Emmanuel MievilleConcret-Sens


CrĂłnica 084~2013 download

Release date: 2 December 2013


  1. Cillages (13:48)
  2. Locus Sonus (10:20)
  3. Solis Ortus (12:22)

The title of this release refers to a French adjective — concrescence — used by composer François Bayle to describe and underline in his music, the concrete substance of sounds, the quality of an object or sound to evoque the down to earth quality of its aural image (or its ruggedness, its wabi-sabi). It also plays on the specific meaning of sens, meaning direction. The direction towards concrete.

This was Emmanuel Mieville’s framework while composing these pieces, close to the essence of musique concrète, as defined by Pierre Schaeffer. He gathered found sounds and recordings, freely associating materials and sounds in a narrative approach, without transforming their intrinsic concrescence. Some elements were taken from radio archives, others were recorded but weren’t used in the final mixes, but still managed, however, to resonate throughout the pieces, such as the woman humming a melody and making coffee that was recorded for Locus Sonus.

Cillages uses recordings of neon lights and hums from electrical outlets. No other electronic devices were used.

Locus Sonus uses tape and field recordings as the main sources, accompanied by excerpts of radio documentaries and, in a sense, also working as a nod to Mieville’s approach to electroacoustic composition, learned first and foremost by listening to creative radio programs and live concerts. The magnetic presence of the tape is haunted by memories of sound, by anecdotes and personal historical elements.

The third and final piece, Solis Ortus, uses field recordings manipulated through granular synthesis, with dynamic and spatial treatments to create bursts of sound and semi-random movements in the stereo field.

Paris-born composer Emmanuel Mieville studied sound engineering in a film school and musique concrète at the famous GRM (Groupe de Recherches Musicales). He has also studied ethnic instruments and played Javanese gamelan orchestra in Paris for two years.

Since his childhood, Mieville has been constantly listening to creative radio programs, something that has fueled his approach to experimental music and soundscape composition. He has produced many programs for French national radios (France-Culture and France-Musiques), such as a work for shakuhachi, voice and electronics. He is also a guest composer on Framework, the field recording show Patrick McKinley produces for Resonance FM.

Mieville’s interest in aural perception and memories engraved in urban and wildlife environments have yielded compositions where field recordings are layered, mixed and sometimes transformed through effects. His goal is to portray a specific location, to let its blurred sonic emotions reach the listener’s ears, to perform in concert and compose the “concrete” substance of it for the listener’s benefit.

He has worked with Buto dancers and video artists. He also improvises with fellow musicians like Eric Cordier, Guido Huebner, Benjamin Thigpen, and Heesok Yu, among others. His electroacoustic works have been presented in festivals like Motus and Licences-Brûlures des langues (France), Confluencias (Spain), and the Udine Composition Competition in Italy (final selection). He has performed concerts and improvised with musicians in Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, France, and Germany. He also performs other people’s music, like the music of K.H. Stockhausen with the innovative laptop ensemble CLSI. He has released music on the labels Tibprod (with Tore H. Bøe), XingWu, and/oar and Lona Records, on french label Baskaru, with a full length field recording album Four Wanderings in Tropical Lands. And lastly on Russian label Observatoire with Buddha Anima Asia album merging field recording and drones textures.


Press release