Clair de terre

Robert Normandeau

Programme notes

Clair de terre

A photograph of the Earth taken from space probably best epitomizes the second half of the twentieth century. It situates our planet in space in a way that makes it clear that the Earth is not at the center of the universe. Our place in space leads to a state of unbalance that is reflected in the way we see the world. This new perception in turn influences our artistic expression. Electroacoustic music was born just slightly more than fifty years ago, at about the same time that first photograph of the earth was taken. This has brought about a considerable change in how we (artists) make and how we (the audience) hear.

This work is divided into twelve movements that systematically explore elements of the grammar of cinematography that have been transposed into the language of electroacoustics. Preceded by an overture — Ouverture — each of these twelve movements are composed of a soundscape, an object’s sound, the sound of a musical instrument, and vocal onomatopoeias. All of these sound elements are drawn from the sound bank that I have built up over the last ten years.

Clair de terre was realized at the composer’s studio in 1999 and premiered on December 10, 1999 during the Rien à voir (6) concert series presented by Réseaux at Ex-Centris in Montréal. The work was realized with support from the Canada Council for the Arts (CCA) and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (CALQ). Some passages in the work are drawn from music or sound elements composed for plays and the radio. Thanks to André Corriveau, Jean-François Denis, Monique Desroches, Julien Grégoire, Brigitte Haentjens, Odile Magnan, Denis Marleau, Lorraine Pintal, Jacinthe Potvin, Rober Racine, Claire Savoie, and Claude Schryer.


  • December 10, 1999, Rien à voir (6): concert solo, eXcentris, Montréal (Québec)
  • Instrumentation: 16-channel fixed medium
  • Composer(s): Robert Normandeau
  • Year of composition: 1999, 2009
  • ISWC: T0710395780
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média




  • February 17, 2016, Premiere of the 16-channel version (2016): The Electric Space Concert Series 2015-16: Concert 3, Bevegelseslab — Institutt for musikkvitenskap — ZEB-bygningen — Universitetet i Oslo, Oslo (Norway)
  • ISWC: T0713769459

Cadre étroit (espace clos)

  • ISWC: T0713769460

Couleurs primaires et secondaires

  • ISWC: T0713769471

Mobilité des plans

  • ISWC: T0713769482

Montage rythmique

  • ISWC: T0715552014

Montage métaphorique

  • ISWC: T0713769493

Durée des plans

  • ISWC: T0713769506

Clarté (éblouissement)

  • ISWC: T0715274966

Taille des plans

  • ISWC: T0713769517

Couleurs ternaires

  • ISWC: T0715274977


  • ISWC: T0713769528


  • ISWC: T0713769539

Cadre large (espace ouvert)

  • ISWC: T0713769540

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