electrocd

Track listing detail

Palimpseste

Robert Normandeau

  • Year of composition: 2005, 11
  • Duration: 14:52
  • Instrumentation: 16-channel fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • Commission: ZKM
  • ISWC: T9021630228

Stereo

ISRC CAD501210017

  • 48 kHz, 24 bits

To Anick

Palimpseste is the fourth and final piece of a cycle called Onomatopoeias begun in 1991 with Éclats de voix followed by Spleen (1993) and Le renard et la rose (1995). The pieces of the cycle were dedicated to the childhood, adolescence and adulthood where the fourth one is an homage to old age. As with the first three pieces, this one is divided into five sections, each of them evoking a feeling associated to a musical parameter: Fury and Rhythm; Bitterness and Timbre; Anger and Dynamics; Tiredness and Space; Wisdom and Texture. The title refers to a palimpsest, which is a manuscript on which the first text (even many texts) was erased in order to write a new one over it (parchments being rare and precious). Here, the first text was the timeline structure of the previous works. It is still there but in the background. It has been written over with another layer made out of a series of new categories of sounds, more noisy, absent in the previous works of the cycle.

Palimpseste is made exclusively with vocal sounds and more specifically with onomatopoeias that are extremely rich because they represent those instances when the sounds of human language correspond directly to the designated object or to the expression of a sentiment. The voices were recorded in Germany — Christian Gressier, Eberhard Geyer, and Gabriela Lang — and in Québec — Andrée Lachapelle, and Christiane Pasquier.

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Palimpseste was realized in 2005 in the studios of the Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie Karlsruhe (ZKM) in Germany and at the composer’s studio and premiered on February 12, 2005 during the trans_canada festival under the title ZedKejeM. It was revised during the summer 2005 and premiered on October 21, 2005 during the event Theater des Hörens at the ZKM’s ZKM_Kubus. It was finally revised in 2011. Palimpseste was commissioned by the ZKM with the support of Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (CALQ) and Canada Council for the Arts (CCA). Thanks to Sabine Breitsameter and Ludger Brümmer. The work was finalist in the Musica Nova 2005 International Competition of Electroacoustic Music (Prague, Czech Republic), and was selected by the Canadian Section of the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) to represent Canada at the 2007 World Music Days in Hong Kong.

Premiere

  • February 12, 2005, Robert Normandeau, diffusion • trans_canada: Topographies • Topographien • Topographies, ZKM_Kubus, Karlsruhe (Baden-Württemberg, Germany)

Awards

Composition

Revision

Murmures

Robert Normandeau

  • Year of composition: 2007, 11
  • Duration: 8:58
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • Commission: Musiques & Recherches
  • ISWC: T9113325238

Stereo

ISRC CAD501210018

  • 48 kHz, 24 bits

My first stay as a professional composer in Europe was in 1987 at the Métamorphoses d’Orphée studio upon invitation by Annette Vande Gorne (after a Prize awarded at the Phonurgia-Nova International Competition, Arles, France) to compose Rumeurs (place de Ransbeck). This work was based on the ambiguity between sound and meaning and was part of a cinema for the ear cycle. Today, 20 years later, I wanted to visit again this Place de Ransbeck (where the studio is located) with today’s studio tools. Rumeurs was composed with high quality but simple analog devices: a portable recorder, five tape recorders and a mixing board. Since then, digital devices appeared that allow us to reveal a little bit more of the unheard-of. It appeared to me that it was interesting to search out more details in the grain of the sound. The sound material was recorded with microphones, either in a natural environment, or “played” by a Foley artist.

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Murmures was realized in June 2007 at the Métamorphoses d’Orphée studio of Musiques & Recherches in Ohain (Belgium) and was completed at the composer’s studio. It premiered on October 17, 2007 during the 14th international acousmatic festival L’Espace du son at Théâtre Marni in Brussels (Belgium). The work was revised in 2011. Thanks to Foley artist and composer Marie-Jeanne Wyckmans who lent me her sound objects and her magical gestures.

Premiere

  • October 17, 2007, L’Espace du son 2007: Ouverture et anniversaire!, Théâtre Marni, Brussels (Belgium)

Composition

Revision

Jeu de langues

Robert Normandeau

  • Year of composition: 2009
  • Duration: 11:52
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • Commission: Miso Music Portugal
  • ISWC: T9113325227

Stereo

ISRC CAD501210019

  • 48 kHz, 24 bits

To Terri

The title is a play on words in French. Jeu is a word that can be translated into English by both the words “game” and “play.” Langues means “tongue” but also “language” at the same time. The first meaning belongs to the nature of the instrument used in the work, while the second is related to the context of the production: three players coming from different countries and a premiere that would take place in a festival where five different languages were used.

This piece uses recordings of flutes, baritone saxophone and recorders. All the pitch material was removed from the recordings so as to keep only the sounds of whispers and breaths as well as the mechanical noises of the instruments. I cleaned these very soft sounds and amplified them such that they became audible, while normally they are not. In addition, I kept the natural rhythm of the performers’ breathing intact and the musical events appear according to it. Finally, there are sounds of glasses superimposed on the wind instruments’ sounds.

The idea for the piece sprang to my mind during a conversation I had in Lisbon (Portugal) in 2008 with the Música Viva festival organizers about the fact that music, unlike other contemporary art forms — literature, painting, cinema — has hardly dealt with eroticism as a genre. This is my contribution to the genre.

