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Critique

Jérôme Noetinger, Revue & Corrigée, no. 7, September 1, 1990
Saturday, September 1, 1990 Press

Le titre général du premier CD, Lieux inouïs, se réfère à la création d’espaces virtuels inédits et inexplorés que la composition électroacoustique permet d’aborder. Dans certains cas, on pourrait même parler de «cinéma pour l’oreille,» tant cette musique est génératrice d’images. Chacun est libre de son imagination et d’apporter, si cela lui semble nécessaire, une quelconque interprétation.

Tantôt imprégnée de certains élans religieux (la pièce Mémoires vives a d’ailleurs pour seul matériau sonore des extraits de Requiem retravaillés avec des outils informatiques), tantôt marquée par des éléments beaucoup plus concrets (musiciens du métro, éléments naturels), la musique de Normandeau est très profonde mais avec une légère tendance à tomber dans le «planant» (longues trames sonores noyées dans la réverbération).

… la musique de Normandeau est très profonde…

Review

Mark Vail, Keyboard, no. 16:9, September 1, 1990
Saturday, September 1, 1990 Press

For the first few seconds of Normandeau’s Jeu, he seems to take a more familiar, “musical” approach by leading off with a choral drone. It gradually mutates, however, with an overdose of stereo-crossed amplitude modulation that kicks your head into orbit. Normandeau works digitally with musique concrète techniques, using processed and “found” train, bell, gunshot, playground, and street noises, which he stretches into unidentifiable mutations or surrounds with surrealistic environments. His music is generally more rhythmic than Calon’s, and he seems to enjoy shocking the listener with unexpected sonic events.

Review

Mark Vail, Keyboard, no. 16:9, September 1, 1990
Saturday, September 1, 1990 Press

Alain Thibault: If the name doesn’t ring a bell, it should. Co-winner of Keyboards first Reader Tape Contest (Feb ’86), Thibault focuses on a more rhythmic ancl accessible, less haughty musical feeling. His tones resemble similiar instruments (he uses drum-like timbres much of the time), but they’re played in a mechanically inhuman, fast, precise way. Le soleil et l’acier features a lovely soprano voice singing “aah,” enveloped by a sometimes subdued, sometimes frenzied and sinister sequence. Included on the CD is Thibault’s award-winning God’s Greatest Gift — complete with the sliced and diced Ronald Reagan quote, “God’s greatest gift is human life” — alone worth the price of admission.

Review

Julia Loktev, Option, no. 34, September 1, 1990
Saturday, September 1, 1990 Press

The title, meaning “Unheard-of Places,” could be misleading. Normandeau, a professor of acoustics and electroacoustics at the Université de Montréal, may not be splicing his way through terra incognita, but he is mapping out some pretty interesting soundscapes and “acousmatic” compositions, as he deems them. These five pieces include both abstract sonic arrangements and more concrete, almost cinematic or radiomatic, compositions. The abstract works, as well as another piece based on computer-processed extracts from requiems, lean towards the monotonous at times. But the two concrete compositions easily make up for the tinge of tedium. Both Jeu and Rumeurs (Place de Ransbeck) project a compelling “cinema for the ear” never too cluttered, never too sparse. Rumeurs (Place de Ransbeck) wanders through haunted halls and doorways in a drama of spaces and objects. Jeu an exploration of the different uses of the French word for game or play, skips from a quiet torest to an amusement park, with sojourns near a bulldozer and a medieval choir along the way. It is uncanny how smoothly they come together in a finely manipulated soundscape. Both compositions are exquisitely spatially mixed and ideal for headphone listening.

… exquisitely spatially mixed and ideal for headphone listening.

Review

R Seth Friedman, Factsheet Five, no. 37, August 1, 1990
Wednesday, August 1, 1990 Press

The title here is French for “Unheard-of-Places,” and this is a challenging collection of electronic and sampled instrumentals. Some bits are chopped and blended, others feature breaking glass and ambient noise, still others depend on slow and ponderous tones.

Lignes à haute tension

Philippe Tétreau, MTL, July 1, 1990
Sunday, July 1, 1990 Press

Rien de semblable avec Thibault. Ici, tout est plus direct. Tout tinte et clignote à la façon des flippers qui offriraient une succession de parties gratuites. Une techno-pop omniprésente et soumise aux rythmes strobascopiques qui nient toute espèce de tentative mélodique. Prosaïsme? Dérision? Sans doute, mais pas seulement, car pareille robotisation du langage musical est l’occasion pour Thibault de faire montre d’une absurde virtuosité technique. Virtuosité bien agressive, qui vous propulse là, droit devant, sans qu’aucun garde-fou puisse vous garantir de l’intensité des chocs.

Tout tinte et clignote à la façon des flippers qui offriraient une succession de parties gratuites.