An image of the distances between

Composer: Myriam Bleau

**Commissionned by Quasar

An image of the distances between is a work about desire. Inspired by Anne Carsons’ essay Eros the Bittersweet, it meditates on the ambivalent nature of desire, a longing that can only manifest for that which is missing. A simple melody unfolds, but at the same time keeps escaping, through the interplay of tuning between the partials of multiphonic sounds on the saxophone and computer-generated tones.


The electronic part generated in Supercollider highlights the harmonic series and upper overtones of a few harmonically related pitches, revealing spectral complexity as they coalesce. The piece explores microtonality from an organic perspective, through instrumental techniques familiar to the musicians and simple tuning ratios. The timbral subtlety of multiphonics and their soft dynamic range require a shared intimacy and focused listening between the performers as they navigate through unstable textures. The electronic tones strive to mesh seamlessly with the acoustic sounds. 


‘Eros is an issue of boundaries. […] And it is only, suddenly, at the moment when I would dissolve that boundary, I realize I never can.’

- M. Bleau


This work was commissioned by Quasar with the grant from the Canadian's Music Friend Award given by the Canadian Composers' League and the Canadian Music Center in 2019 and the support of the Quasar Créative Fund.