Jeux imaginaires [Imaginary Games] is a fantasy on time and strategies as found in a famous game of chess (Anatoli Karpov vs Garry Kasparov, 22nd round, 1992 World Chess Championship). Actually, the piece does not try to mimic the game itself apart from the middle section where the rhythm of the drum beats were derived from the pondering times of the first 19 strategic moves opening the round. The game came to be more of a meditative offset for composing the music. Every night after ending my composing session in the studio I played the game (or maybe only a few moves) on my portable chessboard. Apart from it being a nice way to turn my attention away from pure musical problems for a while, I found that playing the game made me more and more aware of the likeness between chess playing and composing. Apart from the obvious similarity of the strategic opening and ending sections (with fantasy being most important in the middle of the game), I like to think of musical components (sound objects, phrases, structures…) as pieces (of chess) with different charges and strengths that may be placed in a variety of relationships, and where the object of composing is that of finding solid constructions of relations throughout the whole musical time. Thus, playing the game as a small ritual every night released new musical ideas and composing energy without necessarily creating detectable parallels between the music and the game itself.
Jeux imaginaires was realized in 1993 at the Charybde studio of the Groupe de musique expérimentale de Bourges (GMEB, France). The piece was commissioned by the (GMEB). Jeux imaginaires was awarded the Prize of the Stockholm Electronics Arts Award (Sweden, 1993).