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De souffles et de machines (CD) Track listing detail

Les pâleurs de la lune

Pierre Alexandre Tremblay

  • Year of composition: 2013-14
  • Duration: 19:23
  • Instrumentation: saxophone quartet and system
  • Commission: Quasar, with support from the CCA

«Et je me demandais si je veillais ou si je dormais, — si c’étaient les pâleurs de la lune ou de Lucifer, — si c’était minuit ou le point du jour!»

«Mais bientôt mon oreille n’interrogea plus qu’un silence profond.»Aloÿsius Bertrand, Gaspard de la nuit: fantaisies à la manière de Rembrandt et de Callot (1842)

So much beauty surrounds us, when we give it time! Often, it emerges from a simple meeting and goes unnoticed. At a second glance, it yields its deeper nature, replete with subtleties and richness. Such nuances appear to us when we allow ourselves to contemplate the moon!



  • March 26, 2014, QuasarDe souffles et de machines, Music Multimedia Room — Pavillon de musique Elizabeth Wirth — Université McGill, Montréal (Québec)


Exposure 4.1

Pedro Rebelo

  • Year of composition: 2010
  • Duration: 9:25
  • Instrumentation: saxophone quartet and processing
  • Commission: Quasar

Exposure 4.1 explores the space between determinacy and indeterminacy regarding the distribution of musical material among the four instruments. This results in an ambiguous musical environment in which precision in the articulation of pitch and timbre is conflated with derivative events arising from the disjunction in playing techniques.

The quartet is treated both as a unity and as a discontinuous aggregate of four instruments which themselves are dissected through playing techniques requiring the performer to revisit the habitual body-instrument relationship.

The use of live electronics serves to diffuse the instrumental material in such a way that multiple instances of the music can occur simultaneously. As the piece is thus varied in every performance, the electronics render in a certain sense the range of possibilities encoded in the score itself while maintaining an intimate, chamber music-like relationship to the instrumental part.



  • March 31, 2010, Les mutations dynamiques, Espace Dell’Arte, Montréal (Québec)

Brumes matinales et textures urbaines

André Hamel

  • Year of composition: 2007
  • Duration: 18:21
  • Instrumentation: saxophone quartet and processing
  • Commission: Quasar, with support from the CALQ

After a night of pleasures and sensual delights, they were forced from their morning languor, showered, dressed, had a cup of coffee, ate and, without saying a word, rushed into the daily whirlwind of human activity.



  • March 28, 2007, Ondes de choc, Espace Dell’Arte, Montréal (Québec)


Outer Planes — Predator Drone MQ-1

Wolf Edwards

  • Year of composition: 2013, 14
  • Duration: 14:53
  • Instrumentation: saxophone quartet and processing
  • Commission: Western Front, with support from the CCA
To Quasar

This work has two titles in order to consider it from multiple perspectives. The first, Outer Planes for Saxophone Quartet, reflects the composer’s concerns with music and form; the second, Predator Drone MQ-1, with those regarding modern politics and his overall rejection of current ideologies. The second title was meant not to be programmatic, but rather to illuminate the intentions of our current political structures. The appropriate notes are as follows.

Outer Planes for Saxophone Quartet

A work which is meant to be a musical example of the intangible and esoteric nature of nonmaterial ideas. Although metaphysics can be considered spatially infinite, this musical model is composed of features and locations of a finite scope. These features and locations are then split into a collection of further sub-planes that represent a particular facet, or theme, related to that plane.

Predator Drone MQ-1

An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) developed by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the United States Airforce, and General Atomics in the early 1990s. Equipped with Hellfire missiles, the Predator Drone has been used to kill people in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bosnia, Serbia, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, and Somalia.

Despite claims from the administration that drone strikes have killed very few civilians, multiple independent reports (including the Columbia Law School’s Human Rights Institutions and The Bureau of Investigative Journalism) have proven that in fact 98% of drone strike casualties are civilians. That is 50 for every one “suspected terrorist.”



  • November 16, 2013, Quasar Saxophone Quartet with Dissonant Disco, Western Front, Vancouver (British Columbia, Canada)

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