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Le renard et la rose

Robert Normandeau

  • Year of composition: 1995
  • Duration: 14:55
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • Commission: The Banff Centre for the Arts, with support from the CCA

Stereo

ISRC CAD509913550

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits
To Odile Magnan

Le renard et la rose [The Fox and the Rose] is a concert suite composed from two sound sources: the music commissioned for an adaptation for radio of the book The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (produced by Odile Magnan for Radio-Canada in 1994) and whose principal themes are found in it, and the voices of the actors who collaborated in the recording of the radio adaptation.

It is the third work in a cycle begun in 1991 (Éclats de voix and Spleen [recorded on the album Tangram, empreintes DIGITALes, IMED 9419/20, and IMED 9920] were the first two) and is based exclusively on the use of the voice; more specifically on onomatopoeia, which is the only form in human language that corresponds directly to the designated objects, gestures or feelings as sounds, rather than as the abstract representations that are words.

In each of the work’s five parts a state or feeling experienced in adulthood is associated with a sonic framework: Babillage et rythme (Babbling and Rhythm), Nostalgie et timbre (Nostalgia and Tone), Colère et dynamique (Anger and Dynamics), Lassitude et espace (Weariness and Space), Sérénité et texture (Serenity and Texture). In them the musical themes associated with the different characters in the book are arranged chronologically: the King, the Businessman, the Conceited Man, the Flock of Wild Birds, the Well in the Desert, the Rose, the Baobabs, the Lamplighter, the Little Flower, the Merchant Who Sold Thirst-Quenching Pills, the Fox and the Geographer.

The voices of the different characters are those of Pierre Bourgault, Françoise Davoine, Cynthia Dubois, Michel Dumont, Gilles Dupuis, Luc Durand, Monique Giroux, Jacques Languirand, Jean Marchand, Jean-Louis Millette, Guy Nadon, Martin Pensa, Gérard Poirier, Claude Préfontaine and Christine Séguin.

[English translation: Tom Carter]


Le renard et la rose was realized at the composer’s studio with a grant from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (CALQ). The piece was commissioned by The Banff Centre for the Arts for the 1995 International Computer Music Conference (ICMC ’95) with support from the Canada Council for the Arts (CCA). Le renard et la rose had its premiere on September 6, 1995 at the Banff Centre for the Arts. It won the Golden Nica at the Prix Ars Electronica (Linz, Autriche, 1996). It has been recorded a number of times: Prix Ars Electronica 1996 (ORF PAE 96), Le petit prince d’Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, CBC Records (MVCD 1091-2) and Sonic Circuits V (Innova 114).


Premiere

  • September 6, 1995, ICMC 1995: Concert, Margaret Greenham Theatre — The Banff Centre for the Arts, Banff (Alberta, Canada)

Awards

Figures de rhétorique

Robert Normandeau

  • Year of composition: 1997
  • Duration: 13:37
  • Instrumentation: piano and stereo fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • Commission: Jacques Drouin, with support from the CCA

Stereo

ISRC CAD500910006

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

The title: rhetoric is the art of discourse, and figures of speech are the forms that language takes to articulate that discourse. The figures of speech used here are arranged by type: figures of meaning (hyperbole, litotes, metaphor, oxymoron, parable and pleonasm), of words (alliteration, embellishment and rhyme), of thought (allegory, apologue, bombast, irony and tautology), and of construction (antithesis, ellipsis, repetition and reticence). These figures determine the relationship between the tape and the piano and constitute the work’s four movements.

The subtitle: “for tape and piano,” intended to emphasize the chronological primacy of one over the other. Figures de rhétorique was composed as an acousmatic work, which required work on the material, trials, a dynamic approach, and listening — a great deal of listening. The pianist’s score was created during the final stages of composition. It is a conclusion, not a premise. It is also the result of numerous working sessions with pianist Jacques Drouin (the performer is free to interpret a number of the passages; it is his version that is presented here). This work only makes use of sounds made by the original instrument.

[English translation: Tom Carter]


Figures de rhétorique [Figures of Speech] was commissioned by the pianist Jacques Drouin with support from the Canada Council for the Arts (CCA). The tape sounds were obtained with the help of processing carried out on SYTER at the Groupe de recherches musicales (GRM) in Paris in 1994. The final tape was realized in Queen’s University in Belfast (Northern Ireland, UK) and at the composer’s studio in 1997. Thanks to Michael Alcorn and Daniel Teruggi. It was premiered by Jacques Drouin on May 23, 1998 at the Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur in Montréal. Thanks to Guy Soucie. Figures de rhétorique was awarded the 1st Prize for mixed music in the Musica Nova 1998 International Competition of Electroacoustic Music (Prague, Czech Republic).


Premiere

  • May 23, 1998, Jacques Drouin, piano • La Semaine de musique québécoise pour le piano: Carte blanche à Jacques Drouin, Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur, Montréal (Québec)

Awards


About this recording

… at the Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur in Montréal where the present recording was later realized.

Venture

Robert Normandeau

  • Year of composition: 1998
  • Duration: 19:22
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • Commission: Codes d’accès, with support from the CCA , et Musiques & Recherches

Stereo

ISRC CAD509913570

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits
To Catherine Béchard

The title refers to the 1960’s musical group The Ventures (theirs was the first stereo album in my small but growing record collection) but also to all of the progressive rock music of that decade and the one that followed. It is exclusively made up of fragments of that music. These are used not as quotations but rather as the sonic archetypes that an entire generation of composers, my generation, was listening to as it was growing up. It was while I was working on Venture that I understood something about the origins of my compositions during that period. To this music I have added quotations from the sixteen movements of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, which became a cult classic when Emerson, Lake & Palmer released a reworking of it in the mid-70’s. This was the work that enabled me to move from rock to classical music.

Venture is made up of six movements that refer to different states of existence: Innocence, Stabilité [Stability], Tension, Délire [Frenzy], Violence, Sérénité [Serenity], and preceded by an Introduction. These are punctuated by variations on an ever-present movement, Tunnel (a metaphor for the transition between these states) which runs through the work.

[English translation: Tom Carter]


Venture was realized between 1996 and ’98 at the composer’s studio and at the Faculté Polytechnique de Mons (Belgium). It was mixed at the studio of Queen’s University in Belfast (Northern Ireland, UK). Thanks to Todor Todoroff and Michael Alcorn. The piece was commissioned by Codes d’accès (Montréal) and Musiques & Recherches (Ohain, Belgium) and was made possible by the support of the Canada Council for the Arts (CCA). The first version was performed on February 28, 1996 at Agora de la danse (Montréal) as part of the festival Échange Québec-Belgique.


Premiere

  • February 28, 1996, Musiques-échange Québec-Belgique: L’orchestre de haut-parleurs 2, Agora de la danse, Montréal (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

Stereo

ISRC CAD500910014

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

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 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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