Terminus (2021)

Program notes

From its development in 1928 to today, the ondes Martenot has recurrently found its future under threat. The early electronic instrument was at once too modern and strange for the classicists and too expressive and human for the modernists, finding favour with a small cadre of 20th century composers of which Messiaen is perhaps best known. Numerous undertakings to preserve and promote the instrument have extended its life, but for how long? In Terminus, written in 2021, feelings of helplessness and angst related to the potential extinction of this extraordinary instrument are transubstantiated via iconoclastic catharsis - an emotional unburdening through the irrecoverable process of immolation.

Influenced by the writings of Finnish electroacoustic pioneer Erkki Kurenniemi and stochastic composition techniques pioneered by Iannis Xenakis, Terminus employs a meta-compositional framework using mathematically derived probabilistic systems. These were modeled after the Montréal Metro, its underground rail lines and interchange stations in which simulated travel routes were mapped to compositional ideas. The sounds of the ondes Martenot and fixed media are spectrally interfused and, taking advantage of a complex speaker arrangement, the audience is enveloped and carried into the heart of the conflagration.


Year of composition



Ondes Martenot and Tape

Concerts par oeuvres


Season Date Concert Member(s)
2021-22 CONCERT VIVIER INTERUNIVERSITAIRE Vivier InterUniversitaire (ViU)