François Couture, AllMusic, March 1, 2002

Released in November 2001, Impulsion regroups all of Micheline Coulombe Saint-Marcoux’s known, available tape works (two could not be found in the composer’s archives). Many appear on record here for the first time, 16 years after her death. Of the five works, four were composed between 1970 and 1972. Constellation I dates from 1981. The pieces are presented in chronological order. The music of Coulombe Saint-Marcoux stands the test of time. One could expect a feminine or even feminist touch, but on the contrary her works sound very close to those of her male colleagues, especially Pierre Schaeffer (in her early works) and Iannis Xenakis (his tape music, of course). Arksalalartôq (1970-1971) is an interesting study on language on poems by Noël Audet and Gilles Marsolais put through a series of permutations and transformations, but her cut-and-paste technique is somewhat clumsy or maybe just naive (not unlike Schaeffer’s, actually). The best piece is Moustières. A suite of short events, tableaux inspired by the landscape of the French Alps, it sounds fresh, each segment developing an idea with acute precision, the listener having only to piece the puzzle together. Constellation I, by far the longest work at 19 minutes, dives into more abstract music, ample gestures like splashes of colors on the canvas. It lacks a clear aim. By itself, Coulombe Saint-Marcoux’s music is not essential electroacoustics, but anyone interested in the place of women in this male-dominated field (even more so in the 1970s) will definitely want to hear Impulsion.

The music of Coulombe Saint-Marcoux stands the test of time.