Gilles Gobeil

Cinema for the Ear

Suzette Chan, Randomia, 18 novembre 2015

At Holy Trinity Anglican Church on Friday night, New Music Edmonton presented an evening of electronic music by Gilles Gobeil, the award-winning Quebec composer. Joining him on this, the final date of a seven-city Canadian tour, was Suzanne Binet-Audet, who was featured in the program’s first half, playing three pieces, composed by Gobeil, the ondes Martenot.

The ondes Martenot is an electronic instrument invented by French cellist Maurice Martenot in 1928. Martenot made seven sets of the instrument. He made the instruments by hand until 1974; it was this last unit that Binet-Audet brought on tour.

I had never seen an ondes Martenot, so seeing it before the concert started was like a bonus pre-show. The player sits at a small electronic keyboard built on a hand-crafted wood stand that had the clean, unfussy lines of early 20th century modern furniture. The unit is wired to two speakers, one that looks like a traditional floor speaker, and a second one that looks like a hexagonal cabinet. This second unit is called a gong and provides resonance.

The set-up looked compact and quiet, but when Binet-Audet started to play, we were engulfed in a huge, sonic experience. Binet-Audet’s live performance incorporated sounds programmed by Gilles Gobeil, who was at the soundboard throughout the evening. Sound was all around us, emanating from the speakers of the ondes Martenot, as well as speakers set up all around the perimeter of the sanctuary.

The first notes from the ondes Martenot reminded me of many different sounds: a Theramin; a songbird holding a note for too long; music made with air, like an accordion, a saxophone, or human breath. Later, wholly original sounds were interleaved with sounds that recalled running water, rotating metal blades, pumping pistons. These were noises associated boiler rooms, waterworks, light industry and utilities – that is, common settings for film noir and dystopian movies.

In fact, the ondes Martenot has been used in many movie soundtracks. Gobeil describes his own music as “cinema pour l’oreille” (cinema for the ear). We fully entered Gobeil’s cinema pour l’oreille in the second half of the program, when the lights were turned off. We were officially in cinema mode, although there was no projection. The only screen was our imaginations. During a passage that reminded me strongly of airplanes and trains, I reflected on the irony a roomful of people sitting quietly, riveted by the sounds of transportation, but going nowhere, yet feeling transported.

After the concert, Binet-Audet and Gobeil stayed to answer questions. Binet-Audet gave a demonstration of how the ondes Martenot worked. What I was not able to see during the concert was a modulator housed in a drawer of the ondes Martenot and a string-and-ring system that was responsible for the Theremin-like aural effects.

The engagement with the audience after the formal concert was a rare treat, and particularly generous as this performance marked Binet-Audet’s retirement from the stage. Thanks to both Suzanne Binet-Audet and Gilles Gobeil for sharing their artistry and experience.

Concierto electroacústico en 5.1

Josep Lluís Galiana, Levante-EMV, 10 mai 2008

El ciclo de conciertos Primavera Electroacústica a València 2008 continuó su programación el pasado jueves en la Galería del Palau. Organizada por la Asociación de Música Electroacústica de España (AMEE), la selección de composiciones que, bajo el título genérico Obres de Llarg Hàlit, se pudieron escuchar tenían como mayor aliciente su presentación en el sistema de grabación y por tanto de difusión Surround 5.1 Dolby Digital. Este sistema proporciona sonido digital mediante seis canales independientes: tres canales frontales (izquierda/centro/derecha) que posibilita claridad y nitidez y una ubicación precisa de los sonidos, mientras que los canales envolventes gemelos (trasero izquierda/trasero derecha) rodean al público sumergiéndolo en un verdadero océano de materia sonora.

Este placer se hizo tangible durante la escucha de las tres obras seleccionadas para la ocasión. Tres importantes compositores del actual panorama internacional en este género y procedentes de diversos países. La compositora belga Annette Vande Gorne (Charleroi, 1946) mostró su vertiente más expresiva y detallista con su obra Figures d’espace (2004). Espacializada por el compositor valenciano y miembro de la directiva de la AMEE Vicent Gómez, la pieza conjuga con transparente y eficaz contrapunto los sonidos de la Naturaleza con los producidos mecánicamente en una suerte de Rondeau. De auténticas dimensiones épicas se podría catalogar la obra aportada por el histórico compositor canadiense Gilles Gobeil (Québec, 1954). Ombres, espaces, silences… (2005), inspirada en la polifonía más temprana (Ars Antiqua, Ars Nova), revisita el universo sonoro de los primeros siglos de la Era Cristiana. La resultante es una música de texturas brutales como si se tratase de grandes placas tectónicas de ricas y ancestrales sonoridades a la deriva. Finalmente, la joven compositora británica Natasha Barrett (1972) presentó su Prince Prospero’s Party (2002), basada en el relato corto de Edgar Allan Poe, The Mask of the Red Death. Se trata claramente de una música programática. Narra con gran fidelidad la acción del relato, dividiendo el discurso sonoro en siete secciones y pasando de las risas al grito más aterrador de los personajes de esta insólita composición electroacústica.

