mesmeric forest

Mesmeric Forest” (2011)

electro-acoustic composition for the GRM Acousmonium
composed at GRM Studios Paris
commissioned for Kontraste Festival 2011 – Krems – Austria

[AUDIO]“Mesmeric Forest” (edit)

[VIDEO]live diffusion at Konstraste Festival, Krems


Memeric Forest is a synthetic sound world, suggesting a forest environment and designed to trigger a form of “peripheral hearing”. The music was made using a variety of digital and analogue electronic techniques, evoking the sounds of a forest with material which is reminiscent of insects, birds, crickets, frogs, air… Many of the sounds are high frequency and the music is designed to be played back spatially at a low volume, sometimes quite imperceptibly. The sound is conceived as a representation of an actually existing place – projected from inner-imagination into a performance space to induce a particularly concentrated state of mind, but one which is not focused on an exact image. The sounds engage and invite listeners to form their own associations, with space left for their imagination, to connect the externally projected sounds with their own “inner sounds”. The peripheral / low volume nature of the music is designed to cause a form of searching in the minds of listeners. The sounds are mostly high frequency electronic loops, with rhythmic patterns which could induce a slightly hypnotic state – so that the landscape connects with a subconscious part of the listeners, bringing the landscape alive in their inner-imagination. The diffusion of this music via the Acousmonium was considered to be a visit to this imaginary landscape, or as a door opening into it. A recording of this live-diffusion can be considered to be a “field recording” of a visit to this landscape. The raw materials for this environment were collected during summer 2011, constructed and tried out in September at GRM Studios in Paris. The main idea was not to make a classical composition, but to create a complete multi-channel forest landscape, originaly designed for the Acousmonium which was “visited” during the performance of at Kontraste Festival in Krems on Saturday 15 October 2011.


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‘A composer knows his work as a woodsman knows a path he has traced and retraced, while a listener is confronted by the same work as one is in the woods by a plant one has never seen before’
John Cage from “Experimental Music” in “Silence” (1939 – 1961)