"re_COMPOSER le paysage sonore in situ"

-Open and Closed Circles- Simon Whetham 


„Mappa invited me to make a work for cassette release. At the time I was putting finishing touches to a work for CD that was the result of 3 years of collection, distillation, presentation and consideration. I had made a conscious decision to stop composing in favour of making work for installation and performance.“

However, the idea struck me to make a 'format-specific' piece. For many reasons the cassette didn't excite me in the same way as vinyl or CD. But then I considered the compact cassette as medium and artefact in various ways – mechanism, magnetism, friction, rotation, failure, repetition, fragility, ephemerality... these keywords instigated a composition process that became 'Open and Closed Circles'.„ SW

Ce workshop propose aux étudiants une initiation ou un perfectionnement aux techniques de prises de sons environnementales (field recording). Mais cette technique n'est que le premier palier qui doit nous mener à un rapport plus esthétique avec l'environnement sonore : celui de la phoNographie : l'art de l'écriture de la prise de son. En effet, nous partageons ici de manière théorique puis par des exercices  in situ,  ce qui constitue le coeur de notre pratique compositionnelle : celle qui naît directement au coeur de l'écoute, de l'auscultation puis de l'enregistrement : cette pratique phoNographique conçue comme art compositionnel de la prise de son environnementale. Notre présupposé est que à l'instar de la phoTographie, la composition commence dès la prise de son (=prise de vue).  


Il implique les participants dans la mise en place du parcours et la collecte des matériaux phoNographiques en vu de la performance finale



The rain sweeps in the season of abundance, the environment caught inside a vast furnace.

Four more exposures of the universal wonder of wind congealing in a compact cauldron. Natural occurring dissonance coincides with manipulated and synthesised currents of air. A bare interior seeming at once empty and brimming with occupation. Unseen mineral walls documented as a spiralling voice of unity.


The basis of these pieces were field recordings made in the Kosciuszko National Park during summer. This national park covers alpine and sub-alpine areas, and as such provides an unusual environment within the typical low lying bushland and desert of greater Australia. It covers the highest peaks on the continent, and as such is a diverse environment that covers everything from heavily wooded valleys and riverways, through to rugged grasslands high above the treeline. There is a similar variation in animal and bird life, whilst the weather is inclement all year round with everything from blazing sun to snow in one day.

However I had no interest in trying to document this environment in a literal sense, rather the approach was purely subjective and perceptual. It is an attempt in mapping and constructing a response, but perhaps also an attempt to build the density and extremities of this environment with a sonic equivalent. I used a light recording rig, preferring to work quickly and informally with a mind to building up a large palette of sounds that would later form the raw ingredients of these sound pieces. I used quite pronounced editing and manipulation to slowly shape them into something with it’s own physicality and mass. Something that hopefully embodies and epitomises these antediluvian and monolithic mountains.


© 2012-2020 I Espaces Sonores I Stéphane MARIN