Este placer se hizo tangible durante la escucha de las tres obras seleccionadas para la ocasión.

Rien à voir II - Music for Loudspeakers

David Fujino, The Live Music Report, 15 janvier 2007

Understand — it’s an evening of electroacoustic music.

At centre stage there’s a chair and table. A box sitting on the table emits a pinpoint red light. Cables sprawl from the box onto the floor and lead off stage.

Both the stage and the audience sit in the dark, for there’s nothing to see, and there are no musicians on the stage.

The sound technician, Paul Hodge, stands with his control boards and monitors in the middle of the audience. Hodge will end up being as much a performer as each of the composers who work at his side to control and alter their pre-recorded electroacoustic music, music which is not produced by musical instruments.

For its part, the audience has comfortably huddled together in the centre of their rows in order to sit in a sound universe produced by four strategically placed speakers. The audience sits, waiting for ‘playback.’

Ann Southam’s Fluke Sound (1989), with its mysterious, late night mood, was a composition of measured and well-placed sounds recorded from three Revox open reel track tape recorders and two Synthi AKS voltage control synthesizers. Southam’s piece was largely characterized by a ringing telephone sound that continually rang and rang as a connecting motif through the criss-cross and layered waves of new sound that kept dropping in and later faded out entirely. The ‘fluke’ in the title refers to the lucky coincidence of making a new composition by putting two separate compositions together.

The historical part of electroacoustic music was beautifully represented by György Ligeti’s pioneering pieces, Glissandi (1957) and Artikulation (1958). This ‘historical’ reference does not mean to say that the recently departed Ligeti (1923-2006) is anything but startling, original, and always exciting to listen to. Glissandi — with its opening sensual sound like a steel guitar glide — is a beautifully imagined exploration of all manner of glissandi — the short, long, burpey, and longer. Artikulation is all about the tissue of sound that results when new sound elements meet. It starts with the sound of huge water gurgles as they mutate into electronic droplets and then become highly animated, electronic atmospheres.

Meanwhile, the symphonic dimension (or the grand gesture) of electroacoustic music was represented by Gilles Gobeil’s often exciting and occasionally nervous-making Ombres, espaces, silences… (2005) and by Robert Normandeau’s more intellectually planned out (or so it seemed) composition, Palimpseste (2005, 06).

Palimpseste — with its recorded and manipulated vocal sounds — was crafted by Normandeau into five sections, each with a different rhythm, timbre, dynamic, emotional quality, and space. At times it was unclear when the piece was finished, but what touched the audience was the audible scope and ambition of this inter-layered composition, whereas Ombres, espaces, silences… by Gobeil — which started with a loud wind storm and a vast scale ‘THX sound’ — grew dramatically and surely into a true ‘cinema of the ear.’ ‘Cinema of the ear’ is Normandeau’s phrase to describe his composition Palimpseste, but to these ears, ‘cinema of the ear’ better describes Ombres, espaces, silences…. Notable were its quick jabs of violence and loud cosmic door slams; plus its adventurous mixing of tones with noise in startlingly forceful ways that made Gobeil’s composition stand out as one of the more expressive compositions played this evening. The sounds seemed to emanate from deep space.

John Oliver’s Nylong Symphony (excerpt 2005) was a composition of electroacoustic music with a solo guitarist, Oliver himself, on stage. A drone established itself — and over and against it, Oliver played Flamenco and Middle Eastern styled passages, then he moved into an extended sequence where he rapidly ping-pong-ed single notes inside a vibrating framework that was like a suspended Flamenco guitar strum. While playing his guitar, Oliver was kept busy looking back and forth between the music on his stand and the computer screen, but despite all this activity, the music increasingly began to sound the same.

