b. 1932, Tamatave — Madagascar
In 1958-60, François Bayle joined Pierre Schaeffer’s Groupe
de Recherches Musicales in Paris, and between 1959- 62 worked with Olivier
Messiaen and Kariheinz Stockhausen. In 1966, Pierre Schaeffer put him
in charge of the GRM which, in 1975, became an integral department of
the French National Audiovisual Institute (INA). He maintained this position
In addition, it was François Bayle’s idea to create the Acousmonium
(1974). He also originated the record series Collection lna-Grm, organizes
concerts and radio broadcasts and still supports the development of technologically
advanced musical instruments (Syter — Grm tools — Midi
Formers — Acousmographe).
In 1993, he founded the Acousmatheque, a repertoire of some 2000
works composed since 1948, and that also organises symposiums and composers’ portraits.
Upon leaving the GRM in 1997, he created his own studio and the record label Magison.
To date, he has composed 97 works.
Recent compositions include Fabulae (1990-91), La main vide (The empty hand)
(1994-95), Morceaux de ciels
(Pieces of heavens )(1996), Jeîta –retour (1985-99), Arc, pour Gerard
Grise (1999), La forme du temps est un cercle
(Time’s form is a circle))1998-2001), La forme de l’esprit est un
papillon (The mind’s form is a butterfly) (2001-03).
Releases:18 monographic CSs ) Magison Cycle Bayle (1 to 18)
Musique acousmatique, propositions ... positions — Buchet/Chastel, Paris,
Parcours d’un compositeur— M. Chion/Mssiqees et Recherches, Brussels,
L’image do son/Klangbilder— lmke Misch - Ch. v. Blumroder/Lit verlag,
François Bayle, portraits polychromes — M. de Maule/Ina, Paris,
SACEM Grand Prize for Composers, 1978— National Record Grand Prize, 1981 —Ars
Electronica Prize, Linz, 1989
City of Paris Grand Prize for Music, 1996— Homage by the CIME of Sao Paolo,
1997— Charles Cros Presidential
Grand Prize, 1999.
Currently. President of the Symphonic Music Commission of the SACEM (since 2001).
by François Bayle
The model listener does not exist ... especially not for the music of this volume,
in which the echo of waters and of shade will speak to each and everyone their
the language of their origins.
Yet there is a possible misunderstanding which must be avoided: the murmurs of
waters or of waves, the rhythmical patter of droplets, the thrill of whispers,
the ‘noises’, for all their evocative power, make no attempt to describe.
In the words of Magritte’s famous title, this is not a cave!
There was one stunning cave though, which I was fortunate to see as yet entrodden.
It was first opened to the public with an inaugural concert, in which I brought
into play such a fabulous acoustic instrument an immense ear in the cavity of
which, by some extraordinary chance, we were the first eardrums.
But from this marvelous experience there had to remain a recollection in a reflexive
form. Back in the studio, out of many spools the echoes of stalactites, the rustle
of waters, the songs of workers on the site, or some excerpts of the concert I
composed 17 studies, each one being based on a dynamic pattern selected from
this material. Should this be called ‘concrete’? Probably, as regards
the operative mode and the resources of the sound recorded.
Yet with this music (from the 1970’s) I had my heart set on starting an ‘abstract’ method
neither causal nor narrative of dealing with sound organisation. In arranging
displays of energies, it seems to me that I gave new prospects to the idea of
development: the acousmatic horizon opened up, onto a music of harmonized forms
and movements. This specific cave therefore became the symbolic one where, sheltered
from chance and time, nature labours to create innumerable models.
Returning to this work a few decades later, I drew a renewed version of it, owing
to the improvement of sound technique, but with truthfulness to the music and
all possible closeness to the original.
In the two studies entitled Jeita-a Return however, I wanted to highlight
this ‘return’ (to the 17th and the 1st studies) by working on variations — the
echo of a drama. Between Jeita, Waters’ Murmur and Jeita-a
Return, The Noise’s Infinite” offers a broader dynamic
movement, which was nevertheless conceived in a near spirit. ...Now, temporal
figures, be reborn!
