Interview: SMCQ : La mémoire équivoque, portrait de Jean Lesage

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This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)

Wednesday, March 2, 2022 – After gathering more than 1,000 listeners in January online, the Société de musique contemporaine du Québec (SMCQ) is continuing its series of portraits of Quebec composers, proposing a walk through time through the whimsical universe of Jean Lesage. The concert “La mémoire équivoque” will be presented at Salle Pierre-Mercure on Sunday, March 27 at 3 p.m.

Fragments of Baroque art, an atmosphere of early music and other subtle references permeate Lesage’s work. He revisits different facets of art by endowing the past with a contemporary poetry. The works on the programme, tinged with the traces of time and his own sonic imagination, invite the audience into a dialogue with history.

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“The work of memory is at the heart of my artistic concerns. I seek to establish a fruitful relationship between the present of the work and the past of art,” explains the composer.

Musical writing inspired by palimpsest

As Picasso explored and reinterpreted Diego Velázquez’s Las Meninas, Lesage updates certain elements of the past. My music is shaped by successive destruction and reconstruction,” notes Lesage. To illustrate this, we can think of the palimpsest, a parchment where the original writing has been erased and a new writing created, but where traces of the original remain.

The concert will be ‘augmented’ with a set design by Sylvain Marotte, with visual effects that echo the composer’s imagination, to accompany this sublime plunge into the meanderings of memory.



Salle Pierre-Mercure

Sunday March 27, 3 pm

Tickets and info


  1. Saturnales (2015)
  2. Quatuor à cordes no 5 (2018)
  3. Trois méditations sur la vie céleste de Charles G (2007)
  4. Le livre des mélancolies (1999)
  5. Les sensations confuses (1993)


Ensemble de la SMCQ | Guillaume Bourgogne, conductor

Quatuor Bozzini | Magali Simard-Galdès (soprano) | James Campbell (clarinet)

Sylvain Marotte, scenography

About the SMCQ

The SMCQ has been at the core of music creation for over 55 years and is dedicated to promoting the work of composers. Throughout the years, the organization established itself on the cultural scene by the quality and the scope of its concerts and activities which stand out for their unifying aspect. For more information about SMCQ projects, subscribe to the newsletter:

This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)


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