GIMEL | The Canadian Encyclopedia



GIMEL (Groupe d'interprétation de musique électroacoustique de Laval).


GIMEL (Groupe d'interprétation de musique électroacoustique de Laval). Founded at Laval University in December 1973 by Nil Parent, with Marco Navratil, keyboard; Michel Breton, cello (replaced in 1975 by Russell Gagnon); Réjean Marois, trombone; and Marcelle Deschênes, Gisèle Ricard, Robert Charbonneau, and Yvan Laberge, electronic instruments. Other players have been added for certain sessions. All the founding members came from traditional music backgrounds.

Parent's research influenced the group's orientation towards the creation of a new type of musical expression, an electro-acoustic music described as 'mixed and in real time': mixed, because conventional instruments conversed with electronic instruments; in real time, because the music was produced without prerecorded tape - the actual sounds captured by the microphone were conveyed to the synthesizer where they were modified. Workshop-meetings explained and demonstrated live electro-acoustic music, permitting participants to familiarize themselves with the new instruments and to learn the basic terminology.

GIMEL gave numerous concerts in Canada, Europe and the USA. In March 1976, M. de Wonk wrote in La Libre Belgique: 'One can hardly remain insensitive to the broad and sustained sound that characterizes this group's varied performances... GIMEL understands, moreover, how to view music as an intellectual undertaking'. The group ceased its activities in 1979.

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