Les Souliers de Montmartre

Diana McIntosh
8 min
With fixed tape, video, and temple blocks

Les Souliers de Montmartre (7 3/4 mins) for piano, percussion, tape and video projection began to take shape in my mind while sitting outside a café in Montmartre. I was fascinated by the colourful variety of shoes that "walked" past us - from classy stiletto heals to floppy sandals. I noticed that my husband was taking a lot of photos, and when I asked what he was snapping, he said, "The shoes of Montmartre". "What a terrific title for a piece of music!", I said, and immediately began formulating it in my mind, and Les Souliers de Montmartre resulted. The music and the video are not intended to be synchronized in any way. They each reflect independent, shifting rhythms. In Montmartre I found two music boxes that play, "I Love Paris" and "Can Can", when the little cranks are turned. The metallic sounds of these tunes drift in and out of the piece, as if coming from a distance.