‘Jeita or Waters Murmur first came out in the good old time of
LPs, thanks to the vogue of a famous silver series – ‘prospective
2t st century’ and it went successfully through numerous re-editions, which
ran out of stock with the outcome of the CD industry, already a long time ago.
For this restoration, Emmanuel Favreau’s Audio clean device (lna-Grm) has
by Gérard D. Khoury
Outside, water is but a rustle, [or the bliss of fertility.
Pearls on the leaves of trees, threads into the cracks of the earth, spurting
out to the light of valleys,
bursting in a cascade,
surging into the sea,
it weaves the gamut of sounds, answers the assembly of birds.
Inside, in an echo,
is still muffled,
matter streams down in the shade, opens out in serration,
protected by the endless night.
Outside, millenia overstride centuries, gilgamesh pursues his dream
in the cedar tree forest.
State-cities precede empires, invasions follow battles,
and Alexander is at the gates of Tyr.
Inside, the cave preserved from covetous assaults
is an impregnable citadel, a vault sheltered from timeand space,
peopled with stalactites, columns, pillars, gours, draperies
and the cry of bats.
Outside, cyclamens and anemones are sprinkled on the hills of Adonis.
Men cleave to myths and gods — Bel, Yahve or
Allah - waiting to exist by and for themselves.
Inside, nature sleeps in its chalice, silence hems duration:
drop after drop, he limestone hardens, rises into stalagmites and the patter
of the instant becomes eternity.
Outside, from one age to another, tumult and war, violence and horror, blood
and woe, absurd mankind, nonetheless pursuing some tireless hope.
Inside, the concretions, a protective cocoon, wall in noises, prisoners of space,
awaiting their revelation.
Outside, one day in our time, the explorer and his team, busy about the cave,
discover its opening miraculously,
The Musician of Sound by Gerard D. ichouly
enter it lit up by their torches, marvel at the pristine beauty.
Ecstasy of the senses — they cry out their joy.
The echo is immense
and time abolished:
night and day overlap, acute listening turns the slightest noise
into the image of a sound.
Inside, anxiety grips them When some danger is lurking, a fall of stones or a
lurching over a scree,
expectation of a sound explosion. A menace which reminds them
of the risk of chasms,
but the inebriating night
goes to their heads —
0 bliss of being!
when all is calm and controlled in the womb of the earth.
Outside, he came on the ship Nadir, to set foot on a favorable shore,
the musician of sound.
Jeita had ever expected him, the visitor from elsewhere,
the collector of inaudible matter, the harbinger of new music.
Inside, he discovered the concordance between the unspoiled transmission
and his new language of sounds. No more description but a music springing from
unconscious of the cave
as from the innermost of being.
Outside, the musician freed what was sheltered within. Nature turned into sound.
forsaking the meanders of narration, he presented the ear
with the language of stone flowers.
inside and outside then combined, for the lapse of an inaugural concert:
light assaulted shade,
and music made uninhabited spaces resound.
After the chimes of fossil bells came the murmur
of mineral bees,
after plays of water
the mouths of shade,
multiplying the dream,
enhancing the oracle,
and sealing for ever
the union of emotion and dream in a pure music.
This “itineraryI in the form of a suite of 17 studies on the dynamic
metamorphoses of sound matter, is scrupulously based upon jottings-down taken
from nature. The names of the various studies are intended for the listener’s
eyes ; the composer’s real intentions as to sounds
and hearing are hidden in the indications given below.
1 Waters’ Murmur light and quick, as against intense and broad...
2 fossil bells a design of intervals, a play of multiplied resonances
3 murmur of stone bees a tissue of delicate throbbings, equilibriums
4 mouth of shade a play of co ors, trajectories
5 daydream of multiplication the unity of sound given as the coherent
equivalent of multiple cells...