The most engaging compositions this evening were surely those with a clear sense of form — a holistic sense of form, perhaps, but nonetheless a sense of form — something which open-eared audiences intuitively respond to.

[January 13, 2007, Isabel Bader Theatre, Toronto]

The most engaging compositions this evening were surely those with a clear sense of form […] something which open-eared audiences intuitively respond to.

Gilles Gobeil: la force tranquille

Guy Marceau, SOCAN, Paroles & Musique, no 13:2, 1 juin 2006

«La vie est plus riche que l’imagination.» Gilles Gobeil, compositeur et électroacousticien parle de son rapport à la création dans un médium où musique et technologie vont de pair. «L’électroacoustique est fascinante parce que le matériau sonore est partout et accessible, poursuit celui qui relègue la technologie au deuxième rang, et privilégie l’émotion et l’expression d’une idée. À mon sens, c’est la musique de l’avenir. Je crois que toutes les musiques du passé ainsi que les interprètes subsisteront, mais ces derniers seront de plus en plus jumelés aux technologies en temps réel, dans de nouvelles interfaces gestuelles permettant ainsi d’élargir la palette des timbres et des expressions. L’idée n’est pas de robotiser l’homme, mais d’accroître son humanité à l’aide d’une technologie qui deviendra de plus en plus simple et transparente. Mais qui peut bien prédire? Paul Éluard affirmait “il n’y a pas de modèle pour celui qui cherche ce qu’il n’a jamais vu”, et la création est justement ce processus de recherche.»

Calme et posé, volubile et articulé, Gilles Gobeil résume ainsi sa pensée et, par extension, l’état des choses dans le milieu pointu et somme toute restreint de la musique électroacoustique au Québec. Compositeur actif depuis plus de 20 ans des deux côtés de l’Atlantique, il figure parmi la petite communauté d’acteurs importants de la scène électro au Québec avec notamment ses collègues Robert Normandeau et Jean-François Denis, tous co-fondateurs de Réseaux (Rien à voir, Akousma), une société de concerts dédiée à la musique électroacoustique. Pourtant rien ne le prédisposait à cela.


Jeune, il a d’abord appris la flûte traversière qu’il amplifiait dans une veine pop et jazz expérimental aux côtés du guitariste et improvisateur René Lussier, avec qui beaucoup plus tard il accouchera du projet Le contrat, inspiré du Faust de Goethe. Deux esprits libres. Il faut savoir que Gilles Gobeil est autodidacte et qu’il a appris les rudiments de la musique en étudiant deux partitions d’orchestre, L’Oiseau de feu de Stravinsky et la Symphonie du Nouveau Monde de Dvorak! «J’ai compris là beaucoup de choses.» Après des études collégiales en sciences humaines qui l’ont peu stimulé, Gilles Gobeil plonge vers la création à l’Université de Montréal, où il étudie la technique d’écriture instrumentale avec Serge Garant qui lui présente Marcelle Deschênes, professeur d’électro avec qui il a fait ensuite sa maîtrise. «Garant m’a transmis cette rigueur intellectuelle où chaque son, chaque note doit avoir sa raison d’être. Aujourd’hui, j’applique encore ce processus et là-dessus, je suis un peu despotique! Mais j’ajoute l’importance de privilégier l’émotion à la raison. C’est ce qui caractérise mon travail.»

Gilles Gobeil a choisi le monde de l’électro pour l’immédiateté du geste. Et parce qu’il n’a pas à se formaliser des contingences reliées à l’écriture instrumentale et notamment son interprétation. Sa musique est à son image: calme en apparence, mais forte et bouillonnante d’idées. Ses envolées musicales sont évolutives et contrastées, souvent abruptes tels des électrochocs, mais toujours incarnées, organiques et prenantes dans ses ruptures de ton. Il trouve notamment dans la littérature (HG Wells, Jules Verne, Proust…) l’inspiration, le déclic, l’image poétique. «Je suis assez près du cinéma pour l’oreille, avec l’idée de toujours raconter quelque chose.»

