The Symphonies for Brass and Percussion were composed in 1956, but only the first movement was premiered that year on the French radio network of the CBC. The second and third movements were constantly revised over the years. The influence on the 1950’s style of American jazz brass arrangements can be heard throughout the work.

Inspired by Yves Préfontaine’s poem, Les Temples effondrés (The Collapsed Temples), Les voix de l’ombre consists of seven sequences much like the Mallarmé-style text of the poem. The music, which exploits the lower reigister of the brass instruments, uses a base of hieratic sounds to form the dark world from which light will come forth. It is dedicated to the students who participate in the Ensemble de Cuivres Contemporain (the contemporary brass ensemble).

Aerea or « City of Bronze » suggests to the composer an evocation of possibilities, as well as an « arch-like » formal structure. The reading of the title is similar to the graffities of Pompeii or to the game of Anagram of the magic Square.

1-3. Symphonies for Brass and Percussion

4. Voices Out of the Darkness

5. Aerea