Ressort spiral

Sophie Delafontaine

Ressort spiral has been performed in Brussels, Crest and Manchester…

To Cyril

Everything is small in the world of watchmaking. So small sometimes that things barely make any noise; so small your eyes hurt.

The spiral spring [“ressort spiral”] is the centrepiece of the watch. It is attached to the pendulum to which it relays the energy that makes the watch turn. In this tiny part is stored all the energy the watch needs to operate. The spiral spring is energized when the watch is wound up, then it relaxes gradually, making the hands rotate for days.

I am fascinated by this contradiction. How can such a tiny thing have such strength?

While creating this music I immersed myself in my grandfather’s universe. With the help of my second cousin, an apprentice in fine watchmaking, I was able to discover a part of a world that I had only glimpsed.

[English translation: François Couture, iii-19]

Ressort spiral [Spiral Spring] was realized in 2014-16 at the composer’s studio in Brussels (Belgium) and was premiered on March 23, 2016, during the concert ÉlectroBelge at Espace Senghor in Brussels (Belgium). Thanks to Maxime Tissot and the Manufacture de Haute Horlogerie Cartier (La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland). Ressort spiral won ex æquo the Public Award at the 9th Biennial Acousmatic Composition Competition Métamorphoses (Brussels, Belgium, 2016) and was selected as the compulsory work for the 2017 spatial performance competition Espace du son. Ressort spiral was created with the help of the Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles.


  • March 23, 2016, ÉlectroBelge, Espace Senghor, Brussels (Belgium)



stereo fixed medium



Date Work Program
July 31, 2017 Sophie Delafontaine, Ressort spiral (2014-16) Acoustic Frontiers / CKCU 93.1 FM (Canada)
May 4, 2019 Sophie Delafontaine, Ressort spiral (2014-16) One-Hundred and Forty Edition / The Parish News (UK)
May 9, 2019 Sophie Delafontaine, Ressort spiral (2014-16) The Moderns #52 / Radio Regent (Canada)
June 14, 2019 Sophie Delafontaine, Ressort spiral (2014-16) Basic Rhythm / WNUR 89.3 FM (USA)

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