electrocd

Track listing detail

Le ravissement

Robert Normandeau

  • Year of composition: 2019, 21
  • Duration: 15:21
  • Instrumentation: multichannel fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média

Stereo

ISRC CAD502110025

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

To Jorane

The word rapture can be defined in two ways: the spiritual meaning of being transported to a supernatural world, and to ravish, or take away something.

Musically, this piece borrows the idea of rolling, which is, on the one hand, a process of manufacture by plastic deformation and, on the other hand, figuratively, the action of reducing the importance of something or someone. What is distorted here is time. Time and spectra are stretched here beyond the thresholds of perception. And figuratively, what is reduced, what is ravished, is the identity of the musical sources used.

In 2018, I was invited to collaborate on the most recent project of singer and cellist Jorane. My composition work consisted of processing in real-time the musical material of the soloist, the singers, and the string quartet. It was a return to live electroacoustics for me, which had been at the heart of my first experiences and which I had neglected for the last thirty years…

This piece is the result of a mix between the materials created for the show presented in March 2019 and those that were created during two creative residencies. The first took place at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA) in Amherst (Virginia, USA) in October 2019, the second in Nice in November 2019.

Le ravissement includes nine movements: L’arrivée [Arrival]; Le doute [Doubt]; La crainte [Fear]; L’extase [Ecstasy]; L’agitation [Restlessness]; L’appel [Call]; Le détachement [Detachment]; Le ravissement [Rapture]; La disparition [Disappearance].

[vi-21]


Le ravissement [The Rapture] was realized in 2019 during composition residencies at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA) in Amherst (Virginia, USA) and at the Conservatoire national à rayonnement régional de Nice (France), and premiered on December 2, 2019 during the Journées nationales de la musique électroacoustique 2019 as part of the Festival Manca 2019 in Nice. The work was revised in 2021 at the composer’s studio in Montréal (Québec). Thanks to all the musicians: Chloé Lacasse, Geneviève Toupin, voice; Geneviève Clermont, violin 1; Vanessa Marcoux, violin 2; Lana Tomlin, viola; Sophie Coderre, cello; Mathieu Désy, double bass; Martin Lizotte, piano; Simon Godin, guitar; Pete Pételle, drum set. And a huge thank you to Jorane, for her trust. Thanks to Linda Watchtmeister who contributed to my residency at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA) and to all the VCCA staff.

Premiere

  • December 2, 2019, Festival Manca 2019, Journées nationales de la musique électroacoustique 2019: Micadôme, 1, Conservatoire national à rayonnement régional de Nice – Studio Jaune (C7), Nice (Alpes-Maritimes, France)

Preparation

  • 2018, Montréal (Québec)

Composition

Revision

Tunnel azur

Robert Normandeau

  • Year of composition: 2016, 18
  • Duration: 12:39
  • Instrumentation: multichannel fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • Commission: STM, OSM

Stereo

ISRC CAD502110026

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

To Jean-François Denis, for his friendship

Tunnel azur is in fact a cinema for the ear. There is a story involving the subway as a principal character, with arrivals and departures, crowds, the noise of workers and musicians. Then there is also suspense, with very low sounds… And finally, there is the music to accompany this cinema for the ear.

The subway is first and foremost a tunnel, that empty and mysterious space at whose entrance we see hardly a thing. It is the underground, the crypt and the cave. And at night, there are draisines, metallic animals that repair everything while singing. And finally, there are the new Azur trains, which will take over from the first trains, fifty years later. Their name is particularly significant, since we usually associate azure blue with that of the sky, while the subway lives in perpetual night. So we have daytime in the middle of the night here. In this work, there are also sounds of the octobass, newly acquired by the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal (OSM), and of which this piece makes a first use.

Finally, a memory, that of the first concert where I saw Kent Nagano conducting. It was before he moved to Montréal, and he was conducting Mahler’s 9th, one of my favourite works. There are echoes of it here.

