Robert Normandeau


  • Robert Normandeau
  • Year of composition: 2000
  • Duration: 15:02
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • Commission: IMEB
  • ISWC: T0715252677

To Brigitte Haentjens

At the origin of the work is a play — an adaptation from the 1971 novel by Ingeborg Bachmann (Austria, 1926-73), Malina — presented in Montréal in September 2000.

The stage adaptation, a poetic reading of Bachmann’s novel, makes use of the unsaid, silence, and atmosphere in a way that allows the music a place that it seldom enjoys in theater. It became clear from the beginning that the ideal instrument for this meditation was the shakuhachi. As the work progressed it became increasingly evident that the music would have to be an omnipresent element in the play. The absolute confidence that the director showed me on this question allowed me to develop the music through a creative process similar to the one I use when writing concert music.

I want to thank Brigitte Haentjens, without whom this music would not exist, for commissioning the work, certainly, but above all for the confidence that she showed during its creation. I would also like to take the opportunity to thank the entire production staff of Malina. Finally, my special thanks goes to Claire Marchand for her playing of the shakuhachi, the truly fascinating instrument that provided the sole and unique material for the work, and for which she adapted the techniques of modern flute playing, her principal instrument.

Malina was realized in 1999-2000 at the studios of the Institut international de musique électroacoustique de Bourges (IMEB, France) and at the composer’s studio and premiered on June 17, 2000 during the Synthèse festival (Bourges, France). Malina (the concert piece) was commissioned by the IMEB (France).


  • June 17, 2000, Synthèse 2000: Concert, Bourges (Cher, France)