De sphères et d'écumes

Composer: Jimmie LeBlanc
For saxophone quartet and electronics

Commissioned by Quasar with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, Of Spheres and Foams was premiered in Montreal on April 17th, 2018.

Field recording (Fatima, Québec): Martin Bédard


The title Of Spheres and Foams refers to three works by the German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk – Bubbles, Globes, and Foams. In this trilogy, Sloterdijk revisits the history of Western thought from a spatial perspective, through the concept of the sphere: the intimate sphere that unites mother and child, the inner space in which we experience ourselves, the social sphere, and finally, in a radical change of perspective, the image of foam. In this world view, the idea of a unified and all-encompassing whole gives way to the concept of a foam, in which an infinite number of microspheres – each one with its own depth and logic, its own centre – collide in endless improbable configurations. The goal is thus no longer to find one exhaustive explanation for the world, but to accept that thought, in this foam, requires the navigation of unstable currents. In my piece, I took pleasure in crafting the musical image of a soap bubble blown by a child – is this not, after all, the way the world itself was brought to life, by an initial breath? Formally, each section (each bubble!) corresponds to a different spherological perspective on sound: Spirare, Ex ovo omnia, Aria, Spatium sub spatio, Tempus ex sphaera, Disjecta membra, Écumes