De l'imitation* (2016)
Composer: Philippe Leroux
Quatuor de saxophones (SATB) et dispositif électronique (optionnal)

This work, transcending the opposition of man and machine and breaking with spatio-temporal conventions, is based upon interactions resulting from phenomena of imitation between instrumentalists and electronic devices. To that end, electronic sounds serve as models from which the musicians draw out tonal ideas or sonic textures. The aim is not simply to copy the model, but rather to build upon it and elaborate instrumentally unprecedented performances. The musicians are called upon to integrate a sound event that is a priori unfamiliar to them, and to respond and replay it in such a manner that it formally appropriates an unknown experience.

Taking as a model electroacoustic sounds allows for working with parameters of sound other than pitch, rhythm, or traditional instrumental tonalities, for example with relatively unexplored  musical data such as density, morphology, texture, or the proprioceptive qualities of sound. This work of imitation impacts on several levels: firstly, upon the crafting of sound itself, as well as upon that which links and organizes sounds into coherent phrasings. In a word, it is the level of formal organization which is itself enriched by this play of imitation, as the comportment of electronic sound phenomena induces formal ideas which structure the entirety of the work.


Philippe Leroux

De l'imitation was commissioned byQuasar with support from the Canada Council for the Arts.