Composer, pianist, teacher and multimedia artist born in Price (Québec) in 1939.
Master’s degree and doctoral courses in composition under Jean Papineau-Couture and Serge Garant at the Université de Montréal (1963-68), followed by advanced training and work at the Groupe de recherches musicales de l’ORTF with Pierre Schaeffer, François Bayle and Guy Reibel, and at the Université de Paris VIII (1968-71).
Moving to Québec City (1972-77), she works as a lecturer and researcher in Auditory Perception, Musical Pedagogy for Children and Multi-art Animation Techniques at the Université Laval’s Studio de musique électroacoustique, where she joins the electroacoustic performance group GIMEL.
Back in Montréal, she is involved in the creation and operations of various organizations, as a founding member and director of: ACREQ (Association pour la création et la recherche électroacoustiques du Québec), Action multimédia (with the company Écran Humain), FATNA (Fondation pour l’application des technologies nouvelles aux arts), and Nexus (multimedia organization); and a founding member of CEC (Canadian Electroacoustic Community ). She was also on the Board of Directors of the SMCQ (Société de musique contemporaine du Québec) for a few years.
From 1980 to 1997, she teaches electroacoustic and multimedia composition, auditory perception and electroacoustic composition techniques at the Music Faculty of the Université de Montréal. She creates, develops and manages a new program in Electroacoustic Composition for the undergraduate, master’s and PhD levels.
Marcelle Deschênes’ œuvre is important not only for its pioneering nature, but also its diversity: multimedia performances, photography, video art; instrumental, mixed, acousmatic and application music; radio art, installation art, and animation/creation for non-musicians. For the last 20 years, her creative work has been mostly focused on a search for new forms of artistic expression combining music, the latest technology, stage arts, visual arts and multidisciplinary teamwork. Her works are heard at an international level, in America, Europe and Asia; several of them have been selected in international competitions or won prizes: Concours international de musique électroacoustique de Bourges (1978, 1992, 1994, 2002); AMI Multi-Image International Competition, California (1986, 1989); International Multi-Image Competition, Munich (1989); Concurso International di Musica Electroacustica in São Paulo (2003); Concurso Internacional ART’S XXI, Valencia (2001); Best Animation-Experimental, Reeling, Chicago (2001); Vidéoart, Locarno (2001); Prix Vidéoformes, France (2000); Rendez-vous du cinéma québécois (2000); Festival international nouveau cinéma nouveaux médias (1999); finalist at the Prix Italia (1989).
Awardee of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, the ministère des Affaires culturelles du Québec, the ministère des Relations internationales du Québec, the ministère de l’Industrie, du Commerce et de la Technologie du Québec, the Conseil des arts de la communauté urbaine de Montréal (CACUM), the Ontario Arts Council, The Banff Centre for the Arts, the Université de Montréal and New Music America.