The Acousmonium

Acousmonium (2018) by Didier AllardINA grm

"The acoustic images projected by loudspeakers shake up the way we approach the issue of the contact point between the music and the audience. This new situation forces us to take a position on new issues, and introduces us to new reactions. This diversely poetic music gathers around a common denominator: the listening system." François Bayle

Acousmonium (1980) by Laszlo RuszkaINA grm

The issue of how to present works of musique concrète—and then electroacoustic music—in concert was a challenge that inspired considerable reflection in the 1950s.

Acousmonium, hall Olivier Messiaen (1982) by Laszlo RuszkaINA grm

These questions around musical stage design reached a decisive turning point at the GRM when François Bayle proposed developing an orchestra of loudspeakers.

Acousmonium (1980) by Laszlo RuszkaINA grm

And so the Acousmonium emerged at an inaugural evening at the Espace Pierre Cardin in Paris on February 12, 1974, after a trial run one month earlier at Saint Séverin Church.

Acousmonium (2019) by Aude PagetINA grm

The term "Acousmonium" is derived from the word "acousmatic" and is used to refer to the approach of musique concrète with its concept of acousmatic music.

Acousmonium (2018) by Didier AllardINA grm

The word "acousmatic" describes any noise or sound we hear without seeing where it comes from. The core idea of the Acousmonium lies in the use of the specific qualities of loudspeakers and their setup.

Acousmonium (2018) by Didier AllardINA grm

Indeed, François Bayle decided to diversify the types of speakers in terms of "sound color," "range," "acoustic dispersion," and to musically exploit the particular qualities of each one.

Acousmonium (2018) by Didier AllardINA grm

 Loudspeakers are considered as sound projectors, which are specialized by register and associated with a position in the background or foreground. They are then distributed across the set depending on their power and the quality with which they reproduce the audio spectrum.

Akousma (2016) by Aude PagetINA grm

The key idea behind such a system is to unleash the music at the scale of the concert hall itself. The listener sits facing a powerful orchestra in the form of loudspeakers.

Acousmonium (2017) by Didier AllardINA grm

For the listening experience to be complete, a musician will "perform" the music at the control desk (the console)...

Acousmonium (2010) by Aude PagetINA grm

... meaning that they will choose the best strategy for playing the piece by following the sound developments employed in the work: we therefore speak of sound spatialization, or in other words, projecting sounds into space.

L'Acousmonium, Entretien avec François Bayle (2017) by Evelyne GayouINA grm

"We will have understood that the principle of the Acousmonium consists of an architecture of registers, calibers, and colors, which are deployed widely inside a sound space and continually controlled by reference to a “normal” image of a smaller size. This point is of extreme importance because the subjectivity of listening is one of the major difficulties in conducting the registration of colors."
François Bayle, Musique acousmatique, propositions... ... positions (1993)

Acousmonium (2019) by Didier AllardINA grm

The Acousmonium is also suitable for live performances with musicians present on the stage, for concerts that combine the gestures of acousmatic performance with those of playing instruments.

Acousmonium (2019) by Didier AllardINA grm

Following the evolution of the esthetic of the music played at GRM concerts, the Acousmonium was developed further to reproduce the GRM's most recent music production more successfully.

Acousmonium (2018) by Didier AllardINA grm

Since its creation, the equipment has therefore evolved to allow for modernization of the system and improvement of its capabilities to reproduce sound, yet without abandoning its original spirit.

Credits: Story

INA grm - Groupe de Recherches Musicales

Direction : François J. Bonnet
Administration : Jessica Ciesco
Coordination, assistant de programmation : Jules Négrier
Chargé de production : Jean-Baptiste Garcia
Direction technique : Philippe Dao, Emmanuel Richier
Développement GRM Tools : Emmanuel Favreau, Matthias Puech
Développement GRM Player : Adrien Lefèvre
Chefs de projets R&D : Nicolas Debade, Dominique Saint-Martin
Réalisateur radiophonique : Alexandre Bazin
Formations professionnelles, numérisation : Diego Losa

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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