La porte des sables

Serge Arcuri

Programme notes

La porte des sables

“We must now slip through the openings in the wall, the forgotten openings; we must walk on tiptoe and listen carefully, not during the day but in the evening, when the moon lends shade to our story, when the stars gather in a corner of the sky and watch the world fall asleep.”

Tahar Ben Jelloun

As in Tahar Ben Jelloun’s novel The Sand Child, La porte des sables (The Sand Door) takes us on the path of legend, each door giving us access to another. This piece follows the same pattern, the modal language emerging through the lyrical nature of the arabesques played by the oboe and the English horn, as opposed to the rhythmical percussive accompaniment.


The tape and sequences for La porte des sables were produced in 1989 at the studio of composer André-Luc Desjardins in Montréal. The piece premiered on November 12, 1989, during the CEC Electroacoustic Days, >convergence< at The Banff Centre for the Arts (Alberta, Canada). La porte des sables was commissioned by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) at the request of oboist Lawrence Cherney. Many thanks to André-Luc Desjardins for his technical help.


  • November 12, 1989, Lawrence Cherney, oboe, English horn; Scott Lyons, percussion; Serge Arcuri, diffusion • >convergence<: Concert 5, Margaret Greenham Theatre — The Banff Centre for the Arts, Banff (Alberta, Canada)

This version was recorded at Pizazzudio studio in Toronto on October 29 and 30, 1992 and mixed December 13 to 15, 1992 (sound recording: Konrad Skreta; engineers: Michael Jack, Barry Lubotta).

  • Instrumentation: oboe (English horn), MIDI percussion and stereo fixed medium
  • Composer(s): Serge Arcuri
  • Year of composition: 1989
  • Commission: CBC at the request of oboist Lawrence Cherney
  • ISWC: T0710288995
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • ISRC: CAD509310550

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