Apocryphal Graffiti
for large chamber ensemble

Sean Ferguson
Sean Ferguson
Composition Date: 2000
Duration: 00:16:00
Genre: Orchestra / Large Ensembles, Chamber Orchestra (10 to 20)


Instrumentation Set Number 1:
  • 1 x Flute
  • 1 x Oboe
  • 1 x Clarinet
  • 1 x Bassoon
  • 1 x Horn
  • 1 x Percussion
  • 1 x Piano
  • 4 x Violin
  • 2 x Viola
  • 2 x Violoncello
  • 1 x Double bass
Instrumentation Set Number 2:
  • 1 x Chamber orch.
Programme Note:
To make graffiti is to create one’s art on the art of someone else. This can be an irreverent act, like painting a moustache on the Mona Lisa, but it can also be an act of protest or of social critique. In apocryphal graffiti, or “tagging,” the written texts both reveal and conceal their identity. Since the letters are highly stylized, the words reveal themselves to the insider but conceal themselves from the uninitiated. The text is in disguise, thus the label apocryphal. While graffiti is normally a visual medium, in this work I have used analogous techniques to compose my music on top of the music of other composers. As well, the conductor and the performers are occasionally given the freedom to create their own improvised tags on top of my music. In certain instances, I have even removed graffiti, leaving empty spaces in the original musical wall.

Apocryphal Graffiti was composed in collaboration with the choreographer Isabelle Van Grimde for the ECM’s Unions Libres event in 2000. The current version has been extensively revised for concert performance.

Sean Ferguson

Premiere Information:
16 mai 2000, Salle Pierre-Mercure, Centre Pierre-Péladeau, Montréal, QC; Ensemble contemporain de Montréal, Véronique Lacroix, dir.


  • Call Number:
  • MI 1200 F353ap
  • Genre:
  • Orchestra / Large Ensembles, Chamber Orchestra (10 to 20)
  • Date of Acquisition:
  • November 23, 2016
  • Type:
  • Print-music, Published by CMC
  • Physical Description:
  • 1 partition (vii, 77 p.) ;
    84 Pages
    Height: 35 cm
    Width: 28 cm
    Parts page count: 176
  • Additional Information:
  • Pour grand orchestre de chambre: 1111/1000, perc., piano, cordes (
    Percussion: Marimba, snare drum, bass drum, large cymbal, triangle.
    Oeuvre déposée au CMC Québec.
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Apocryphal Graffiti for large chamber ensembleFor information about this piece, please contact atelier@centremusique.ca--
Copies of this work are available for loan from: Toronto, Montréal, Calgary, Vancouver