After the Second Coming of Gatsby, I am happy to report the third coming of Saint-Denys Garneau. The great québécois poet celebrates his one hundredth birthday in 2012, and the city of Trois-Rivières is paying homage to him at its yearly Festival international de poésie.  A musical homage by yours truly will contribute to the commemoration by way of the Orchestre symphonique de Trois-Rivières on September 29th. That’s when the orchestra will perform the Québec premiere of the revised version of my piece for string orchestra, Regards et jeux dans l’espace, titled after Saint-Denys Garneau’s most famous poem collection.


I composed the piece in 1990 and the World Premiere occurred at the Palais Montcalm in Québec City, during the finals of the CBC/Radio-Canada competition for young composers.  I revised the piece in 1996, and the premiere of this new version happened in Toronto in October of the same year.  For its third coming, I am very honored that the Québec premiere coincides with the poet’s centennial celebrations.


Saint-Denys Garneau died in 1943, and although he wrote little, his work has had a groundbreaking impact on Québec literature.  His verse explores deep psychological states, which is fertile material for a composer.  And since music is the most virtual of art forms – any musical piece ultimately happens in the mind of the listener – it only makes sense that I was inspired to paint in music a poetry of such high spiritual quality.


I will then travel to Trois-Rivières at the end of September to attend this memorable event.  Of course, I am thrilled to hear the piece again after sixteen years, but I am thrilled mostly to let my music be an artistic partner in an homage to such a pioneer of Québec poetry.

Jacques Desjardins