Sonars (CD) Track listing detail

Bédé

Robert Normandeau

  • Year of composition: 1990
  • Duration: 2:56
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • Commission: empreintes DIGITALes
To my parents

This miniature was realized from sounds (onomatopoeias) used in comic books traditionally associated with the world of children. The piece is divided in three sections: Le monde de l’enfance (Child’s World), La vallée des fantômes (Phantoms’ Valley), and La quête de la voix (Search of the Voice). The voice of 11 year old Marie-Hélène Blain is the single sound element of the piece.

Robert Normandeau [xi-90]


Bédé — a pun on the abbreviation of “bande dessinée” (comic book) — was realized in my studio, the studio of the Faculty of Music of Université de Montréal and the studio of the Ina-GRM with support from the Canada Council [for the Arts] (CCA). [xi-90]


Premiere

  • November 2, 1990, Montréal musiques actuelles / New Music America, Acousmonium: Concert 6: Électro clips, Théâtre Les Loges, Montréal (Québec)

About this recording

This version is a stereophonic recording of multichannel sound diffusion realized at The Banff Centre for the Arts (engineers: Antonio Oliart and Stephanie Rogers; assistant: Jennifer Lewis) in July, 1993.

Éclats de voix

Robert Normandeau

  • Year of composition: 1991
  • Duration: 14:51
  • Instrumentation: 14-channel fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • Commission: CKUT FM, with support from the CCA
To Martine Blain

The primary visual imagery of the title (Bursts of Voices), the fragmentation of the voice into little shatters, is augmented by the connotation of anger — a child’s sudden anger which appears like a tornado, to disappear just as quickly. The voice is of an 11-year-old child who wholeheartedly joined in the game of recording dozens of sounds from the Dictionnaire des bruits by Jean-Claude Trait and Yvon Dulude. The work is divided into five sections which represent childhood ‘states’ and a corresponding sonorous parameter. These different sections are presented one after the other in concert, or separately when broadcast on radio.


Éclats de voix was realized in the composer’s studio and at the Groupe de recherches musicales (GRM) in Paris from recordings of the voice of Marie-Hélène Blain. It was premiered on September 26, 1991 in stereo by CKUT FM in Montréal. Éclats de voix was commissioned by CKUT with support from the Canada Council [for the Arts] (CCA). The piece was awarded the 1st Prize by Jury and tied for the Public’s Prize at the 2nd Prix international Noroit-Léonce Petitot (Arras, France, 1991) and recorded on the compact disc Prix international Noroit-Léonce Petitot 1991 (NO R2). It was also awarded a Mention at the Stockholm Electronic Arts Award Competition (Sweden, 1992), an Honorable Mention at the Prix Ars Electronica (Linz, Austria, 1993) and a 1st Mention at the Bourges International Electroacoustic Music Competition (France, 1993).


Premiere

  • September 26, 1991, Concert, CKUT FM, Montréal (Québec)

Awards


About this recording

This version is a stereophonic recording of 14-channel sound diffusion realized at The Banff Centre for the Arts (engineers: Antonio Oliart and Stephanie Rogers; assistant: Jennifer Lewis) in July, 1993.

Spleen

Robert Normandeau

  • Year of composition: 1993
  • Duration: 15:00
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média

Spleen is comprised solely of the voices of four adolescents, aged 16 years. The title refers to one of the most significant moods of the adolescent: this kind of sudden melancholy which surfaces for no apparent reason. This work is a sequel to a previous piece, Éclats de voix, which utilized dozens of sounds from the Dictionnaire des bruits by Jean-Claude Trait and Yvon Dulude as a sonorous base. Onomatopoetic, the material is extremely rich because it represents those instances when the sounds of human language correspond directly to the designated object or to the expression of a sentiment.

The piece is divided into five sections which represent typical situations for the adolescent, and a corresponding sonorous parameter. These sections are presented successively in concert, or separately when broadcast on radio.


Spleen was realized in the composer’s studio from recordings of the voice of Marc Gilbert, Laurent-Josée Sainte-Marie, Nicolas Thériault and Patrick Virar. It was premiered during the radio festival Journées Électro-Radio Days broadcast live in Montréal, Toronto and Vancouver on December 10, 1993. Spleen was realized with support from the Audio program of the Media Arts Section of the Canada Council [for the Arts] (CCA). The piece was awarded the Public’s Prize at the 3rd Prix international Noroit-Léonce Petitot (Arras, France, 1994).


