Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Music

Martin Loridan

PhD Candidate in Composition

M. Loridan graduated from the Paris Conservatoire (CNSMDP). His research is an inquiry into the use of Souffle (air and breath) as a composition material.


Martin Loridan graduated from the Paris Conservatoire (CNSMDP). His catalog includes works for Orchestra as well as Solo, Chamber and Vocal music.

His works have been performed worldwide by the Arditti Quartet, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Klangforum Wien, Quatuor Tana, the ensembles l’Instant Donné, Mise-en, Soundinitiative, ECCE, and the soloists Claude Delangle, Claudio Pasceri, Yumi Suehiro.

He has been awarded prizes in several composition competitions, such as the Reinl-Prize (Vienna), the Vareler-Prize (Berlin), Prix André Jolivet (Paris).

He has been selected for international residencies and festivals such as Estovest (Turin), Mise-En Festival (New York), IMPULS (Graz), International Forum of New Music “Manuel Enriquez” (Mexico City).

His doctoral research (Title: Souffle: Air and breath as composition materials) explores the creation of extended and “hybrid” forms of souffle, through the interaction with other physical/acoustic phenomena and parameters such as vibration, amplification, resonance, gesture, space… His current projects include the composition of a cycle solo/chamber pieces.

His research is funded by the “Leeds Doctoral Scholarship”. His works are published at BabelScores.

Research Interests

Souffle: Air and breath as composition materials

The usual translation of the French term “souffle” is “breath”. Indeed, souffle refers to the physical act of respiration. But it has also a wider sense, the one of movement of air and by extension the sound created by it. Souffle also has the sense of inspiration and may, to some extent, refer to spirit.

The physical integration of souffle into music opens up infinite possibilities. It can be developed as a contrapuntal, rhythmical, dynamic and even percussive element; it can be integrated as a part of the timbre or of the texture; it can become a force, a component of an attack; it can trigger vibration, generate resonance and give life to silence…

A precise control of the proportion of air in the sound is possible with most wind instruments. Through the use of the body and through the filter of phonetics, souffle can take multiple forms. Through specific techniques, or played on various parts of their bodies, string instruments can (re)produce an extraordinary variety of air-sounds. Multiple souffle-textures can be achieved by percussion instruments. Souffle plays a major role in traditional and extra-European music.

In my work, souffle is addressed for its physical and acoustic properties, which doesn’t limit it to a mere materialism, for it is precisely the object itself, and not its representation that transcends our ordinary world. My work is about souffle as both a physical and acoustic experience, an experience that transforms the listener as well as the composer.

My research investigates the multiple techniques and gestures behind the (re)creation of souffle; through composition, my PhD addresses their extension and explores their hybridization with other technical/physical parameters and dimensions such as vibration, resonance and space.

Research Interests:

  • Souffle
  • Phonetics
  • Extended techniques
  • Gesture
  • Wind-activated instruments
  • Sympathetic vibration
  • Ethnomusicology
  • Amplification

Research Projects & Grants

Academic and professional Awards

  • ISCM World Music Days 2018: Selected, French section (Paris, 2017)
  • Leeds Doctoral Scholarship (University of Leeds, 2017)
  • André Jolivet Composition Prize (Paris, 2017)
  • Vareler Composition Prize: 1st prize (Berlin, 2016)
  • Pittsburg Symphony Orchestra Composition Competition: Winner (Pittsburgh, 2013)
  • Sobe Art Festival Composition Competition: 1st prize (Miami, 2013)
  • Siegburg Composition Competition: 3rd Prize (Siegburg, 2013)
  • International Rachmaninov Composition Competition: 3rd Prize (Darmstadt, 2012)
  • Franz Josef Reinl-Stiftung Composition Competition: 2nd prize – No 1st prize awarded (Munich, 2011)
  • Anton Stadler Composition Competition: 1st prize (London, 2011)

Call for works and Nomination (selected)

