Sept couleurs

Program note

Seven Colors / Sept couleurs

was commissioned by the New York New Music Ensemble with the generous help of the Canada Council for the Arts Commissioning Award. 

In one single movement, the work is spread out like a long tactile tapistery or scroll that reveals a successive order of patterns of textures. One might imagine silk, wool, plastic, wood, denim, and leather; polka dots, plaids, stripes; rough, smooth, grainy, dense - each coming on after another. Sections in Seven Colours fade together, or overlap one another, or arise suddenly as part of a collage. The pace and shape of the piece is carefully calculated. There are eight elemental segments, each one lasting fifteen seconds. These segments are built on two distinct "fabrics" of different durations. With retrogrades, variations, and augmentations, Seven Colours unfolds using this original material, which appears in the middle of the piece.

Here is a list of words that could describe the piece : broken discourse, shifting density, silence, strata, tension, light, sharp. The final section becomes like a still life, unified, with no edge, the most expansive and spacious of the three sections that form the work. Why the title Seven Colours ? Maybe because there are seven textures in the eight segments, but probably because I like the number seven.

Seven Colours is dedicated to the members of the New York New Music Ensemble.

- Linda Bouchard March 1994.


Year of composition
C flute /
B-flat clarinet /
Violin /
Cello /
Piano interior /
Glockenspiel /
Marimba /
Vibraphone /
Crotales /
Brake drum /
Wind chimes /
Chinese cymbal /

Last performances