Les aurores pourpres

Stéphane Roy

Les aurores pourpres has been performed in Buenos Aires, Montréal and Santiago…

This work conjures up a dreamy vision. Two spaces, two constrasting climates. First, at the edge of dawn, a calm and serene horizon, cold and blue. Suddenly this space becomes enclosed, the cold light growing purplish to the point of becoming incandescent. The place fills with wild, excited creatures whose acoustic traces are contrapuntal to the clash between tectonic materials in motion.

Here again, the acousmatic writing proceeds from an esthetics marked by contrasting morphological signatures whose mutations are unpredictable and bring to mind colours, textures, and shapes. The work starts with long, stable, diaphanous stretches of sounds, akin to laments. These are brutally perturbed by cracklings, granulates, and “acoustic arcs” generated by saturation that rips the sound screen apart.

The materials in Les aurores pourpres come from sound synthesis and treated acoustic source recordings. To achieve this result, I had to go back to old sound banks from the early 1990s I had collected in the course of a year of creation and programming at Stanford University (California, USA).

To form the materials of the work, I used an infrared motion sensor that allowed me to control, through the gestures of one hand, up to five audio parameters simultaneously in additive synthesis and modelling synthesis applications. I used the same controller to treat my materials old and new, notably in the software Cecilia. Using this infrared sensor allowed me to imprint a gestural signature, lively and organic, to the morphology and outlook of the sounds, and to let the expressive qualities of the material come through.

[English translation: François Couture, x-19]

Les aurores pourpres [Purple Dawns] was realized in 2017-19 at the composer’s studio in Montréal (Québec), and premiered on April 11, 2019 during the concert Résidence croisée presented in the Studio multimédia of the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal.


  • April 11, 2019, Résidence croisée: Gilles Gobeil, Stéphane Roy, Studio multimédia — Conservatoire de musique de Montréal, Montréal (Québec)


Les aurores pourpres (2017-19), 13:54
stereo fixed medium



Date Work Program
December 15, 2019 Stéphane Roy, Les aurores pourpres (2017-19), 13:54 The Moderns #84 / Radio Regent (Canada)
February 1, 2020 Stéphane Roy, Les aurores pourpres (2017-19), 13:54 Dimensions #65 / LaimaPersik
October 12, 2020 Stéphane Roy, Les aurores pourpres (2017-19), 13:54 Acoustic Frontiers / CKCU 93.1 FM (Canada)
February 28, 2021 Stéphane Roy, Les aurores pourpres (2017-19), 13:54 Episode 1052 / Martian Gardens Podcast (USA)
May 5, 2021 Stéphane Roy, Les aurores pourpres (2017-19), 13:54 Radioateliér / Český rozhlas (Czech Republic)