Robert Normandeau | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Robert Normandeau

Normandeau, Robert. Composer, b Quebec City 11 Mar 1955; B MUS (Laval) 1984, M MUS (Montreal) 1988.

Normandeau, Robert

Normandeau, Robert. Composer, b Quebec City 11 Mar 1955; B MUS (Laval) 1984, M MUS (Montreal) 1988. He moved to Montreal in 1984 and has received prizes or honorable mentions at the Luigi Russolo (1989, Italy), Bourges (1986-8, France), and Phonurgia-Nova (1986-7, France) International Competitions, as well as the CAPAC University of Montreal Prize (1986). Normandeau has been the recipient of numerous Canada Council and MACQ grants in addition to scholarships and awards from private foundations. His works have been heard extensively in Canada, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Norway, Italy, and the USA. He has been commissioned by the Groupe de musique expérimentale de Bourges and the Métamorphoses d'Orphée Studio (Belgium), and served a creative residency at the Banff CA in the autumn of 1989.

Normandeau began to specialize in acousmatic composition (multi-speaker playback with spatial displacement) in 1984 and has collaborated with artists from other disciplines - including holosculpture (sculptures with holograms) and dance - in the creation of mixed-media works. His Musique holographique (1985) was created for an exhibit of holosculptures by Georges Dyens. As with the work of his teachers Francis Dhomont and Marcelle Deschênes, Normandeau's approach to composition is narrative in nature, utilizing many concrete sound objects (footsteps, closing doors, etc) as touchstones and points of departure. He views the electroacoustic medium as 'cinema for the ear' rather than a development of traditional concert music. His 1990 CD Lieux inouïs/Unheard-of Places (Empreintes Digitales IMED-9002-CD) contains five of his works: Jeu (1989), Mémoires vives (1989), Rumeurs (Place de Ransbeck) (1987), Matrechka (1986), and Le Cap de tourmente (1985). Rumeurs is also included on the CD of prize winners from the 16th Bourges Electroacoustic Festival in 1988, Cultures électronique III (2-Le Chant du Monde LDC-278046-7) and Matrechka is included on the CD Electroacoustic Music (4-ACM 37). In addition to his compositional activities he has also been active as an administrator (Assn de musique actuelle de Québec, ACREQ, Canadian Electroacoustic Community), broadcaster/journalist (CBC, Canadian Electroacoustic Community newsletter, etc) and teacher of acoustics, electroacoustics and sound recording (University of Montreal).


'A missed opportunity,' Contact, vol 4, Jan 1991

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