Out of phase, tribute to Bernard Parmegiani

Today I pay tribute to Bernard Parmegiani, one of the founding founders of electroacoustic music, who left this world on November 21, and has contributed to awaken me to electroacoustic music and cultivate my passion for this discipline. Bernard Parmegiani is responsible for my first big acousmatic shock, which occurred while experiencing “De natura sonorum”, aired on the acousmonium in the Olivier Messiaen room at Radio France in the 80s.

An orchestra of loudspeakers : the acousmonium of the Musical Research Group (GRM, part of INA), Olivier Messiaen room. © Stéphane Ouzounoff

The acousmonium is an orchestra of loudspeakers “for the projection and spatialization of sound, it consists of a highly variable number of speakers, ranging from a few pairs to over a hundred. Sitting in the room, you are literally surrounded, as if propelled inside the sound. I still remember the incredible sensations related to this discovery, this strange and wonderful world that opened up to me, this world where possibility and infinity met one another.

“This music makes puts the beyond-ear to work, and touches the inside… ” (Bernard Noël )

I suggest you listen to two pieces written by Bernard Parmegiani, the first is called En phase/Hors phase and is part of the Dedans-Dehors suite.

Here is what Bernard Parmegiani has to say about this piece  :

Dedans-Dehors (1977)
”When listening to the sonic material, we turn the inside into the outside. This notion of metamorphosis is one of the principles that led the development of the musical suite, reflecting changes (transoformations from liquid to solid  : water/ice/fire) or movements (ebb/flow/wave, inspiration/expiration) or of inside-outside passages (door/individual/crowd). And so, the perceived object is not exectly what we wished it to be. Our music brings us closer to one and pushes us away from the other : to each his own inside” (Bernard Parmegiani ).


 The second piece is “La roue Ferris”

Also enclosed is the accompanying text by François Bayle

“We imagine it – writes Bernard Parmegiani – wonderful; it is literally sparkling, when in Mexico we light It up and it becomes a gyrating sun, symbol of perpetual motion…” At each of its “turns” the music takes with it thicknesses, blocks and layers, brewed until they become sonic threads, their lightness recalling the thin clouds that swirling swallows inhabit with their woven cries when the air is hot”… François Bayle


And finally, did you know that the jingle at Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport is Bernard Parmegiani’s work? (1971 to 2005)  : Listen , does it remind you of anything?


Rue des Teinturiers

This summer, while daydreaming in front of the beautiful water wheels of the rue des Teinturiers, I heard this extract from Shopping interruption :


Antoine Hervé, piano.

Musical or visual, loops fascinate me all the same…

Shopping interruption was created at festival Présences organized by Radio France in February 2005



Spring Cleaning # 2

The grand cleanup continues!

This time I found a gold nugget of a piece at the bottom of my computer : an Antoine Hervé groove on “Seville”

Seville is a composition which I mentioned here, more specifically the second part of the piece  : A zither in Seville

And for the first part  : The origin of reflections

In popular music, the term groove first describes rhythm, referring to the measurement and beautification of rhythm sections. Richard Middleton (1999) notes that while “the concept of groove” has “long [been] familiar in musicians’ own usage”, musicologists and theorists have only more recently begun to analyze this concept. Richard Middleton states that a groove “… marks an understanding of rhythmic patterning that underlies its role in producing the characteristic rhythmic ‘feel’ of a piece.” He notes that the “feel created by a repeating framework” is also modified with variations. (Source Wikipedia)



Yes I love Brahms

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An excerpt from a piece entitled “Après Brahms “


For this composition, I used as the base material, sounds drawn from Brahms pieces (op 117 and 118).

To do this, I recorded Valerie Schaeffer on piano, but not the one from the picture!

Although I would have loved to be there just in case. Imagine if it fell…


The terrible crash, how epic!

And that day, I would not have forgotten to charge the battery of my recorder, or forgotten to correctly press the RED button on my smartphone while telling myself that it is better than nothing! (it was for the new bells of Notre Dame last Sunday, but all hope is not lost, I’ll go back next Sunday. )



 photo credit : Nouvel Observateur

Spring Cleaning

It seems that this is the time to tidy up.

For that I must dive deep into my computer.

Pieces of sounds everywhere, a few cobwebs, abandoned sequences.

What a mess,

Worse than my shoe closet!

Musical sketches forgotten here and there, like this pretty “conference”:

Do you recognize the beautiful saxophone sounds of my friend Philippe Geiss ?

So, green or yellow bin?

Should we recycle this sound or not?

I’ll keep tidying up, and I’ll let you in on some more sketches soon.


There will be no pictures of my shoe closet…


The art of motley and assembly

Making a montage is cutting up a multitude of different types of sounds (timbre, pitch, duration) to juxtapose them in order to create a new musical phrase.

The result is often surprising and also very fun…

By varying the length of the cut sounds, you can creates improbable rhythms…

and with different heights, incredible melodies…
which are absolutely unsingable!

(Except for my son who developed an unusual ability to sing my montages and other acousmatic delusions back to me. He’s a bit of anAcousmatix Obelix I must say he fell into the acousmatic cauldron when he was a baby… )

I used these montages in “Les triplettes de Barbès” off of the record PMT QUARKTET

Here is a sample :

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