Acousmonium: Christian Fennesz (Sonic Acts XII, 2008)

Sonic Acts is a biannual festival at the intersection of arts, science, music & technology. Christian Fennesz (AT) uses guitar and computer to create shimmering, swirling electronic sound of enormous range and complex musicality. His lush and luminant compositions are anything but sterile computer experiments, they resemble sensitive, telescopic recordings of rainforest insect life or natural atmospheric occurrences, an inherent naturalism permeating each piece. In 2003 he collaborated with Mika Vaino and Christian Zanési on a piece for the Acousmonium. The Acousmonium is the sound diffusion system designed in 1974 by François Bayle and used originally by the Groupe de Recherches Musicales (GRM) at the Maison de Radio France. The Acousmonium contains eighty speakers of different sizes placed across a stage at varying heights and distances. Their placement is based on their range, their power, their quality, and their directional characteristics. When built, Bayle stated: “It puts you inside the sound. It’s like the interior of a sound universe.” It provides a very complete and complex system for sound projecting acousmatic and electroacoustic music or instrumental music transformed by computers. The Groupe de Recherches Musicales is a French organisation for research into sonology and electroacoustic music. It was founded in 1958 by Pierre Schaeffer as part of the ORTF and since then led by composers such as François Bayle and Daniel Teruggi. In 2008 the GRM celebrates its 50th anniversary with a series of special projects in France and across the globe. In collaboration with Sonic Acts the GRM compiled the programme of this night. The performance took place as part of the 'Acousmonium' session on 24 February, 2008.

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