Un prix Opus

Pour le néophyte, qu’est-ce qui fait une bonne pièce électroacoustique? «C’est une pièce qui supporte la réécoute. Au fil des auditions, et c’est similaire en composition, des “couches d’intelligence” s’accumulent et renforcent le sens de la pièce. Le support sur disque devrait permettre une plus grande pérennité aux œuvres électro. Parce qu’en musique instrumentale contemporaine, comme disait Garant, les premières ressemblent souvent à des dernières.» En 2004, Gilles Gobeil a réenregistré trois de ses pièces pour ondes Martenot (avec Suzanne Binet-Audet) et bande, et gravé Trilogie d’ondes, son troisième album solo chez empreintes DIGITALes, et qui a été couronné Disque de l’année - musique actuelle, électroacoustique au gala des Prix Opus 2005. Cet honneur s’ajoutait à une longue liste de prestigieux prix nationaux et internationaux remportés depuis 1983 (dont des prix de la SOCAN en 1984 et 1993), et dont les derniers en date, en 2005, furent une mention d’honneur au Prix Ars Electronica de Linz, et une place en finale au Concours international de musique électroacoustique de Bourges.

Toutefois depuis août 2005, Gilles Gobeil n’a pas eu le temps d’écrire une seule note. C’est qu’il remplace, pour une année, son collègue Robert Normandeau à l’Université de Montréal dans les souliers de professeur en composition électroacoustique. Cette charge de cours s’ajoute à celle qu’il tient déjà au Cégep de Drummondville, où il enseigne la musique et les technologies sonores depuis plus de 10 ans. «Cette année, c’est à mon tour de m’offrir une demi-année sabbatique. À partir de juillet, je serai compositeur en résidence durant six mois au ZKM à Karlsruhe, en Allemagne, où j’ai déjà fait des stages de création. J’en profiterai pour travailler sur mes pièces pour la réalisation d’un DVD en Surround 5.1.»

À mon sens, c’est la musique de l’avenir.

trans_canada Festival: Trends in Acousmatics and Soundscapes

Wibke Bantelmann, Computer Music Journal, no 29:3, 1 septembre 2005

The trans_canada festival of electroacoustic music by Canadian composers at the Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie (ZKM) in Karlsruhe was certainly no everyday experience for the interested German public. A festival of acousmatic music—and acousmatic music only—is quite unusal. The German avant-garde music scene is still uncommonly lively, but most composers prefer either instrumental music (with electroacoustic elements) or multimedia works. The idea of invisible music seems not to touch the German musical sensibility.

Despite this, 460 visitors found their way to ZKM. During 10-13 February, 2005, they experienced a four day-long plunge into the Canadian way of composing, and had the opportunity to learn more about the “Canadian Example” as Daniel Teruggi of the Groupe de recherches musicales (GRM) called it in his paper. According to Mr. Teruggi, the liveliness and outstanding quality of the electroacoustic music scene in Canada is the result of good composers but also of academically sound research and training and a wide range of philosophical approaches to music. The opening of the festival showed another aspect of this “example.” Paul Dubois, the present Canadian ambassador to Germany, came from Berlin to open the festival—cultural policy in Canada apparently knows and supports the electroacoustic scene intensely, quite contrary to German policy.

Francis Dhomont, Robert Normandeau, Gilles Gobeil, Nicolas Bernier, Hildegard Westerkamp, and Louis Dufort took part in the festival and presented works (Ned Bouhalassa was invited but for health reasons was unable to attend). Nine pieces were commissioned by ZKM and received their world premieres at the festival.

trans_canada not only offered an occasion for Germans to learn about Canadian acousmatic music; apparently, it also connected the Canadians themselves. “It seems we had to come to the ZKM in Karlsruhe to get together,” said Robert Normandeau at the last concert. And so, the Francophone composers from the east, rooted in the Paris school of “musique concrète,” met the Anglophone soundscape composers from the West coast. “I was very much surprised when Francis Dhomont told us that he does not like the original sounds to be changed so much that you can’t distinguish their origin any longer,” said Hildegard Westerkamp. “We are not as far away from each other as I used to think.”

This proved to be quite true, as could be heard. The parallels between their new works, Brief an den Vater by Mr. Dhomont and Für Dich—For You by Ms. Westerkamp, were striking. Both compositions were not only inspired by but also formally based on literature and the structure, the sound, the rhythm of the text. The work by Mr. Dhomont, with the scraping of a pen as a sort of leitmotif, was no less abstract than Ms. Westerkamp’s music with its sea-sounds (gulls, wind, waves). And her fantasy land called “home” is not more “real” then his world of inner struggle. Both works showed an extreme sensitivity for subtle, delicate sounds which were spread in many layers, throwing shadows of sound, and constantly and slowly developing into new shapes and shades. The differences between the works seemed after all (to this listener at least) to be ones of personal style and expression than of basic principles.