Premiere

  • December 10, 1993, Journées Électro-Radio Days, Montréal (Québec)

Awards

Matrechka

Robert Normandeau

  • Year of composition: 1986
  • Duration: 13:53
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
To Lucie

This piece, similar to Matrechka, the nest of Russian dolls from which the title originates, takes in the form of an unveiling, a journey where reality, of a certain form, gives place to another reality. It uses the theme, dear to surrealists, that art should never be mistaken for the object it represents. Thus, in a painting entitled L’air et la chanson (The Tune and the Song), René Magritte writes under what seems to be: “Ceci n’est pas une pipe” (This is not a pipe).

Thus, waves, breaths, even music originate from elsewhere; they are presented in unnatural forms. From a tumultuous exterior and chaos, we gradually progress towards a helpless and anxious interior. The sound objects progressively adopt new and unheard-of forms, and resemble less and less the real objects from which they arise.

[ii-90]


Matrechka was realized between 1984 and ’86 at the studio of the Université de Montréal and at the composer’s studio from sound material created for six holosculptures of Georges Dyens. The work was premiered on May 1, 1986 at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR). Matrechka was awarded the prize of the French National Federation of Electroacoustic Music, a Mention at the 14th Bourges International Electroacoustic Music Competition (France, 1986) and the Métamorphoses d’Orphée Studio prize (Ohain, Belgium) at the 1st Phonurgia Nova International Competition (Arles, France, 1986).


Premiere

  • May 1, 1986, Concert, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, Trois-Rivières (Québec)

Awards

Matrechka, 4: Terre de sienne brûlée

Robert Normandeau

  • Year of composition: 1987
  • Duration: 2:21
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média

Le cap de la tourmente

Robert Normandeau

  • Year of composition: 1984-85
  • Duration: 7:24
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média

This work was composed in 1984-85 for an exhibit of five holosculptures (sculptures with holograms) by Georges Dyens. The pieces were swept across by lights in cycles alternating appearance and disappearance and were positioned as far as possible from each other. Each piece had a different soundtrack in continuous playback. As the viewers/listeners moved around the gallery, they not only changed their visual focus but also their sonic environment, realizing their own mix of the sounds.

Musique holographique is an electroacoustic concert piece based on these sound materials proposing one of the many possible journeys through the exhibit, this version being the most representative of the spirit of the music from my perspective. The complete work has a duration of thirty-two minutes and could not be included on this recording; it is represented by one of its five soundtracks: Le cap de la tourmente. Some elements of this soundtrack were used again in three other works: Matrechka, La chambre blanche and Rumeurs (Place de Ransbeck).

[ii-90]


Musique holographique was realized in 1984-85 at the composer’s studio and premiered on January 15, 1985 at Obscure (Québec City). The original holosculpture (by Georges Dyens) and the soundtrack are part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Holography (New York City, NY, USA).


Premiere

  • January 15, 1985, Concert, Obscure, Quebec City (Québec)

Ellipse

Robert Normandeau

  • Year of composition: 1997-99
  • Duration: 11:58
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • Commission: Arturo Parra, with support from the CCA

Ellipsis is one of the figures of speech. It is the art of not saying everything, of omitting words, parts of sentences and elements of meaning, and of then allowing the interlocutor, the listener, to fill in the blanks. There are two people in this conversation. First there is Arturo Parra, who commissioned this work in order to produce a mixed version for guitar and tape (which is entitled L’envers du temps). So I composed this piece with him in mind, and left him enough space to move around in.

As the composer of the piece for solo tape I am the other person talking. Knowing how cohesive the acousmatic version is when it is performed in concert, I decided to let the guitarist colour the work not just by providing him with sound elements but by also giving him access to some of the key elements. And in fact the tape that Parra uses today is different from the acousmatic version. The works had the same starting point, but diverged along the way.

[English translation: Tom Carter]


Ellipse was realized between 1997 and ’99 at the composer’s studio and at the Faculté Polytechnique de Mons (Belgium). Thanks to Todor Todoroff. The piece was commissioned by the guitarist Arturo Parra with support from the Canada Council for the Arts (CCA). It was premiered at the Festival international de musique actuelle de Victoriaville (Québec) on May 15, 1998.


Premiere

  • May 15, 1998, FIMAV 1998: Parr(A)cousmatique, Cégep de Victoriaville, Victoriaville (Québec)

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