This video offers an impression of a hands-on workshop organized by INA GRM that introduces non-professional musicians to musical creation from an electroacoustic perspective: the recording and transforming of sonic material in order to produce a piece of music, which is then interpreted on a multichannel speaker system, the Acousmonium. The Acousmonium is the sound diffusion system designed in 1974 by Francois Bayle and used originally by the Groupe de Recherches Musical (GRM). When used in its full capacity, it consists of 80 loudspeakers of different sizes and shapes.
The workshop is led by composers Eric Broitman and Diego Losa and is based on the principle of shared creation. In two recording sessions, the participants explore their environment with microphones and digital recorders. The following four sessions focus on composing in which the participants learn how to use a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) to organize their sound and transform them with the help of the GRM Tools – plug-ins that allow for the fragmentation and dispersal of the sound, filtering and delaying it in a multichannel space. The six collective sessions take place in the timespan of one month. In between sessions, participants work on their creation individually to get the composition ready in time for the final concert at MPAA, Saint-Germain, where the participants interpret their composition on the Acousmonium.
The experience of the workshop
The workshop was announced via the INA GRM and MPAA website and social media. The twelve, highly motivated participants that applied had a very positive experience during this brief but intense and intensive workshop. In a survey they praised the workshop leaders and the technical conditions of the workshop. They all agreed that this workshop has increased their interest in electroacoustic music. They learned in detail about the composition process and enjoyed working together with the others in a very diverse and interdisciplinary group. Some received better insight in how to use the GRM tools; for others the workshop meant the first opportunity to discover and apply the tools. In both cases, the workshop was rewording. Several participants shared that they left the workshop feeling motivated and full of ideas, generally or specifically for their (artistic) work.
A selection of statements from the participants:
It was very interesting, the workshop leaders were passionate and stimulating!
I’m paying so much more attention now to the sounds around me.
I learned a lot of things: the basics of sound recording, composition, and performance. If I want to progress I must continue but it was already a very good start!
Discovering acousmatic music, attending a concert of musique concrete and doing the internship allows you to consider music from a new angle. It is a very strong, very beautiful way to express oneself and to exercise one’s artistic sensibility.
The feeling of having discovered a music that I knew very little. Confirmation of the feeling that acousmatic music is very close to the visual arts (which I practice). The importance of thinking about music from the moment of capture and not only in post-production.
This pilot project is organised by INA GRM as part of Re-Imagine Europe, co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.
Photo Courtesy of the organisation