[English translation: Terri Hron, i-17]


Tunnel azur was realized in 2016 at the composer’s studio in Montréal (Québec) and premiered in a stereo version on August 11, 2016 during an outdoor concert entitled L’orgue fait son cinéma… sous les étoiles (The organ makes its cinema… under the stars) at the Parterre of the Quartier des spectacles in Montréal (Québec); it was accompanied by images realized by Frédéric Lemelin. The work was repeated in its multichannel version on October 20, 22 and 23, 2016 at the Maison symphonique de Montréal (Québec). Tunnel azur was revised and remixed in the summer 2018 at the composer’s studio in Montréal (Québec). Tunnel azur was commissioned for the 50th anniversary of the metro by the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) and by the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal (OSM). Thanks to Marianne Perron and the whole team of the OSM, to Marie-Ève Masson-Guérette and the whole team of the STM, and to Eric Chappel, for facilitating the recording of the octobass. Tunnel azur received Honorable Mentions in the competitions of the Destellos Foundation (Argentina), Concurso Internacional de Composição Electroacústica Música Viva (Portugal) and Musica Nova (Czech Republic) in 2017.

Premiere

  • August 11, 2016, Stereo version; presented with a video by Frédéric Lemelin: OSM Classical Spree: Organ and the Silver Screen… Under the Stars, Parterre — Quartier des spectacles, Montréal (Québec)
  • October 20, 2016, Premiere of the multitrack version: Kent Nagano celebrates the Montréal metro, Maison symphonique de Montréal, Montréal (Québec)

Awards

Composition

Revision

Melancholia

Robert Normandeau

  • Year of composition: 2015-17, 18
  • Duration: 14:42
  • Instrumentation: multichannel fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • Commission: Notam

Stereo

ISRC CAD502110027

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

“Melancholy was first conceived as a disorder of the humours in Ancient Greece. It was elaborated by the first or best-known physician Hippocrates and corresponds to what is now known in psychiatry as a depressed state, a feeling of incapacity, a lack of will or desire, a lack of taste for life, which, in the most serious cases, may lead to suicide. In a second phase, as medicine split from philosophy, the term was also taken up by the latter to characterize the existential musing of writers, poets and intellectuals.

Melancholy in the ancient sense allowed one to experience grief, to move past it or to find meaning in life, in other words, it was a passage in times of crisis (not always leading to a negative outcome). And that is where melancholy could overcome such states of sadness.

Melancholy can also be understood as a ‘sacred disease’ which in Western culture has permeated all expressions of thought and art: philosophy, medicine, psychiatry and psychoanalysis, religion and theology, literature, music and the arts. Melancholy is a vector of fertility, lucidity, clairvoyance, but also paradoxically of despair. Jean Starobinski and Wolf Lepenies said that melancholy was a kind of ‘distancing’ of consciousness when facing ‘disenchantment’ with the world.” — Wikipedia [2017, translated from French]

Melancholia has eight movements: humeur noire [black humour]; nostalgie [nostalgia]; angoisse [anguish]; ennui [boredom]; rêverie [reverie]; colère [anger]; épuisement [exhaustion]; tristesse [sadness].

The only sound material of the piece comes from the bandoneon, a typical instrument of Argentine tango.

Melancholia is intended to be presented in a dome of loudspeakers.

[vi-21]


Melancholia was realized in June 2015 at the studio of Notam (Oslo, Norway), in 2016 at the SPIRAL (Spatialisation and Interactive Research Lab) of the University of Huddersfield (UK), and was completed in March 2017 at the Bowling Green State University Electroacoustic Studios (Ohio, USA) during a Klingler ElectroAcoustic Residency (KEAR). It premiered on September 16, 2017 during the KEAR Multichannel Concert in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center of Bowling Green State University. Melancholia was revised and remixed in the summer 2018 at the composer’s studio in Montréal (Québec). The piece was commissioned by Notam (Oslo, Norway). Thanks to Jonathan Goldman for his playing and his bandoneon.

