Work

Elegy (in memoriam Michael J Baker) (2001)

Éric Morin

string quartet, and viola

Program Notes

What can I say? Michael was a great human being. The kind of human being one would rarely encounter in a lifetime: true, kind, understanding and, for what I know, deeply in love with a beautiful dancer…

I met Michael back in 1995. He was artistic director of ARRAYMUSIC, the Toronto-based contemporary chamber music ensemble. He was really the first one to give me a chance professionally, while others would denounce my work purely on academic merit.

You had to see I’m smile; I liked him at first sight. He always wanted to speak French and taught me naughty phrases in English. He used to sing this really funny tune about “Mister Pong” that I still sing in laughter to my friends. We got drunk one night on a good bottle of white wine, looking at a full moon on the roof of his building. One of those nights one would rarely live in his life: true, soft, meaningful…

But now Michael is gone, reaped too soon from my reality by leukaemia. And as I look to this now not-so-full moon, though still so beautifully bright, I can only say to myself that life is the least trustworthy thing I can imagine, giving in one hand and taking so much by the other.

To the memory of this unique individual, I wanted to compose this abstract music, no real pathos involved. For I am powerless facing life’s path…

Many thanks to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Roger Moore for making this Elegy possible.