Marcelle Deschênes

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Marcelle Deschênes-Harvey née Price (born 2 March 1939) is a Canadian multi-media artist, music educator and composer of electroacoustic music.[1] She was a professor at the University of Montreal.

Early life and education[edit]

Marcelle Deschênes was born near Rimouski, Quebec. She graduated with a bachelor's and master's degree from the University of Montreal, studying from 1963 to 1967 with Jean Papineau-Couture and Serge Garant. She continued her education in France with François Bayle, Henri Chiarucci, and Guy Reibel of the Groupe de Recherches musicales de Paris.[2] She also studied audio-visual techniques at the Pierre Schaeffer's Conservatoire and analysis at the École César-Franck with Olivier Alain. At the University of Paris, she studied with Daniel Charles, Claude Laloum and Jean-Étienne Marie.[3]


While completing her studies, Deschênes created several multi-media works. She returned to Canada in 1971 and took a teaching and research position at the electronic music studio of Laval University, where she helped organize a sound library and composed the soundtracks for several films. In 1979 she founded the electroacoustic studio Bruit Blanc.

In 1980 Deschênes took a position as professor of music at the University of Montreal, teaching the composition of electroacoustic music.[4][5][6] In collaboration with visual artists,[7] she continued to create and exhibit multimedia projects, including OPÉRAaaaAH! in 1983.[8]

Honors and awards[edit]

  • First prize for mixed-media music at the sixth Concours international de musique électroacoustique in Bourges in 1978[9]
  • Gold medal at the Multi-Images international competition in Munich (1989)[10]


Deschênes composes multimedia works and film soundtracks. Selected works include:

  • 1​12 (1966)
  • Voz (cantate mitrailleuse) (1968)
  • 7+7+7+7 ou aussi progressions sur la circonférence du jaune au rouge par l'orange ou du rouge au bleu par le violet, ou même embrassant le pourtour total (1968)
  • Talilalilalilalarequiem (1970)
  • Amertube film soundtrack (1973)
  • Le Phasé mou film soundtrack (1973)
  • Le Port de Montréal film soundtrack (1975)
  • Moll, Opéra-Lilliput pour six roches molles (1976)
  • OPÉRAaaaAH! (1983)
  • L'Écran humain, (1983)
  • deUSirae (1985)
  • Lux (1985) in collaboration with Renée Bourassa
  • Big Bang (1987)
  • Noël réinventé (1988)
  • Ludi (1990), opera-theatre work with Renée Bourassa

Her works have been recorded and issued on CD, including:

  • Big Bang II (1990)
  • Halogènes (1991)


  1. ^ Intersections: Canadian Journal of Music. Vol. 26. Becker Associates [for the] Canadian University Music Society = Becker Associates [pour la] Société de musique des universités canadiennes; 2006. p. 10, 109.
  2. ^ Elaine Keillor. Music in Canada: Capturing Landscape and Diversity. McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP; 18 March 2008. ISBN 978-0-7735-3391-2. p. 278–.
  3. ^ Proctor, George Alfred (1980). Canadian music of the twentieth century.
  4. ^ Dees, Pamela Youngdahl (2004). A Guide to Piano Music by Women Composers: Women born after 1900.
  5. ^ Sophie Stévance. Composer au XXIe siècle: pratiques, philosophies, langages et analyses. Vrin; 2010. ISBN 978-2-7116-2314-3. p. 47–.
  6. ^ Ear. Vol. 15. New Wilderness Foundation; March 1990. p. 27.
  7. ^ Françoise Tétu de Labsade. Le Québec: Un pays, une culture. Boréal (Editions du); 1990. ISBN 978-2-89052-296-1. p. 360.
  8. ^ Dérives. Vol. 43 - 48. 1984. p. 48.
  9. ^ L'Express. Presse-Union; 1979. p. 12.
  10. ^ Daunais, Paule; Plouffe, Hélène. "Deschênes, Marcelle". Retrieved 6 December 2010.