Figures de rhétorique
Pour bande et piano

Composition Date: 1998
Duration: 00:13:45
Genre: Works with Electronics / Multi-Media, Solo Works, , Keyboard(s)


Instrumentation Set Number 1:
  • 1 x Piano
  • 1 x Tape
Programme Note:
The title: rhetoric is the art of discourse, and figures of speech are the forms that language takes to articulate that discourse. The figures of speech used here are arranged by type: figures of meaning (hyperbole, litotes, metaphor, oxymoron, parable and pleonasm), of words (alliteration, embellishment and rhyme), of thought (allegory, apologue, bombast, irony and tautology), and of construction (antithesis, ellipsis, repetition and reluctance). These figures determine the relationship between the tape and the piano and constitute the work’s four movements.

The sub-title: for tape and piano, intended to emphasize the chronological primacy of one over the other. Figures de rhétorique (Figures of Speech) was composed as an acousmatic work, which required work on the material, trials, a dynamic approach, and listening—a great deal of listening. The pianist’s score was created during the final stages of composition. It is a conclusion, not a premise. It is also the result of numerous working sessions with the pianist, Jacques Drouin; and as the performer is free to interpret a number of the passages it is his version that is presented here. This work only makes use of sounds made by the original instrument.

Figures de rhétorique was commissioned by the pianist, Jacques Drouin, with financial support from the Canada Council for the Arts. The tape sounds were obtained with the help of processing carried out on SYTER at the Groupe de recherches musicales de Paris in 1994. The final tape was produced at Queen’s University in Belfast and in the composer’s studio in 1997-98. Thanks to Michael Alcorn and Daniel Teruggi. It was premiered by Jacques Drouin on May 23rd, 1998 at the Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur in Montréal where it was recorded later. Thanks to Guy Soucie. Figures de rhétorique was awarded the 1st Prize for mixed music at the 1998 international Musica Nova competition (Prague, Czech Republic). The work was released on the compact disc Figures (IMED 9944) published by empreintes DIGITALes in 1999.


  • Call Number:
  • MI 9101 N847fi
  • Genre:
  • Works with Electronics / Multi-Media, Solo Works, , Keyboard(s)
  • Date of Acquisition:
  • May 15, 2014
  • Type:
  • Print-music, published
  • Physical Description:
  • 1 score (24 p.) ;
    24 Pages
    Height: 43 cm
    Width: 28 cm
    This piece includes a tape part
  • Additional Information:
  • Pour bande et piano.
    En 5 mouvements.
    Notes sur les indications musicales incluses dans la partition.
    Oeuvre éditée par YMX média et déposée au CMC Québec (voir avec compositeur pour la reproduction).

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Copies of this work are available for loan from: Toronto, Montréal, Calgary, Vancouver