulations. Then comes the voice, the sole clue to the tragedy, simultaneously evocative, dreamy, and bearer of the Siren archetype, the Princess of Deep Waters.
[English translation: François Couture, viii-07]
Grain de sable [A Grain of Sand] was realized in 2004-2005 at the composer’s studio in Montréal. The first version, then titled Ephem, was performed on February 12, 2004 during the Rien à voir (15) concert series presented by Réseaux at Espace GO in Montréal. A second version bearing the final title was performed on December 2, 2004 at Maison de la culture Côte-des-Neiges in Montréal, as part of a concert presented by Codes d’accès. The final version was premiered on January 22, 2005 at the Monument-National’s Hydro-Québec Studio in Montréal, as part of the Akousma series presented by Réseaux. The piece was commissioned by Réseaux des arts médiatiques with support from the Canada Council for the Arts (CCA). My thanks to Jean-François Denis, Robert Normandeau, and Gilles Gobeil.
- December 2, 2004, Premiere of first version: Louis Dufort, diffusion • Musique instrumentale d’aujourd’hui: Ensemble Ö, Maison de la culture Côte-des-Neiges, Montréal (Québec)
- January 22, 2005, Premiere of the final version: Akousma (1): Portrait, Studio Hydro-Québec — Monument-National, Montréal (Québec)