Stéphane Roy

  • Year of composition: 2014-16
  • Duration: 12:00
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • ISWC: T9318629093


ISRC CAD501910050

  • 48 kHz, 24 bits

Maelström is a dissonant work made unstable by a development cadenced through sets of opposites, a fertile ground for expressing something dramatic.

The musical discourse never reaches a complete conclusion, except at the end of the piece. It moves toward peaks of tension that get rerouted, interrupted, or only partially resolved. This kind of dodging is an archetype that finds its way in works in various forms; it is tied to an original persona, a common, primitive pool of imagination that transcends modes of expression. Creativity is a way to drink from that spring, to give it shape in the materiality of the work.

Of matter and form…

Maelström is built over wavering fluxes, roughly textured musical motifs with sharp morphological edges, powerful energy profiles and a mobile spatial presence. These motifs occasionally coalesce into “sound walls” and form energy vortices that border on saturation. These walls rise at the beginning, middle, and end of the work, highlighting major articulations.

Within this larger scale, nocturnal moods unfold. Sounds infiltrate the ear like a whisper, a friction, or an obsession, planting a seed of apprehension. A leitmotif, whose apparitions are often cut short, adds to the expressiveness of the discourse through recalls – or even only evocations – of the prominent sonic motif that introduces the piece.

[English translation: François Couture, x-19]

Maelström was realized in 2014-16 at the composer’s studio in Montréal (Québec), and premiered on November 3, 2016 during the concert Résidence 1 in the Studio multimédia of the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal.


  • November 3, 2016, Résidence 1: Stéphane Roy, Studio multimédia — Conservatoire de musique de Montréal, Montréal (Québec)