Project 1

Working Title - Internal Monologue

Inspiration 1: The Anechoic Chamber at IRCAM, a room designed to completely absorb reflections of either sound or electromagnetic waves. They are also insulated from exterior sources of noise. The combination of both aspects means they simulate a quiet open-space of infinite dimension, which is useful when exterior influences would otherwise give false results.


Abstract Birds “Les Objets Impossibles - Objet 2 (excerpt)”

A live audiovisual concert in two parts, realized in collaboration with Arcadi, IRCAM, Ensemble Intercontemporain and Dmitri Kourliandski.


L'Espace culturel Louis Vuitton propose, à l'occasion de sa 17e exposition, une nouvelle forme de voyage : ANICROCHES, Variations, choral et fugue; un transport musical qui place la vision et l'écoute au cœur du projet. Conçue selon un format inédit, cette exposition offre à partir du 18 novembre une autre relation aux œuvres d'art, enrichissant l'approche plastique d'un volet sonore et musical.

Tout au long de la période, l'Espace culturel convie les visiteurs à participer à une expérience numérique inédite, à la frontière de la création plastique et de la composition, dans l'espace de la Rotonde. Un compositeur est également invité à écrire pour l'ensemble des œuvres présentées une partition qui sera jouée à l'occasion d'un concert exceptionnel à la fin de l'exposition.

Artistes :
Rémy Jacquier, Christina Kubisch, Charlotte Moorman ,Thierry Mouillé, Laurent Saksik, Anri Sala, Su-Mei Tse, Stéphane Vigny
Commissaire de l'exposition : Fabienne Fulchéri
Scénographe de l'exposition : Studio Adrien Gardere

Watch on

Jonathan Harvey - Vivos Voco
for concrete sounds processed by computer 

An invitation from Boulez to work at IRCAM in the early 1980s has resulted in eight realisations at the Institute, or for the Ensemble Intercontemporain, including the tape piece Mortuos Plango Vivos Voco, Ritual Melodies for computer-manipulated sounds, and Advaya for cello and live and pre-recorded sounds. Harvey has also composed for most other genres: orchestra (including Madonna of Winter and Spring, Tranquil Abiding and White as Jasmine), chamber (including three String Quartets, Soleil Noir/Chitra, and Death of Light, Light of Death, for instance) as well as works for solo instruments.


Backstage Boulez

We caught up backstage at the Metropolitan Museum with two of the principal players in this weekend’s performances of CONTACT!, the Philharmonic’s new-music series.

Hear what Principal Flute Robert Langevin and IRCAM computer music designer Carlo Laurenzi have to say about Pierre Boulez’s … explosante-fixe …, which weaves an electronic orchestra with flutes and a chamber ensemble.

Langevin talks about his first experience playing MIDI flute, and Laurenzi describes working on the piece with Boulez, IRCAM founder and Philharmonic Music Director from 197177.

Physical Music 86 - The Snail

From IRCAMLab - The Snail - a wonderful visualiser / tuner that interprets the sounds with incredibly accurate representations. A tool for all those interested in analysing the individual elements that make up the composition and nuances of the sound. - getting closer to physical music ?

Music by Viridescences.   


IRCAM is a non-profit acoustics and music research facility and school offering a Master’s program in Sound Design and ATiAM (Acoustique, traitement du signal, informatique, appliqués à la musique, translation: acoustics, signal processing, computing, applied to music). IRCAM developed jMax, the basis of Opcode’s and later Cycling ‘74’s Max (also Max for Ableton Live). Max was open sourced in 1999. But in 1989 IRCAM licensed it to Opcode Systems. Aphex Twin is rumored to have used the non-Opcode branch for ICBYD and/or RDJ albums. Autechre is also known to use the Opcode and C74 versions for most of their tracks since the late 90’s.

The anechoic chamber is not only are all of the studios double-walled and acoustically isolated from the largest subway station in the world just a few meters away, but this anechoic chamber is also double-walled and acoustically isolated from the other rooms in the facility.

Both student research and commercial research are done at IRCAM. We learned that the occupation of sound designer is more than just for film, tv, and video games. IRCAM faculty and stuff worked or are working on a voice synthesis that strives to sound sympathetic to the person it is interacting with when necessary, and also sounds via DSP to give cues to the drivers of electric cars as to what is happening with the car’s performance since the sound of the engine and gears shifting is not present. They conducted multivariate tests with variety of sounds they chose for the project to find the best ones.

About the student with the guitar: we were told that IRCAM is developing an in-guitar DSP that will provide effects but sound as if they are coming from the body of the guitar. No, it does not just sound like a speaker inside. It seems acoustically impossible but we listened to a demo of the 1 octave up pitch shifter. The software was running on an iPhone but we were told this is just a convenient development platform, and the DSP engine will live in the guitar once this becomes a product.  He is holding the interface unit.

Most desks were Yamaha and most monitors were Tannoy.

About the photo of the room with the red trusses: Not only does this room have 339 computer controlled speakers for a surround sound-like setup (called Ambisonics), but the red trusses allow for engineers to control the room size, from very small to very large, to allow for a wide range of natural reverb. The paneling in the wall can also be altered remotely to be more reflective or more absorptive.

Thank you Deborah for the special tour.


Interfaces modulaires pour la musique numérique.
“Interlude” est un projet de recherche qui explore de nouveaux moyens d'expression musicale à l'aide d'interfaces gestuelles. L'un des principaux enjeux du projet est de renouveler les manières d'interpréter et de jouer les musiques électroniques et informatiques.
Une partie du projet se concentre sur la conception d'objets modulaires “à terminer” et “à composer” laissant une possibilité d'adoption large aux utilisateurs. Ces objets sont des interfaces tangibles qui capturent un large éventail de gestes et d'actions. Les interfaces peuvent être assemblées en réseaux d'objets connectés sans fil afin d'en modifier l'usage.
L'édition 2011 du concours international Margaret Guthman Musical Instrument, qui récompense la conception de nouveaux instruments, a décerné son premier prix au consortium du projet Interlude coordonné par l'Ircam (équipe Interactions musicales temps réel, IMTR).


Tone row etude using OpenMusic algorithmic composition software.
The first patch plays through the tone row with random octave distribution and random transposition of each row. Rhythm trees generate the rhythms. Three instances of the first patch are played with increasing note density.
The second patch plays through the tone row harmonically, with one to five notes sounds at a time. This patch is repeated with higher rhythmic density, finally the melodic tone row patch is played.

For full details of the algorithmic composition patch see

Impressionnant dispositif à l'Ircam de spatialisation du son : ceinture de 264 haut-parleurs répartis autour du public pour la diffusion en WFS (Wave Field Synthesis) et d'un dôme de 75 haut-parleurs pour une diffusion tri-dimensionnelle en mode Ambisonique.

En clair le son se promène dans l'espace comme un papillon. Le son passe à côté de vous, vous contourne, repart et revient.