6 the ship Nadir smooth sheets (preparation), then volute fringes (paths)...
7 oracle verbal hasard, premeditated figures, light gusts... shock...
8 Waters’ Murmur a spiral descending into three zones of color...
9 vertical water a play of opposed energies, of relaxation-compressions...
10 elsewhere the standard interval of a descending second frequently
11 daydream of resonance a long fluctuation, a harmonic fan...
12 ‘etching’ from white to black, color values and plastic
13 water lace murmur balancing of renuous, halting equilibriums: the
value of an instant.
14 waterintervals intervals of tempi, of pitches, of energies, of colors...
15 murmured writings down-strokes, syllabes, cells in multiplication...
16 oracle sigh-accents and a sudden resolution into energy figures...
17 Waters’ Murmur two figures consisting of intervals and rumblings
evoking the pano
Gerard D. Khoury, a writer, a historian of the contemporary Middle East.
The concrete source which amuse the animal ear, the electronic
trajectories with their analogical heat and the audionumurcel colours with their
shimmering reflections all present their own inimitable qualities.
Surfaces make up space and like mirrors facing one another, they open up the
auditory perspective of their long corridors with infinite curves.
In 1985 for a concert in the Olivier Messiaen auditorium at the
Maison de Radio France, François Bayle revised the composition of Jeita, which
appeared to have been a premonitory work. And he added two variations dedicated
to the memory of the cave walled in during the Lebanon war.
waters’ oracle I
a repeat of movement 17, but in the form of four variations with
waters’ oracle 2
a repeat of movement 1, surrounded by rustling voices and murmured
”as soon us one enters them caves reply with murmurs and menaces...” Bachelard
wrote, and he
added “. . it all depends on the frame of mind
of the person who questions them’.
Chance the secret decision of subterranean causalities inspired we with
various murmurs, which l called oracles’. Sinister drawings. They vent
their curses wildly, in gusts. Black birds amidst innocent flocks. As if stirred
again by the fortuitousness of encounters, one day I opened Paul Klee’s
diary and read about another analogy: “the human uanimal — a
clock of blood”.
Straight away I realized that I had duplicated this large machine which turns
time into form-flowers by means of billions of busy and regular drops an immense
clock and I had created a man-size one for the ear. With the dimensions of a
clock of blood Elsewhere Real Klee also talks of ‘a place where our brain
and the universe meet’ and renders it with its
proper color. And Cézanne notes that nature is “inside’.
Considering the extent to which listening is malleable, it seems
to me more accurate — and tragically evident today to reverse the object
into the subject. There is no cave any more, but someone in there.
Let us hear ‘delta’, listen
to it again through this pulsing and precarious image...
François Bayle’s owes its originality to the fact that all his musical
activity is devoted to the exploration of the ‘acousmatic’ world,
a phrase he spread about. This is the vast sphere in which the keen admirer of
Jules Verne, Paul Klee, Gaston Bachelard end René Thom revolves. He was
born in Temeteve in 1932 end educated in Bordeaux, bet he did not follow the
traditional curriculum of musical studies. It was on his own, at work end from
experiences with the sound proper, that Bayle discovered and trained himself.
Though in his early works he still resorted to traditional instruments together
with the tape, he eventually gave up almost all references to them. By means
of a new grammar and in the field of sound transformation only, F B. constantly
broadens his language end seeks to set up an imaginative logic of thought end
After Brigitte Massin in Encyclopedia Universalis (Paris Albin Michel)
The speleologist Semi Karkabi discovered the upper cave of Jette with a team
of Lebanon’s Speleo-Club in 1959. He took an active pert in the fitting-out
of this splendid site. The design of the galleries end of the auditorium was
entrusted to the architect Ghassan Klink. Sami Karkabi asked François
Bayle to compose the music for an inaugural concert.
He also took the photographs illustrating this CD.
Translation Marrielle D. Khoury