Robert Normandeau

Programme notes


To Francis Dhomont

Tangram is also the name of a Chinese puzzle consisting of seven fundamental geometric forms from which one can reconstruct existing patterns, or create new configurations. This work is inspired by the spirit of the game, the ability to associate and combine simple elements to form recognizable complex structures, recognizable because of the very figurative representations. This piece is part of the ‘cinema for the ear’ opus, a cycle of work undertaken and developed from 1990-93. Tangram consists of six sections and takes the listener on a tour of the seasons, highlighting the elements and materials associated with each.

Tangram was produced between 1989 and ’92 then reworked in ’93 at the composer’s studio. Certain sounds come from the collection of instruments of the Department of Ethnomusicology of the Faculty of Music, Université de Montréal. In addition, it contains Fragments, a work commissioned by the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal for the concert inaugurating its new edifice on May 29, 1992. Tangram was presented on May 19 and 20, 1992 at the Planétarium de Montréal during the celebrations for the 350th anniversary of the founding of the city of Montréal. Tangram was made possible by grants from the Canada Council [for the Arts] (CCA) and from the ministère des Affaires culturelles du Québec.


  • May 19, 1992, 350e de Montréal — Tangram: Concert 1, Planétarium de Montréal, Montréal (Québec)

This version is a stereophonic recording of multichannel sound diffusion realized at The Banff Centre for the Arts (engineers: Antonio Oliart and Stephanie Rogers; assistant: Jennifer Lewis) in July, 1993.

  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • Composer(s): Robert Normandeau
  • Year of composition: 1989-92, 93
  • ISWC: T0715403170
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • ISRC: CAD509813540


Ouverture éclair (‘zipper’)

  • ISWC: T0705326595

Printemps (eau et verre)

  • ISWC: T0705326608

Été (feu et papier)

  • ISWC: T0705326619

Automne (terre et bois)

  • ISWC: T0705326620

Hiver (air et métal)

  • ISWC: T0705326631

Fermeture éclair (‘zipper’)

  • ISWC: T0705326642

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