  • Trieste prize “Giampaolo Coral Award”: Finalist (Trieste, 2016)
  • ECCE Ensemble Call for Scores: Selected (Boston, 2016)
  • Sorodha Composition Competition: Twice Finalist (Antwerp, 2016 and 2014)
  • Prix Vedrarias de Composition: Twice Finalist (Paris, 2015 and 2011)
  • Arditti Quartet International Call for Works: Selected (London, 2014)
  • Klangforum Wien Sall for Scores: Selected (Graz, 2014)
  • Senzoku Gakuen International Composition Competition for Symphony Orchestra: Finalist (Tokyo, 2014)
  • Call for Works, BabelScores Reading Panel: Selected (Paris, 2014)

Selections for Festivals and Residencies

  • EstOvest Festival: Featured Composer, Selected for Commission. Turin, December 2017, November 2016
  • Mise-En Music Festival: Featured Composer, Selected for Commission. New York, June 2016
  • Sound Thought Festival: Featured Composer, Selected for commission. Glasgow, April 2016
  • International Forum of New Music Manuel Enriquez: Featured Composer, Selected. Mexico, May 2014
  • Stony Brook University: Selected, Composer in Residence. Stony Brook University, November 2013
  • Invitation to Composer Project: Selected, Composer in Residence. London Schubert Players. London, Paris, Bucharest, 2010 – 2011
  • Conservatoire of Bayonne: Composer in Residence. Bayonne, academic year 2008 – 2009

Research Centres & Groups

Centre for Scientific Research in Music (ICSRiM)

Centre for Practice-Led Research in the Arts (CePRA)

Professional Practice

Recent compositions

  • Cinq Figures Errantes for amplified piano (2017). Commissioned by Ensemble Mise-En
  • String Quartet n°3 (2016). Commissioned by EstOvest festival
  • Spectres d’ombre for piano trio (2016). 1st Prize, Prix André Jolivet
  • Jusqu’à l’afflux... for ensemble (2016). Commissioned by Sound Thought festival
  • Whispering Spaces II for string quartet (2016). Finalist, Sorodha Composition Competition
  • Whispering Spaces for amplified piano trio (2015-2016). 1st prize, Vareler Kompositionspreis
  • Resonating gestures for piano (2015). Commissioned by Mise-en music festival
  • Souffle,Esquisse for voice and ensemble (2015). Commissioned by Soundinitiative
  • Chimères… for clarinet and soprano (2015). Commissioned by Ensemble Accroche Note
  • Sarments d’espace for large ensemble (2014). Selected, Klangforum Wien call for scores
  • Trois pièces pour quatuor à cordes (2013/2014). Selected, Arditti quartet international call for works

A full list of works can be accessed here: http://www.martin-loridan.com/en/works

Selected Publications (scores)

  • Breath/Rebreath for String trio, Piano and Percussions (2014). BabelScores, 2015, Paris
  • Brumes, Espace, Temps… for Chamber Ensemble (2012). BabelScores, 2015, Paris
  • Chimères… Improvisation sur René Char, for Soprano and Clarinet (2015). BabelScores, 2017, Paris
  • Deux Pièces Pour Violoncelle, for solo Cello (2013). BabelScores, 2015, Paris
  • Fugitive Lines, for solo Viola (2013). BabelScores, 2015, Paris
  • Jusqu’à l’afflux… for Clarinet, Violin, Viola, Cello (2016). BabelScores, 2017, Paris
  • Resonating gestures, for amplified piano (2015). BabelScores, 2017, Paris
  • Souffle, Esquisse. Chant pour un équinoxe, for Soprano and ensemble (2015). BabelScores, 2017, Paris
  • Trois Pièces pour Contrebasse (2013-2014). BabelScores, 2015, Paris
  • Trois Pièces Pour Quatuor à Cordes, for String Quartet (2014). BabelScores, 2015, Paris
  • Whispering Spaces, for amplified piano trio (2015). BabelScores, 2017, Paris












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