Another new work with words came from Darren Copeland. I don’t want to be inside me anymore was quite singular in the festival due to its definite focus on content, on a “real story.” This fact gave the piece a strong dramatic quality leaving hardly any room for imagination. The intention of the sounds to build around the absorbing, sometimes even vexatious, words seemed to force the listeners to constantly keep their full attention on the meaning of the text. It was a deeply impressive piece, even if it was to a certain extent more dramatic than musical. (Although other listeners might experience it differently if they do not understand the German text.)

In a way, this work resembles a compositional style of a very different kind, that of Barry Truax. The connection may be found in the very sense of reality in both composer’s works: the reality of the feeling of isolation on one hand, and the reality of an existing landscape (streams, peaks, caves) on the other.

Even Gilles Gobeil’s magnificent medieval drama, Ombres, espaces, silences…, followed roughly this direction. This piece was not about feeling or landscape, it was about reality, too, in this case the reality of history, only by far more sublime, sensitive, and imaginative. Not “cinema for the ear” but a “novel for the ear” (something like The Name of the Rose?)! However, the form and structure of this work is by far more of a narrative nature than strictly abstract-musical.

It was Robert Normandeau and the youngsters of trans_canada who were most abstract, and therefore the strongest advocates of a true “invisible music.” It was not only not to be seen, it was not to be imagined. There was nothing real, nothing you could get hold of, it was more or less a complete deconstruction of sounds, ideas, narration. They appeared not to start from any landscape, be it imagined or real, inside or outside the head; they started from ideas, ideas of sound, ideas of form. Even the antique Writing Machine in the work by Nicolas Bernier was more a (slightly exotic) sound than a sense, more a historical reminiscence than an element of form.

Coincidence shows her unaccountable face, experiment and surprise follow. You could hear experience and mastery in the work of Robert Normandeau, of course. You were always sure that it was him who played with coincidence and not the other way round. His world premiere, ZedKejeM, was highly dynamic, with the energy and rhythm from a dancefloor, but still showed the deepness, density, and versatility of a deep-thinking organizer of energy and fantasy. Every single sound seemed well calculated, the effects carefully set.

The music of his younger colleagues, Mr. Bernier and Louis Dufort, was more spontaneous, wandering dreamily through all the possibilities of technique and sound, to find out what would happen. Mr. Dufort spread a richness and variety of colors in a free, open structure that simply followed the beauty of the sounds created. In contrast to that, Mr. Bernier followed an intellectual plan, he set his rules and let them work. One always sensed the will behind the music, one always tried to follow and understand the experiment instead of just enjoying the result. But, on the other hand, this method produced a certain strong energy in the work. This composer had the power to raise and hold the intellectual interest of the listener.

All in all, it was fascinating to take in over a few days such a wide range of styles and personalities, and to learn a little about their methods.

trans_canada also provided the chance to meet the composers in person. Each of them delivered a paper about their work. They could only give a rough survey, of course, in a 45-min talk. Rather than concentrating on techniques or software, most composers just tried to acquaint their colleagues and the small number of other interested people with their sources of inspiration, their opinions, their philosophy. Remarkable was the clear delivery of all the composers and the relaxed atmosphere of these sessions. There seemed to be no need to impress anyone, and not so much need to discuss, let alone debate. Everybody was open-minded and respected the others, as if trying to learn and understand, not to question fundamentals.

It was like a good talk between colleagues and friends. Mr. Normandeau provided insight into his large archive of sound and his permanent work on the human voice. Mr. Gobeil expressed his preference for the sound of exotic instruments (like the Daxophone) and his dislike of techno music (inducing him to write a techno-piece). Mr. Dhomont talked about the relation between accident and control in his work, marking his own position somewhere between Pierre Boulez and John Cage:Boulez would say: ‘This is incidental, throw it away;’ Cage would say: ‘This is incidental, so I take it;’ I say: ‘Look, there is an interesting incident, but should I take it?’” He also used the opportunity to call for more polyphony in electroacoustic music instead of the exclusive concentration on creating the most original, most exotic new sound: “In an orchestra, you mix different instruments, but the single instrument becomes not less beautiful.”

The exceptional environment of ZKM supported this beautiful richness of sounds and the inventiveness of the composers immensely. The two concert venues offer exquisite acoustics. They were equipped with 70 concert loudspeakers, placed in either circles or in a kind of “acousmonium surround environment.” This, in conjunction with the timbral and spatial qualities of the works, created an extraordinary musical experience.