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Jeu de langues was realized in 2009 at the composer’s studio and premiered on September 19, 2009 during the Música Viva 2009 festival in the Sala Eduardo Prado Coelho of the Centro Cultural de Belém in Lisbon (Portugal). The piece was commissioned by Miso Music Portugal (Lisbon, Portugal). Thanks to: Claire Marchand, flutes; Ida Toninato, barytone saxophone; Terri Hron, recorders. Thanks to Miguel Azguime and Paula Azguime. Jeu de langues was awarded the Production Prize at the Giga-Hertz-Preis 2010 (Karlsruhe, Germany).

Premiere

  • September 19, 2009, Música Viva 2009: Orquestra de Altifalantes, Sala Eduardo Prado Coelho — Centro Cultural de Belém, Lisbon (Portugal)

Awards

Composition

Anadliad

Robert Normandeau

  • Year of composition: 2010
  • Duration: 14:02
  • Instrumentation: 38-channel fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • Commission: Bangor University with support from the Parry Williams Visiting Composer Fellowship
  • ISWC: T9113325216

Stereo

ISRC CAD501210020

  • 48 kHz, 24 bits

To Ann Lloyd-Jones, in memoriam

The word means breath in Welsh, but it also carries another meaning, that of inspiration. I take its literal meaning first, that of the two movements of the breath — inhalation/exhalation, and then its more figurative, metaphorical one, that of spiritual inspiration or of the artist.

The breath comes from the two instruments used in the piece. Starting with the cornemuse: the recordings of a Scottish cornemuse in B-flat were made in 1998 for Clair de terre (1999). And then there is the pibgorn, a Welsh wind instrument, recorded during a residency in Bangor (Wales, UK) in 2008.

Lastly we come to the breath of the gods, those that sweep the Welsh coast with their winds and intense storms. I wanted to anchor this piece in the fertile land that is Wales, which gave birth to this work.

Ann Lloyd-Jones, who was in charge of the Parry Williams Visiting Composer Fellowship, unfortunately passed away a few weeks before the premiere.

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Anadliad was realized in 2010 at the composer’s studio and premiered on November 4, 2010 in Powis Hall, Bangor University (Wales, UK). It was commissioned by the Bangor University (Wales, UK) with the support from the Parry Williams Visiting Composer Fellowship. Thanks to Éric Mercier, cornemuse; Stephen Rees, pibgorn.

Premiere

  • November 4, 2010, 20 Years of empreintes DIGITALes: Robert Normandeau, Dominique Bassal, Powis Hall — Bangor University, Bangor (Wales, UK)
  • July 3, 2015, Premiere of the Klangdom version: Immersive Sound , Riksscenen — Schous Kulturbryggeri, Oslo (Norway)

Composition

Palindrome

Robert Normandeau

  • Year of composition: 2005-06, 07
  • Duration: 14:50
  • Instrumentation: 24-channel fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • Commission: IMEB
  • ISWC: T9113325205

Stereo

ISRC CAD501210021

  • 48 kHz, 24 bits

To Lorraine

A palindrome is a succession of graphical signs (letters, numbers, symbols…) that can be read from left to right as well as from right to left. “Laval” is an example of a word palindrome. The French writer Georges Pérec (1936-1982) is famous for his 1247 words palindrome written in 1969, Le grand palindrome, which was only surpassed in number of words in July 2004 by Le palindrome de Saint-Gilles by Pol Kools which is made of 2119 words. In music some examples of this can be found in the cancrizan canon.

The palindrome referred to by the title belongs to the form as well as to the sound material itself. Everything was made in such a way that the listening experience would be the same in both directions, from the sounds themselves to the general structure of the work, through the channels of the stereo files, the order of the 24 tracks spatialization, the levels of the different curves of the mixing and the musical phrases.

The form is identical, symmetrical in both directions and it is made of two mixings of the same 96 tracks whose «weight», instead of the exact similarity, is the same from the beginning to the end and vice verse. The only difference between the two mixings that I have introduced for musical reasons, is that the first mixing is a decrescendo that begins with a tutti which is gradually filtered to the high frequency register while the second one is a crescendo that begins with the low frequency register gradually increased to a tutti. That could be considered a vertical palindrome!

Palindrome is part of a cycle of deep listening works which propose a listening of the inside of the sound material, instead of listening to many different and articulated series of events, like one can find in most of the electroacoustic music works, as well as in my own works. There are very few events to hear in this work, which is made of predictable changes and a slow evolution over time characteristic this kind of work. It really makes sense in a deep listening attitude present in a concert situation, the ideal place of the ritual.

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Palindrome was realized in 2005 at the composer’s studio as well as in the studios of the Institut international de musique électroacoustique de Bourges (IMEB, France) and in 2006 in the Elektronisches Studios of the Technische Universität Berlin (Germany). The work premiered on June 7, 2006 at the Synthèse festival in Bourges (France). The work was later revised in 2007. Palindrome was commissioned by the IMEB. Thanks to Delphine Measroch, accordion; Émilie Laforest, Gregory Llady, voices; the organ and the bells of the Bourges cathedral. Thanks to Françoise Barrière and Folkmar Hein.

Premiere

  • June 7, 2006, Synthèse 2006: Concert, Bourges (Cher, France)

Composition

Revision