Renowned for its energy, its daring and exceptional playing, QUASAR saxophone quartet is passionate about the music of its time. This ensemble’s eclectic and adventuresome repertoire ranges from serious to wacky including instrumental works, electronics, music theatre, and phase shifting on trapeze. …lectrochocs features specially commissioned works involving interactive media and multi-channel diffusion by Montreal composers Michel Frigon, Monique Jean, Julien Roy, and Louis Dufort.
An essential component of the …lectrochocs experience is the exploration of space and architecture in relation to the compositions. Technical director and computer specialist Alexandre Burton sets a spatial backdrop to create the optimal environment for the interplay of musical experimentation. The concert presentation will include 4-channel diffusion, with sounds emanating from strategic points that merge with the architectural elements of the room.
Pim’po, Michel Frigon
To echo a passage in Salman Rushdie’s book, The Ground Beneath Her Feet, where he says: “On the roof, during the few, but impossibly elongated, seconds of the quake, the great French photographer M. Henri Hulot turned his camera perversely towards the sky. All over town terrified kite flyers had let go of their controlling reels. The heavens were full of dying kites, kites nosediving towards the earth, stolen away again, almost at once, by the inexorable gravitational pull of the cracking earth below” ñ Pim’po is a movement of the air, unexpected as a squall, that wishes to stir us and to destabilize us.
Stabile, Monique Jean
Stabile was named after Calder’s monumental outdoor sculptures which, paradoxically, bring opposites together: the heavy and the light, the stationary and the mobile. It also deals with the unbalance required to maintain the equilibrium of a constantly moving entity when all of its elements are in constant (though at times almost undetectable) reaction with one another.
The Three Phases of Cold (Breath, Time Concern, Buffalo), Julien Roy
A non-narrative story of sonic images. The integration of technology in the artistic process.
Manu Militari, Louis Dufort
This piece follows a direction that has emerged in Dufort’s latest works and in which the acoustic timbre of an instrument is modified through various technologically-produced means. Here, the saxophone is the subject of such an experiment and, even though what you see is a real saxophone, its virtual double will come and add humongous columns of air to it, will add dozens of keys to it, will double the size of its mouthpiece, will multiply its amplitude ñ and that should really be something.
Beyond the works’ technical aspects, there is a will to shed light on the power of music which, in spite of many composers, has often been put to questionable use. This power of music has nevertheless always been fascinating. If cinema can make you shiver with fear or shed a sweet tear, then so can music. Just allow yourself to be carried away by the sonic waves and your imagination will take care of the rest.
Quasar embarks on its first Canadian tour and will be in Vancouver from March 25 to 27 giving workshops and special mentorship seminars with students from various post secondary music schools.
Listen to a sample of the piece here (2.6 MB mpeg-3).