… it was fascinating to take in over a few days such a wide range of styles and personalities…

L’école de Montréal, 4/4

Bernard Girard, Aligre FM, Dissonances, 6 avril 2004

Nous achevons aujourd’hui notre découverte de l’école de Montréal. Nous avons vu que n’ayant pas, une fois leurs études terminées, accès au studio de l’université, les compositeurs doivent créer leur propre studio, un peu à l’image de ce qu’ont fait en France Pierre Henry ou Luc Ferrari. N’étant pas rémunérés par des institutions comme le sont leurs collègues français, ils doivent, pour vivre, multiplier les travaux alimentaires, faire des musiques de film, des bruitages pour des publicités, s’associer à des compagnies de danse, des troupes de théâtre. Ils doivent profiter de chaque occasion qui se présente, ce qui explique sans doute qu’ils aient tant développé le genre radiophonique. La plupart des compositeurs de cette école ont écrit pour la radio, des œuvres d’un genre un peu particulier qui se prêtent à une écoute qui n’a pas grand chose à voir avec ce qu’elle peut être dans une salle de concert. Un exemple, une pièce de Roxanne Turcotte, Micro-trottoir, composée en 1997 à partir de reportages faits dans la rue.

On retrouve, d’ailleurs cette réflexion sur l’écoute dans à peu près toutes les œuvres de l’école de Montréal. Un certain nombre de compositeurs ont résolu le problème en composant des musiques à programme, souvent basées sur des textes littéraires qui guident l’auditeur, qui donnent un sens à ce qu’il entend.

On retrouve cette démarche chez Francis Dhomont, dans des œuvres comme Sous le regard d’un soleil noir, mais aussi chez Gilles Gobeil, qui a réalisé plusieurs adaptations musicales de romans célèbres, Du côté de chez Swann de Proust, de La machine à explorer le temps de Wells, du Voyage au centre de la terre de Jules Verne.

Je voudrais aujourd’hui vous faire découvrir une pièce qu’il a composée avec le guitariste et compositeur René Lussier. Son titre, Le contrat, fait allusion au contrat implicite que ces deux amis ont signé avec le Conseil des arts du Canada qui leur a commandé une pièce d’après le Faust de Goethe . Cette pièce, dont ils commencé la composition en 1996, n’a été achevée que tout récemment, en 2003. On remarquera dans cette pièce la combinaison de la guitare et des bruits électroacoustiques. À l’inverse de leurs collègues français, les compositeurs de l’école de Montréal pratiquent peu les musiques mixtes. Ils ne les ignorent cependant pas complètement, comme en témoigne l’œuvre de Monique Jean, une compositeure, comme on dit au Canada, qui mêle souvent musique et art vidéo et a réalisé des murs de haut-parleur qui incitent à écouter la musique comme l’on regarde une sculpture. low memory #2 que nous allons maintenant entendre a été composé pour flûte picolo et bandes à quatre pistes. À l’entendre, on a parfois le sentiment d’être comme devant la coupe d’un son que le compositeur nous ferait voir au travers d’un microscope.

Louis Dufort, un des compositeurs les plus prometteurs de cette génération, paraît plus tenté que d’autres parce que l’on pourrait appeler la musique pure en opposition à ce cinéma de l’oreille pratiqué par beaucoup de ses collègues. Zénith, une œuvre écrite en 1999, rappelle, par certains cotés, les musiques expressionnistes du début du 20e siècle.

Spleen est également composé à partir de voix, il s’agit de quatre voix adolescentes et le projet du compositeur était de décrire cet état de mélancolie propre à l’adolescence. Ce goût de la voix, du texte n’est pas propre à Robert Normandeau. On le retrouve chez beaucoup des musiciens de cette école de Montréal. Chez Francis Dhomont, bien sûr, mais aussi chez Gilles Gobeil. Normandeau, Gobeil appartiennent à la génération de ces compositeurs qui ont été formés par Francis Dhomont et ses collègues: il y a, de fait, chez tous ces musiciens de l’école de Montréal, un goût de l’éclectisme qu’on ne retrouve pas forcément chez leurs collègues et, notamment français, souvent formés dans un cadre plus académique.

… on a parfois le sentiment d’être comme devant la coupe d’un son que le compositeur nous ferait voir au travers d’un microscope.