Zahra Poonawala

15 September 2013


This piece attempts to take further the study begun by the artist a few years ago, which questions the sound and the visual relationships between a part and a whole, between the production and perception of sound. Whereas earlier works were static in their presentation, this one places the spectator in the position of explorer for the first time. Drawing on the precedent of «acousmoniums » or loudspeaker orchestras, the work aims to materialise a more dynamic experience of listening by basing it on movement. The space occupied by the installation is a given, but it may be perceived according to variable operating modes.

Each of the characters have their own volume, register and a different personality. In front of this background the soloists stand out, isolated loudspeakers that are mobile because they react to the movement of the spectator who is incited to move to make them react. The different layers of sound intensify this spatial organisation. From a fundamentally complex chord which forms a base, the reaction to the spectators’ movements determines the changes of intensity, ignites solos which stand out from the sound mass. To approach is to listen, but also to provoke a differentiated sound response.

The recorded music has been orchestrated for a chamber ensemble by Gaëtan Gromer based on the artist’s proposals. Influenced by works like that of Giacinto’s Scelsi’s, it is given to be heard as a complex chord in which the spectator, like a speleologist, will direct his attention towards a music stand or part of the orchestra, travelling inside the sound like through the space contained by the installation. The movement, whether it be visual or sound, will not break off the continuity but alter the balance and the perspectives. To paraphrase Wagner: here, the sound becomes space.

Stéphane Valdenaire (Excerpt)

Production: Le Fresnoy
In collaboration with: Métalu à Chahuter and Les Ensembles 2.2