Title: Ksana II
Performer: Ensemble Contemporaine de Montréal - Véronique Lacroix - Conductor
Instrumentation: for 10 intruments
Premier: November 6, 2014 – Banff Centre for the Arts, Canada
Program Notes:

Ksana defines a Sanskrit word for ‘moment’. This moment can be considered a single mental experience or literally a measurement of a chronological instant. I began a triptych of works that explores this concept of ‘moment’ from various musical perspectives. Within this second iteration I explore the ‘moment’ from a microscopic point of view. One may consider the entire work as a representation of a single moment, or a single impulse, that was temporally stretched and internally observed. This single moment, however, contains within it, many musical ‘situations’. I composed each situation as an object in which gestural, ambient, discursive, and energetic processes occur, presenting, hopefully, a series of musical situations contained within a single moment.

Theoretically, this work is a
prolational or mensural canon, often deployed in Renaissance music, whereby melodic streams of different rhythmic proportions become simultaneously juxtaposed. Instead of a melody of pitches, however, I use a series of timbre structures, creating a timbre ‘melody’. With each instrument having a timbre ‘melody’ and simultaneously layered with other instruments, we achieve a multi-layered textured stream whereby an ensemble / emergent sound occurs. Furthermore, by presenting horizontal constructions at different temporal proportions, I intend to create multiple temporal perceptions and perhaps lead the listener to the experience of a timeless whole.

No musical phrases, just one long breath. The music passes from one instrument to another, the most incongruous noises are reproduced by the various instruments. […] The audience held their breath and responded to the work with great enthusiasm. None more so than I!
Normand Babin, montréalistement blog,
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