(for saxophone quartet and spatialized electronics)
In Pursuit of Silence
for saxophone quartet and HOA electronics,
Performed by Quasar saxophone quartet in February, 2020 at CCRMA Stage, Stanford, CA.
Mathieu Leclair - Alto saxophone
André Leroux - Tenor saxophone
Marie-Chantal Leclair - Soprano saxophone
Jean-Marc Bouchard - Baritone saxophone
from the Program Note
When I started preparing first drafts for Quasar Saxophone Quartet, I was attracted to the idea of finding alternative ways to implement ‘silence’ - both musically and conceptually - in the piece. Later, just by a lovely coincidence, I discovered a text by Paul Goodman on ‘the kinds of silence’ which, I think, introduced me a new perspective on the subject. Here, I would like to share a quotation by him which summarizes my starting point for the piece, shortly and beautifully.
“Not speaking and speaking are both human ways of being in the world, and there are kinds and grades of each. There is the dumb silence of slumber or apathy; the sober silence that goes with a solemn animal face; the fertile silence of awareness, pasturing the soul, whence emerge new thoughts; the alive silence of alert perception, ready to say, “This… this…”; the musical silence that accompanies absorbed activity; the silence of listening to another speak, catching the drift and helping him be clear; the noisy silence of resentment and self-recrimination, loud and subvocal speech but sullen to say it; baffled silence; the silence of peaceful accord with other persons or communion with the cosmos.”