Robert Normandeau

Raíl has been performed in Castelo Branco, Lisbon and Porto…

Raíl is a work that draws from several sources its materials and several ideas its inspiration. The first of these sources is the train. As much as one who rolls, who cracks, who passes, who 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 Spanish spelling).

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 Spring Maple in 2012. This helicopter sound, typical of an urban environment of a kind oppression, reminded me of my stay in Belfast, Northern Ireland in 1997, where it was omnipresent, day and night. Other helicopter sounds recorded for more than twenty years have been added to this one.


Raíl was realized during many stays abroad — Banff, Morelia, Santiago, Bowling Green, New Smyrna Beach — spread over a long period: 2012-19. 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, Elainie Lillios, and Nick Conroy.


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


Raíl (Robert Normandeau) (2012-19)
multichannel fixed medium


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