To my father
Donald Crowhurst, he who fooled the whole world at the 1968 Sunday Times Golden Globe Race, has discussed “the mechanics of the mind” and being “a prisoner of one’s own image.” The smallest thing can make your brains tip over: a thought, a fear, a foreign substance. But there is worse: my father’s illness. There was no controlling that wrecking…
As with an embarkment, delirium is a modification of a person’s state of consciousness. Figuratively speaking, it can become a frenzy. Therefore, sonic delirium is a modification of the audible, an occasionally unsettling and nightmarish disorder. A musical illustration of the many guises of delirium. Confusion, rambling, emotion, enthusiasm, anger, sacred fire, frenzy. To each his own delirium…
Switching from one state of consciousness to another turns into a feeling of temporary paranoid or invading madness, accompanied by extraordinary fears… a state of panic! Mental confusion. What is this switching, whose pathological causes are known, but not the means to counter this enormous fear that takes hold of you? How can you face it, when this suffering is usually seen as a psychiatric condition, a form of evil, or simply an end in itself, leaving behind this moral martyrdom hiding under brain-numbing techniques. Delirium is shocking! And what are we planning for the future of ageing society?
Is delirium an unconscious or a lucid phenomenon? Is the observed confusion confusing us in the few strands of knowledge we have, or is it pushing us back into the realm of atypical — therefore uncontrollable — cases? Is it a dream without a future? A parallel world where a few memories are gradually fading away? Weak excuses for answers contribute an impression of sonic balance to the structure of the work. This music has underpinnings, subliminal waves… Inner voices are gnawing at ideas.
Sometimes, soft cinematic images featuring gentle small animals and little children appear; at other times, these images turn into terrifying visions. Search and you will elucidate the mystery.
I didn’t have enough time to find answers to my questions… My father left us too quickly. It was better that way… at least for him! Obviously, I am searching, and I will find, via the sonic world and fabulous sea memories. A kind of music poetry. Words alone will never succeed.
Simple frequencies occasionally tell us of a distant or even subconscious memory, either happy or sad. Sine waves of various frequencies are heard isolated and disseminated through the channels set all around the listener. A chance rhythm — a random dispersion technique — in a swirling feeling. Then, the musical carrousel grows repetitive, and the waves start combining in a sonic whirl, eventually replaced by a mysterious abyss. This abyss sets the tone for the crazy musical messages that are often muted by the wind whistling through the shrouds of the sails, before creating a peaceful aerial space. Letting futureless enigmas fly away.
Musical winks at Sidney Bechet, Diana Krall, and Harry Belafonte.
[English translation: François Couture, viii-08]
Delirium was realized in 2007-08 at the composer’s studio (Studio Séducson) in Montréal and premiered on March 10, 2011 during the Travaux électroniques féminins concert in the Studio multimédia of the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal.
March 10, 2011, Roxanne Turcotte, diffusion • 20 Years of empreintes DIGITALes, Électrochocs 2010-11: Électrochocs 4: Travaux électroniques féminins, Studio multimédia — Conservatoire de musique de Montréal, Montréal (Québec)