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 integration of souffle (air and breath) as a physical/acoustic 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 ensembles and Orchestra such as the Arditti Quartet, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Klangforum Wien, l’Instant Donné, ECCE, Accroche Note, Soundinitiative, Quatuor Tana.

He has been awarded prizes in several composition competitions such as the Reinl-Prize (Vienna), the Vareler-Prize (Berlin),  Prix André Jolivet (Paris), Sorodha (Antwerp). He has been selected for multiple 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 current projects include the composition of a cycle of chamber/solo pieces involving the use of Space and Amplification. His works are published at BabelScores. His research is funded by the “Leeds Doctoral Scholarship”.

Research Interests

Souffle: Air and breath as a physical composition material. 

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.

In my work, souffle is addressed for its physical properties, which doesn’t limit it to a mere materialism, the “physic” in question being rooted in Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology 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.

The 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 souffle in the sound is possible with most wind instruments. Through specific bowing techniques, rubbings, or played on various parts of their bodies, string instruments can produce an extraordinary variety of souffle-sounds. Multiple combinations can be produced by percussion instruments. Through the extended use of the body and through the filter of phonetics, souffle can take multiple forms. Souffle also plays a major role in Jazz, Asian and extra-European traditional music (e.g. Inuit throat singing).

My project investigates the multiple instrumental and vocal techniques and gestures behind the creation of souffle. Through composition, my research addresses their extension and explores their hybridization with other technical/physical parameters and dimensions.

Research Interests:

  • Breath and Phonetics
  • Souffle and timbre
  • Physical use of Souffle
  • Human-Instrumental breath
  • Extended Vocal techniques
  • Gesture and visual impact
  • Sympathetic vibration and resonance
  • Amplification and Spacialization

Research Projects & Grants

Academic and professional Awards

  • ISCM World Music Days 2018: Selected, French section (Paris, 2017)
  • Leeds Doctoral Scholarship (University of Leeds, 2017)
  • Stanley Burton Research 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 (funded by the European Union Culture Fund 2007 – 2013): 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

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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