2018, for objects, effects, feedback, modular synthesizer and percussions.
In 2017 I was working with the Institute of Psychoacoustics and Electronic Music in Gent, to think about what could be a music that would trigger a sedative effect.
The fact that breathing and heart rate are influenced by music was the starting point. These rhythms slow down during sleepiness process. The idea was then to compose a music that would slow down its pace very progressively, driving bodily rhythms with it.
The second point was to think about the very fact of listening to music: why do I listen and why do I continue to listen? In relation with the sedative effect wanted, we had to deal with the interest of the proposed music: to have something sufficiently arousing to catch listeners’ attention, but not completely interesting to prevent a total arousing that would discard the sedative effect. We thus had to maintain music in the border between interest and neutrality while avoiding boredom. Neutrality would allow listeners to let their thoughts ramble while unconsciously being tuned to the global slowing down of the music (which is also a rarefaction of the number of events).
The third point was to pair all this with a progressive diminution of music volume. That will focus the listening, which gives space, thanks to music’s neutrality, to the wandering thoughts of the listeners.
The combination of these three points triggers a sedative effect.
At the basis of the proposition is also of course a willing of the listener to accept the music without any hidden agenda.
In 2018, during my collaboration with Why Note, all this was processed in a one hour composition for three musicians. At all the following concerts, people snored after 15′ to 40′, so there’s probably something at work here.
La Générale d’Expérimentation – Nicolas Thirion: pedals, no-input mixing board, guitar, hurdy gurdy, Teenage Engineering OP-1; Baptiste Chatel: modular synth, Organelle; Benoît Kilian : percussions.
Cité de la Voix, Vézelay, 15 January 2018.
Recording, mixing: Romain Robert.
special thanks to Leon van Noorden and Luc Nijs for the inspiring talks during my time at IPEM
special thanks to Nicolas Thirion and the Générale d’Expérimentation