Totem Électrique is a series that brings to the stage new musical works that are specifically composed for one of our invented instruments in combination with an electronic or electroacoustic element. The series was founded in 2009 during the biennial Montréal Nouvelle Musique festival. The goal of this series is to create a large and diversified repertoire specifically composed for different parts of our instrumentarium.
To this end, for each edition, we commission four or five works from composers who choose and write for a single instrument alongside an electronic component of some kind (fixed media, real-time digital processing, electronics, etc.) The composers are chosen with care, with particular consideration for their capacity to conceive of original and singular works.
In order to give a maximum of support, the composers are each welcomed to our workshop where we introduce them to our instrumentarium and its sonic potential. Once they have chosen the instrument they will write for, we will follow their creative process by offering access to our workshop and the instrument in question, so that they might explore it freely. In giving the composers such uninhibited access to the instruments, we often discover new and unexpected ways of making them sound. In addition, we benefit from the collaboration of experienced performers who have been working with our instruments for a number of years. (Marie-Chantal Leclair, Ida Toninato, Jean-Marc Bouchard).
This is our way of opening our vision of sound up to a wider community of new music that is beyond our particular niche.