le contrat social
"The problem is to find a form of association which will
defend and protect with the
whole common force the person and goods of each associate,
and in which each,
while uniting himself with all, may still obey himself alone,
and remain as free as before."

Jean Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract: Chapter vi:
The Social Compact, 1762
Le contrat social was created for the Ensemble contemporain de Montréal’s first interdisciplinary concert title Union Libre I. Four composers were asked to create a piece in collaboration with a visual artist of their choice. Each collaborative pair was given a choice of an historical period within which to frame their project. Michael and I chose to work in the Romantic period, playing with the contrasts of a society whose romantic longing for transcendence answered the abrasive progress of industrialization. We found the themes of romantic philosopher Jean Jacque Rousseau's The Social Contract were echoed throughout history and were a fair reflection of our own current conflicts as we adapt to technological revolution of the computer and the internet with artistic expressions of disillusion and spiritual longing

We combined live acoustic performance with the presentation of paintings on a scrolling mechanism which would unravel an abstract proposal of a six recurring stages in mans eternal struggle to come to terms with his own progress.

More images and sound samples