Cowboy Fiction

Marc Tremblay

Cowboy Fiction

  • Marc Tremblay
  • Year of composition: 1998
  • Duration: 13:22
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Yul média
  • ISWC: T0710284982

To Jo and all of his nonsense…

Hollywood Westerns from the fifties have nurtured the American Dream for several generations of filmgoers: the dream of wide-open spaces, the pursuit of a freedom won by the iron-willed. But the dream has a dark side, where we can see the imperialistic mentality of “the White Man” who, with gun and railroad, took the land from “the Indian.”

The sound tracks to Westerns also carry images that help give shape to the myth. Guns, horses, barroom brawls, steam engines, and the desert wind all furnish the palette with a wide range of sound possibilities. I have used sounds that have been altered, transformed and remixed from two Westerns to continue the examination of the myth of the West that I had begun in a previous work for piano and tape entitled Don’t Shoot the Piano Player! (1994).

Cowboy Fiction is the second part of an extensive on-going multimedia project entitled Rêve de cowboy (The Cowboy Dream). The sound material was provided by the sound tracks of the French version of Howard Hawks’s El Dorado (1966) and John Ford’s The Searchers (1956), by singer Jo New York’s version of the Hank Williams classic, Rambling Man, as well by recordings of a few locomotives and a number of guns.


Cowboy Fiction was realized in November 1998 at the Institut international de musique électroacoustique de Bourges (IMEB, France) with support from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (CALQ) and premiered on 2 June 1999 during the IMEB’s Synthèse Festival in Bourges (France). Thanks to Olivier Lukaszczyk and Yves Coffy for their attentive ears.


  • June 2, 1999, Synthèse 1999: Concert, Bourges (Cher, France)