My work is often inspired by nature’s geometry, structure and textures. As if writing music could begin by staring with a magnifying glass at nature’s elements: water-gas-rock formations-chemical reactions, creating from these images a series of abstract landscapes.
I seek to express emotional experiences in their most raw form, without a literal or narrative setting. Like a collage of different perceptions that eventually forms a whole picture, I attempt to create a world from “real time” experience: reconstructing an imagined emotional event that unfolds in a compressed time frame.
Frequently my pieces start abruptly as if the music has been going on for a while; there is no introduction, no development, just the most condensed version of the untransformed material. There is a dramatic quality to this approach. Whether the works themselves, or the shifts from section to section in a single piece are spare or complex, I am looking to evoke something that is, in it’s own right complete. Music is color, texture and rhythm and the live instrumentalists create the alchemy.
Since 2000, I have become particularly interested in the way our artistic traditions are evolving through the integration of electronic and digital tools. As a composer who wrote solely for acoustic instruments for 25 years, I come to this exploration from an artistic place that is firmly rooted in the acoustic musical tradition yet, I notice that the overall landscape of my music and the minutiae of its textures are progressively changing with the addition of electronics.
While I continue to compose concert works with the abstraction freedom that pure concert music allows us to experience, I have also been immersing myself in collaborative mixed media works in Dance Theatre and Music Theatre. I am interested in a deep exploration of Instrumental Theatre as a “ total immersive experience,” which I define as the juxtaposition of live music, physical presence and actions on stage, live processing of sound, interactive video, and audience participation.
This enhanced experience, implicit with the use of new technologies, new medias and the seduction of visuals integrates a new kind of relationship between the performers, the performance space and the audience. I like to work with non-linear dramatic scenarios and believe that the complex intimate experiences felt by each audience member create a unique synthesis and ultimately the resulting story line.
The world we live in is complex—rich and disconcerting, inspiring and horrifying. I do not try to make an aesthetic experience of this reality—but it is my source of inspiration. As an artist, I constantly question if the aesthetic paradigm of an immersive experience can be relevant, provocative and ultimately restorative for the audience.
‘… one of Canada’s brightest ‘New Music’ talents…’
— Helene Plouffe, The Music Scene