Ned Bouhalassa

  • Year of composition: 2003
  • Duration: 15:42
  • Instrumentation: 5.1-channel fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Yul média
  • ISWC: T9017477655


ISRC CAD500811451

  • 48 kHz, 24 bits

This piece is a loose interpretation of the myth of Orpheus. In this version, Orpheus runs after his muse from rural Québec to Berlin. There, he wanders the streets and parks, the zoo and the train stations, searching in vain.

I have incorporated the ambience of my friend Michael Smith’s farm (in the first movement Orpheus’ First Dream), the streets of Berlin, the famous former-East Berlin square of Alexanderplatz. There are, of course, the ever-present sounds of the trains. These feature the other-worldly voices on the PA systems, which sound to me like a virtual guide from the future. The doors of the trains exhale with loud hisses, spewing out a chorus of legs and arms. These compete for space with pigeons, motorcycles, cars, and loud young men. Berlin is a giant train station.


mOrpheus was realized in 2003 at the composer’s studio and premiered on November 15, 2003 during the festival Elektra at Usine C (Montréal). The piece was realized with support from the Canada Council for the Arts (CCA). Thanks to Thien Vu Dang, Bruce Gottlieb, Katia Gagné, and Michael Smith.


  • November 15, 2003, Elektra 2003: Concert, Usine C, Montréal (Québec)