Clair de terre

Robert Normandeau

Clair de terre

  • Robert Normandeau
  • Year of composition: 1999, 2009
  • Duration: 36:00
  • Instrumentation: 16-channel fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • ISWC: T0710395780

A photograph of the Earth taken from space probably best epitomizes the second half of the twentieth century. It situates our planet in space in a way that makes it clear that the Earth is not at the center of the universe. Our place in space leads to a state of unbalance that is reflected in the way we see the world. This new perception in turn influences our artistic expression. Electroacoustic music was born just slightly more than fifty years ago, at about the same time that first photograph of the earth was taken. This has brought about a considerable change in how we (artists) make and how we (the audience) hear.

This work is divided into twelve movements that systematically explore elements of the grammar of cinematography that have been transposed into the language of electroacoustics. Preceded by an overture — Ouverture — each of these twelve movements are composed of a soundscape, an object’s sound, the sound of a musical instrument, and vocal onomatopoeias. All of these sound elements are drawn from the sound bank that I have built up over the last ten years.

Clair de terre was realized at the composer’s studio in 1999 and premiered on December 10, 1999 during the Rien à voir (6) concert series presented by Réseaux at Ex-Centris in Montréal. The work was realized with support from the Canada Council for the Arts (CCA) and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (CALQ). Some passages in the work are drawn from music or sound elements composed for theatre plays or the radio. Thanks to André Corriveau, Jean-François Denis, Monique Desroches, Julien Grégoire, Brigitte Haentjens, Odile Magnan, Denis Marleau, Lorraine Pintal, Jacinthe Potvin, Rober Racine, Claire Savoie, and Claude Schryer.


  • December 10, 1999, Rien à voir (6): concert solo, eXcentris, Montréal (Québec)