Music, spirituality and intermediality: Exploring the work of Marcel Barbeau

March 2, 2023 at 9:00 a.m.

Salon Orange – Centre Pierre-Péladeau – UQAM
300 Boul. de Maisonneuve E, Montréal
Métro Berri-UQAM

Study day as part of the Montreal/New Music Festival

Organized in partnership with the Groupe de recherche sur l'avènement et la formation des identités médiatiques (GRAFIM) and the Observatoire du cinéma québécois (OCQ), this day will invite participants from a variety of disciplines to examine the relationship between Marcel Barbeau's works, spirituality and other art forms (music, dance, theatre, film). Art historian Ninon Gauthier, author of a biography of Marcel Barbeau (manuscript in preparation), will present a plenary lecture on the relationship between Marcel Barbeau and contemporary music, and composer Maxime McKinley will present his creative process in response to Barbeau's works. This will be followed by round tables, panels and interdisciplinary co-creation workshops addressing various facets of the study day's theme. This reflection on intermediality, with an emphasis on the relationship between the visual arts and music, will shed light on new aspects of Barbeau's works and his influence on Quebec art and cinema, while offering a new perspective on spirituality and its relationship with music and other art forms, in keeping with the theme “Music(s) and Spirituality” of the MNM 2023 Festival.


Public arrives until 9:15 am.

9:30 am - The life of Marcel Barbeau from a musical perspective - Ninon Gauthier

Art historian and widow of Marcel Barbeau, Ninon Gauthier is writing a forthcoming biography of the artist from a musical perspective. Thanks to her relationship with the painter, his collaborators and her research, Ninon Gauthier offers an innovative look back at Marcel Barbeau's life and the place of music in his work and creative process.

10:15 am - Coffee break

10:30 am - Panel on Marcel Barbeau and music - Moderator: Gilles Lapointe

This panel features three researchers, Ray Ellenwood, Ann Davis and Veronique Tomaszewski, who will discuss the link between Marcel Barbeau, the Automatists and music. The presentations are entitled “Music in the Milieu of the Automatist Egregore”, presented by Ray Ellenwood, “A Deep Dive: Barbeau and Bachelard”, presented by Ann Davis, and “Conscience and Vibration in the Work of Marcel Barbeau”, presented by Ann Davis. The activity will be bimodal and moderated by researcher Gilles Lapointe.

12pm - Lunch break

1 p.m. - Creative process for the creation of “À l'écoute de Marcel” - Maxime McKinley and Emmanuelle Lizère

Composer Maxime McKinley and performer Emmanuelle Lizère collaborated to create a musical piece in dialogue with paintings by Marcel Barbeau. The two artists will talk about the creative process that helped bring their work to life. Their presentation will also reflect on intermediality, where inspiration transcends the boundaries of artistic disciplines. 

2pm – “Bouger Barbeau” workshop: understanding intermediality through dance - Sarah Bild and Nasim Lootij

In the context of this reflection on intermediality, and in response to Barbeau's work and McKinley's music, this workshop offers a particular focus on movement.  After a short physical warm-up, starting with an awakening of sensations and the body's presence in space, participants are invited to internalize certain images. By focusing, for example, on the color or "gesture" of the paint on the canvas, or on the rhythm emanating from the lines of a certain painting, we'll allow these visual inspirations to make their way through the body. In resonance with the impact of these cues on physical experience, music is added to this exploration. After taking the time to follow these pathways through the body and to externalize them through gesture, movement in space and dance, solo or in group, the workshop will close with a reflection and discussion on the experience.


2:45pm - Coffee break

3 p.m. - Screening of the film “Barbeau, libre comme l'art” (Manon Barbeau, 2000)

4 p.m. - Discussion of the film - Manon Barbeau and Pauline Vaillancourt - Moderator: Frédéric Dallaire-Tremblay

A discussion will follow the screening of the film “Barbeau, libre comme l'art”, in the presence of its director Manon Barbeau and actress and singer Pauline Vaillancourt, who appears in the film but also collaborated more extensively with the Automatistes.

7pm - Concert Messiaen en deux temps, Salle Pierre-Mercure - Centre Pierre-Péladeau

For more information on this concert, visit the Festival Montréal/Nouvelles Musiques page.

Organizing committee

Coordination Committee