noli me tangere (2015)
Premiered by Orchestre Symphonique du Conservatoire de musique de Montréal
Conducted by Louis Lavigueur (March 27), Thierry Jacques-Soudin (March 28)
27 & 28 March 2015
Église Saint-Jean Baptiste, Montréal
Instrumentation: full orchestra with amplified drums (4 timpani, 1 bass drum, 1 snare drum)
In August 2014, I travelled to Germany and encountered music that forced me to submit to the experience of stasis and to truly listen.
I became fascinated by sounds that were periodic and unchanging like room tones or the sound of a revving motor. I was also intrigued by the contrary: sounds that were unpredictable, uncontrollable, and seemingly directionless.
Both types of sound prompted me to consider the lifespan of a sound — the time demanded to fully reveal its integrity and to make palpable its eventual absence. This piece is an observation of such sounds, at different times interpolated, juxtaposed, layered, or simply isolated.
The title of this piece, noli me tangere, is the Latin translation of a phrase from John 20:17. This phrase can be translated into English as “do not touch me” or “do not hold on to me.” In this particular passage of the Gospel of John, Jesus’ demand of Mary Magdalene not to linger on to him implies a particular concern for the passing of time and the timeliness of God’s will.