Le vent qui hurle

Le vent qui hurle,  2023, 14:21
For semi-modular analog synthesizers, metal sheets and sound spatialization

When the wind passes through objects, it causes them to vibrate and resonate, producing sounds. At high speeds, these sounds seem to imitate howls. This is the howling wind, Le vent qui hurle. I wanted to evoke this unpredictable, spatial, immersive natural sonic phenomenon. The idea, as in my other works, is to question and underline the tension between human beings’ desire for control and the unpredictability of nature.

To create the sound materials, I relied on the sometimes unpredictable nature of modular analog synthesis, combined with the use of metal plates played by the performers moving around the concert hall. With this approach I also investigated the interaction between acoustic sound spatialization and that achieved by loudspeakers. I also explored techniques that interweave modular sound synthesis and spatialization. I made extensive use of decorrelation techniques, creating sounds that are slightly different from each other but always traceable to the same source, something that is possible to achieve through analog modular synthesis. By placing similar but decorrelated sound signals in different parts of the sound space, it is possible to create a diffuse sound field that promotes sensory immersion. Placing similar but decorrelated sound signals in different parts of the sound space can create a diffuse sound field fostering sensorial immersion.

The creation of this piece was also an opportunity to reflect on the concert ritual through performers’ position and movements, aiming to diminish the distance between musicians and the audience and to foster a feeling of immersion. With this work, I also tried to evoke a sense of community, trust and mutual help. Synthesizers are often connected together and one performer’s actions can affect sounds created by the other musicians. Also, because of position changes, some performers prepare the synthesizers’ patches that will be played by other artists.

I developed a notation system and wrote a score for the metal plates parts, the synthesizers ones, and performers’ movements, drawing inspiration for the synthesis notation from the model previously adopted by the Ensemble d’oscillateurs.

I wrote this piece fo the Ensemble d’oscillateurs founded by Nicolas Bernier’s at the University of Montreal’s Faculty of Music. The piece was performed twice so far by the students of the electroacoustic music ensemble classes of the 2023 winter and 2023 fall terms.

I presented this work and a framework on immersive music at the International Conference on Immersive and 3D Audio (Italy, September 2023), the proceedings of which have been recently published on IEEE Xplore. A copy of the article is available at the University of Montreal repository.

Audiovisual documentation coming soon.

Le vent qui hurle – Performances

  • University of Montreal’s Ultrasons concerts series, Canada, 04/20/2023
    • Performers: Charles St-André, Jean-Sébastien Schnubb, Alexandre Sasset-Blouin, Zacharie Perreault-Samson, Antoine Morin, Alexandre Hamel, Antonin Gougeon-Moisan, Gabriel Geneau, Zakary Colello, Emanuel Brie.
  • live@CIRMMT, McGill University, Canada, 11/24/2023
    • Performers: Nicolas Bourgeois, Jacob Desjardins, Jose-Gabriel Bazan-Gauthier, Nicolas Drouin, Théophile Gagnard, Jorge Luis Garcia Gonzalez, Samuel Gendron, Émile Gingras Therrien, Loic Minty, Chloé Rivest
Le vent qui hurle, photo by David Piazza

Le vent qui hurle, photo by David Piazza