Following a bachelor’s degree in compositional techniques, Gilles Gobeil undertook his master’s in composition at Université de Montréal under Serge Garant. In the final years of his studies, he was introduced to electroacoustic practices by Marcelle Deschênes and Francis Dhomont. This discovery stimulated in him a desire to commit entirely to the exploration of unfamiliar forms and original timbres that the mastery of the tools availed by the electroacoustic studio offered. Since the completion of his studies, he has directed his creative interests almost exclusively to the creation of acousmatic and mixed works.

His practice falls within what is known as “cinéma pour l’oreille” (cinema for the ear). Many of his compositions are inspired by literary or cinematic works and seek to “visualize” them through the medium of sound. Although his catalogue is comprised mainly of acousmatic and mixed works, he has also made forays into the fields of dance and film. Oftentimes traces of his experiences with instrumental music can be discerned.

Gobeil’s work has been recognized internationally and has earned him a number of prizes and distinctions, among them Ars Electronica, Bourges, Ciber@rt, CICEM, CIME, CIMESP, Destellos, Luigi Russolo, Métamorphoses, Musica Nova, Música Viva, SOCAN and the Stockholm Electronic Arts Award. He is regularly invited to undertake residencies abroad in order to create new works (Belgium, Brazil, Luxembourg, France, Portugal, Sweden). Between 2005 and 2017, a close relationship was developed with Karlsruhe’s ZKM (Germany) through a string of residencies. In 2008 he was Guest Composer of the DAAD’s Artists-in-Berlin Programme (Germany). Since 2011 Gobeil has gone on several tours in the UK, Germany and Canada-USA with ondist Suzanne Binet-Audet in order to perform his trilogy of works for Ondes Martenot and fixed sounds.

He has received commissions by groups and institutions such as Bourges, DAAD, empreintes DIGITALes, Ensemble Déviation(s), GRM, SRC, Totem Contemporain and the ZKM, as well from individuals such as Uli Aumüller, Suzanne Binet-Audet, Yves Charuest, Folkmar Hein, Camille Mutel, Arturo Parra, Rick Sacks and Oscar Wiggli. An amicable collaboration with guitarist and composer René Lussier led to a CD project titled Le contrat. Among his six solo releases, all published on empreintes DIGITALes, three were finalists in the Prix Opus (Disc of the Year) and his disc Trilogie d’ondes won the Prix Opus in 2004–05.

From 1991–2017 he was a professor of music technology at Drummondville CEGEP, and has also been Guest Professor of electroacoustics at the Université de Montréal and at the Montréal Conservatory. Gilles Gobeil is a member of the Canadian Electroacoustic Community (CEC), Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Centre (CMC) and co-founder of Réseaux, an association dedicated to the production of Media Art events.

[Translation: jef chippewa / shirling & neueweise]