Premiere

  • September 16, 2017, KEAR Festival: KEAR Multichannel Concert, Kobacker Hall — Moore Musical Arts Center — Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green (Ohio, USA)

Composition

Revision

Mixing

L’engloutissement

Robert Normandeau

  • Year of composition: 2013-17, 19
  • Duration: 16:25
  • Instrumentation: multichannel fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média

Stereo

ISRC CAD502110028

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

To Trudy Crane

The title L’engloutissement [The Engulfment] came to me from reading Francisco Goldman’s book Say Her Name, read in Mexico where the action largely unfolds. The story, about the death of his young wife on the seashore, sent me back to a personal event in the summer of 2012 where, although an excellent swimmer, I almost drowned. The engulfment relates to how I felt in the water, much like a prisoner of the water where, on three occasions, I managed to rise to the surface, only to then sink to the bottom, stuck in a structure that was too heavy. It’s an experience I never had and which, curiously, was free from the fear that one can imagine in such circumstances. I finally managed to get out of it safe and sound, with an intense migraine.

The only sound treatment used here was the extreme slow motion. It is a tribute to the American artist Bill Viola, whose retrospective viewed at the Grand Palais in Paris in 2014 deeply touched me.

L’engloutissement is an immersive work intended to be presented in a dome of loudspeakers.

[vi-21]


L’engloutissement [The Engulfment] was realized in 2013 at the Centro Mexicano para la Música y Artes Sonoras (CMMAS) in Morelia (Mexico) and the Laboratorio Arcis Informatica Musical (LAIM) in Santiago (Chile) in 2013 and was finalized in 2017 at the composer’s studio in Montréal (Québec). The work was premiered on November 11, 2017 during the L’Espace du son festival at Théâtre Marni in Brussels (Belgium). It was completely reworked in the summer of 2019. Thanks to James Darling, cello; Rodrigo Sigal; and Federico Schumacher Ratti.

Premiere

  • November 11, 2017, L’Espace du son 2017: Solo de Robert Normandeau, Théâtre Marni, Brussels (Belgium)
  • October 17, 2019, Premiere of the 2019 version: VCCA Residency Concert, The Cube — Moss Arts Center — Virginia Tech, Blacksburg (Virginia, USA)

Composition

Revision

Raíl

Robert Normandeau

  • Year of composition: 2018-19, 20-21
  • Duration: 10:25
  • Instrumentation: multichannel fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média

Stereo

ISRC CAD502110029

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

Raíl is a work that draws its materials from several sources and its inspiration from several ideas. The first of these sources is the train. As much the one that rolls, cracks and passes, than the one that whistles and honks. Train recordings from Canada, the United States and Mexico agree to seal a North American treaty. The title, Raíl, is also the same in the three North American languages (the accent emphasizes the Spanish spelling).

Raíl is not so much the representation of the passing train, so often illustrated in electro, as the sound perception of a passenger inside the train. Hence the feeling of muffled, rumbling sound materials.

Another source is a sound recording of a Sûreté du Québec helicopter that flew over my neighbourhood for several hours during the student events of the Maple Spring in 2012. This helicopter sound, typical, in an urban setting, of a kind of oppression, reminded me of my stay in Belfast, Northern Ireland in 1997, where it was omnipresent, day and night. Other helicopter sounds recorded over more than twenty years have been added to that one.

[x-20]


Raíl was developed during many stays abroad — Banff, Morelia, Santiago, Bowling Green, New Smyrna Beach — spread over a long period: 2012-18. Raíl was realized in 2018-19 at the composer’s studio in Montréal (Québec). The work was premiered on February 19, 2019 at the Escola Superior de Música de Lisboa in Lisbon (Portugal) during a series of seminars and concerts presented by Dias de Música Electroacústica (DME). Thanks to all those who welcomed me during these artistic residencies, in particular Rodrigo Sigal, Federico Schumacher Ratti, Elainie Lillios, Nick Conroy, and Jaime Reis.

Premiere

  • February 19, 2019, Mary & Normandeau: Concerto 1, Escola Superior de Música de Lisboa, Lisbon (Portugal)

Preparation

Composition

Revision