Track listing detail


Todor Todoroff / Charles Baudelaire

  • Year of composition: 1991
  • Duration: 11:15
  • Instrumentation: 4-channel fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • ISWC: T9005280295


Obsession is a work of research / variation on the theme of Eros and Thanatos. The sonic materials of the piece were derived mainly from two types of sources whose multiple transformations occur successively or blend together through montage and mixing in such a way as to create poetic contrasts and coincidences.

The first type of source is made of stereophonic recordings of flowing water and waves, used in two different manners. Processed as a whole through filtering and spatialization techniques, they create variable sonic masses that draw the listener into their ever faster-spinning whirlpool. These same sounds, when analyzed in terms of their energy distribution across multiple frequency bands, reveal the microscopic and chaotic nature of water which hides beneath the apparent overall serenity of movement. This analysis gives birth to a polyphonic structure, distributed over four acoustic signal paths (the four channels of the quadraphonic set-up). An additional feedback mechanism allows the development of the system to be influenced by its own history. By synthesizing the notes extracted from the analyzed frequencies and reinjecting these synthesized sounds into the input of the system, the notes self-sustain until a sufficiently loud disturbance, stemming from notes generated from the analysis of water sounds, causes them to change. It is symbolic of life, where a multitude of external stimuli — often contradictory — will sometimes decisively change the course of one’s existence.

The second type of source is comprised of excerpts of poems by Baudelaire and other texts which have been read aloud and sampled. These samples have then been fragmented, transformed, joined together and spatialized. There is an evolution throughout the piece, starting with micro-editing small fragments of voices at the beginning of the piece and progressing towards complete sentences, passing through sequences of words which, combined not altogether innocently, create mental images which are more or less troubling as they associate pleasure with pain and love with death.

Composed for a quadraphonic set-up, Obsession makes extensive use of multiple localization points (front / back, left / right, close / distant) and rotational movements.

[English translation: Stephanie Moore, i-19]

Obsession was realized in 1991 at the ARTeM (Art, recherche, technologie et musique [Art, Research, Technology, and Music]) studio in Brussels (Belgium) and premiered on August 2, 1991 during the Bunker 91 festival in Antwerp (Belgium). Thanks to Sophie Beernaerts and Coralie Gary, whose voices I recorded. This piece tied for the Public prize at the 2e Prix international Noroit-Léonce Petitot (Arras, France, 1991) and was included on the CD Prix international Noroit-Léonce Petitot 1991 (NOR 2). In 1993, it was also included on the CD Presence One (DIV 02).



  • August 2, 1991, Bunker 91, Antwerp (Belgium)



Stéphane Roy

  • Year of composition: 1992
  • Duration: 10:40
  • Instrumentation: guitar and stereo fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • Commission: Arturo Parra, with support from the CCA
  • ISWC: T0708475119


ISRC CAD509612220

To Arturo Parra

I worked out the initial ideas for this work with the firm intention of producing a mixed music based on compositional processes which draw closely from acousmatic music. The search into new articulations, timbres and styles possessing distinctive morphologies, which characterizes my own approach to electroacoustic processing of the instrument, is the outcome of exploratory work in close collaboration with the performer. Imitation between an acoustic and an electronic source is the basis of this process.

The acoustic and electronic components of Mimetismo call out to and mimic each other, at times becoming one, within a sound material in constant evolution. The guitar abandons its traditional role as soloist: its timbre merges with the electronic materials. Homophony, homorhythm, and above all the similarity of the timbres blends the sonority of the instrument into that of the tape. The usual predominance of pitch is replaced by variations of intensity and of harmonic spectrum which give to the instrumental writing an extraordinary and unpredictable character. An adequate amplification of the instrument allows for the exploration of new guitaristic utterances.

Mimetismo is the result of a genuine collaboration between a performer and a composer. The traditional role of interpreter, handed down to the performer, needs in this case to be redefined. In effect, Arturo Parra contributed to the realization of the work by his exploration of new instrumental sonorities during improvisation sequences guided by verbal instructions. This process allowed him to generate, throughout the compositional process, a palette of rich and subtle sonorities from which I chose in accordance with my creative plans.

The electronic materials of Mimetismo were generated with the assistance of the SYTER system during a period of work at the Groupe de recherches musicales (GRM) in Paris, as well as at the composer’s studio; the work was completed in the studios of the Faculty of Music of the Université de Montréal. Mimetismo, a mixed work, composed with the collaboration of guitarist Arturo Parra, was commissioned by the latter with support from the Canada Council [for the Arts] (CCA). Mimetismo received 1st prize in the 14th International Luigi Russolo Competition (Varese, Italy, 1992) as well as a Mention at the Prix Ars Electronica competition (Linz, Austria, 1992). Mimetismo was included, in 1993, on the compact disc Presence One (DIV 2) produced by Divided (Chicago, USA).