Icebergs et Soleil de minuit — Quatuor en blanc

Simon Martin

Icebergs et Soleil de minuit — Quatuor en blanc has been performed in Aberdeen, Joliette, Jonquière, Montréal and Oldenburg…

Pierre Schneider wrote the following about Jean Paul Riopelle and his Icebergs series: “Black and white: these pre-eminent tools of drawing, he employs as a painter. When he works the surface with a knife, as is his habit, their shades are infinite, their potential bondless. Sometimes the literal image, encircled by its ring, precipitous, is more or less hemmed in, crushed in a vise of dazzling ice. At other times, though, a gentle snow covers it, caresses it, insidiously dissolves it. Here, black and white collide; there, they fuse, blending into delicious greys.” (Foreword, Jean Paul Riopelle, exhibition catalogue, Paris, Musée national d’art moderne, 1981, p. 23, as cited in Riopelle, exhibition catalogue, Montréal, Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal, 1991, p. 141.)

What I found inspiring in Riopelle’s work is this exploration of all the possibilities of matter, without ever becoming systematic about it. Riopelle approaches these possibilities in multiple ways: with every stroke of the spatula on a single canvas (Austria, The Jacob Chatou); with series of paintings (Icebergs, The king of Thule); through diptychs (La ligne d’eau), triptychs (Ashes), quadriptychs (Midnight Sun: Quartet in White), a polyptych (Polyptyque) to several works within a single work (Le Bestiaire); through assemblies of scraps from previous experiments (Le grand assemblage); by treating a single subject in different media (the owl represented in painting, sculpture, lithography, mixed media, etc.), and so on.

In my own composition, each section can be seen as one painting within a series, or as one of Riopelle’s spatula strokes scrutinized from up close: a world in itself; organic nature with inherent contrasting structures and variations, and like this view of nature, the work does not attempt to demonstrate anything, i.e. it makes no attempt at narrative development. Instead, it is meant as the affirmation of the necessity of chance, the necessity obtained from chance, the constant reiteration of equations whose variables keep changing because they modulate one another. Consequently, everything must always be made anew (you must play to be alive: if you were to stop confronting doubt and discovery, stop throwing the dice, you would not be playing anymore and you would die). By paying tribute to Riopelle, Nature’s portraitist, my work also celebrates life and the rhythms of its manifestations.

[English translation: François Couture, iv-07]

This text is unavailable in English.

Icebergs et Soleil de minuit — Quatuor en blanc a été composée au printemps 2007 et a été créée le 28 avril 2007 dans la cadre du Composer’s Kitchen 2007 par le Quatuor Bozzini à la galerie B-312 à Montréal (Québec, Canada). Icebergs et Soleil de minuit — Quatuor en blanc a été finaliste du Prix Jules-Léger de la nouvelle musique de chambre en 2008.

Premiere

  • April 28, 2007, Bozzini QuartetComposer’s Kitchen 2007: Concert, B-312 — Édifice Belgo, Montréal (Québec)

Icebergs et Soleil de minuit — Quatuor en blanc

  • Simon Martin
  • Year of composition: 2007
  • Duration: 17:00
  • Instrumentation: string quartet

Video

On disc

Concerts

28 Apri 2007
8:00 pm
Série QB
BrassetLimaMartinNorrisReicheRoark
Residency
Montréal (Québec)
12 May 2010
8:00 pm
GoldsteinJamiesonMartinTenneyTremblay
Oldenburg (Niedersachsen, Germany)
19 Janu 2012
8:00 pm
AitkenBoudreauCharkeMartinMorel
Montréal (Québec)
29 Marc 2012
7:30 pm
Martin
Montréal (Québec)
25 May 2012
6:30 pm
Martin
Montréal (Québec)
8 Dece 2013
3:00 pm
Martin
Montréal (Québec)
11 Dece 2013
8:00 pm
Martin
Montréal (Québec)
2 Marc 2014
2:00 pm
Martin
Montréal (Québec)
10 Febr 2015
8:00 pm
Martin
Montréal (Québec)
17 June 2015
1:00 pm
BrendersLucierMartin
Montréal (Québec)
30 July 2015
8:00 pm
Martin
Sorry, sold out
Joliette (Québec)
9 Dece 2015
8:00 pm
Martin
Montréal (Québec)
20 May 2016
8:00 pm
Martin
Jonquière (Québec)
27 Octo 2017
1:00 pm
DillonKristinssonMartin
Aberdeen (Scotland, UK)
8 Nove 2020
7:00 pm
Cancelled
DavidMartinO’Callaghan
Residency
Dresden (Sachsen, Germany)
29 Nove 2020
2:30 pm
Postponed: Saturday, March 27, 2021
ButterfieldCheungGarchikJolasMartinSatieTagaq
Montréal (Québec)
1 Dece 2020
6:30 pm
Postponed: Saturday, March 27, 2021
ButterfieldCheungGarchikJolasMartinSatieTagaq
Montréal (Québec)
27 Marc 2021
2:30 pm
ButterfieldCheungGarchikJolasMartinSatieTagaq
No audience
Montréal (Québec)
27 Marc 2021
2:30 pm
ButterfieldCheungGarchikJolasMartinSatieTagaq
Online event Live
Montréal (Québec)
28 Marc 2021
10 Apri 2021
ButterfieldCheungGarchikJolasMartinSatieTagaq
Online event

Broadcasts

Date Work Program
Tuesday, April 26, 2016 Simon Martin, Icebergs et Soleil de minuit — Quatuor en blanc (2007), 17:00 Opposition de phase / RCV Lille 99 FM (France)