Our instruments at the service of composers

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/Nouvelles Musiques festival. The goal of this series is to create a large and diversified repertoire specifically composed for the various 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.). Composers are chosen with care, with particular consideration for their capacity to conceive original and singular works.

In order to provide maximum 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 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 (Marie-Chantal Leclair, Ida Toninato, Jean-Marc Bouchard) who have been working with our instruments for a number of years.

This is our way of opening up our vision of sound to a wider community of new music than our particular niche.