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3 CD Box Set: L'Oeuvre Musicale The complete works of Pierre Schaeffer, re-digitised and re-issued with newly discovered tracks.
Book and 3 x CDs: Solfege de l'Objet Sonore This book, accompanied by 285 tracks on 3 CDs of examples is a unique and indispensable resource work for all those interested in electroacoustic music. Examples by Parmegiani, Henry, Bayle, Xenakis, Luc Ferrari etc. illustrate Pierre Schaeffer's text.
Book: Audible Design by Trevor Wishart
5 CD Box Set: GRM Archive 5 CD Boxed Set containing music spanning half a century of GRM inspired compositions
12 CD Box Set: Parmegiani: l'Oeuvre Musicale The complete works of Bernard Parmegiani on 12 CDs

Trevor Wishart - Globalalia/Imago

Trevor wishart - Globalalia/ImagoA re-issue of Globalalia which explores human speech and the syllables common to all, and Imago, which is constructed entirely out of the sound of 2 whiskey glasses being clinked together. Classic Wishart at his best!

Wishart writes: "In Globalalia, I wanted to use human speech, but focus on what we hold in common as human beings. Although the world’s languages contain many millions of words, these are constructed from a much smaller set of sounds, the syllables. I wrote to several friends asking them to collect voices from their local radio stations, and also recorded voices from TV stations via satellite dish, assembling sounds from 134 voices in 26 different languages. I then edited these into their syllables, ending with more than 8300 sources."

Francis Dhomont - Etudes Pour Kafka

Francis Dhomont - Etudes Pour KafkaA new release from Francis Dhomont, who in the opinion of many is the greatest living composer of electroacoustic music. This CD contains 3 studies which were the seeds from which many of his other works grew. Behind major works of the scope of … mourir un peu, Sous le regard d’un soleil noir, and Forêt profonde, in these studies Dhomont experiments with the themes, tries out sound materials, and unveils glimpses of the final work. Dhomont at his best!

Denis Smalley - Sources - Scénes

Denis Smalley - Sources - ScénesrOne of our most popular titles is back in stock. Denis Smalley is one of the UK's best known composers of electroacoustic music, and this CD is a personal favourite of ours - definitely a desert island disc. The music is simply stunningly beautiful, the production and sound quality are as good as it gets. If you don't already have this CD, don't put it off any longer.
Parmegiani: l'Oeuvre MusicaleWe are fans of Bernard Parmegiani and so we now have all of his CDs in stock, including the newly released l'Oeuvre Musicale. If you don't know his music, we recommend that you make an acqaintence with it by listening to some clips and reading the comprehensive notes which we have on the site. Click here for links to his biography and all his CDs.
Pierre Hanry: Labyrinthe We now stock a selection of the best electroacoustic CDs from the GRM Catalog, both historic and new - Electroacoustic Classics from Pierre SchaefferPierre Henry Luc Ferrari and  Jean-Claude Risset are just some of the new offerings.

One of our most popular GRM titles is Pierre Henry's Labyrinthe - Pierre Henry says of Labyrinthe - "For the first time during my journey and ventures into the world of creation, I dreamt of a breath of fresh air deriving from the electronic realm." This CD is a real retrospective of this pioneer of electronic music.
New from Digital Music Archives - Download a continually expanding catalogue of electroacoustic music tracks!

You can now download a selection of single tracks of music from our website. All the tracks are encoded as top quality MP3s at 320k. All you have to do is go to our tracks page, add the ones you want to your shopping cart, and you will be presented with a webpage with links to the tracks as soon as your credit card payment has been authorised. You will also be sent an email with the links and a seven day period to download the tracks.
Our UK Event Listings service is now online....

We now have a listings page for concerts, festivals, conferences and workshops of electroacoustic music in the UK. We hope it will soon be the place to check up on whats happening and where. Its already up and running - click here! to check it out.
Looking for a course in electroacoustic composition? - Try our links page for some of the best places in the UK. You'll also find links to organisations and institutes all over the world.

Think we've missed out on something? Email us at and let us know.

CD Details for François Bayle: Camera Oscura

Camera Oscura François Bayle
Camera Oscura (1976) reflects an organic conception of the whole: not that which studies anatomy, but that of the botanists in the tradition of Goethe, i. e. observing a phenomenon in situ, globally, from the perceptions we have of the phenomenon.
In Stock
 Customer Reviews 
 Other Titles by François Bayle 
 Audio Clips 
Track 1
Granulations 1
Track 2
Tutti 1 Medium
Track 3
Granulations 2
Track 4
Tutti 2 aigu
Track 5
Track 6
Track 7
Tutti 3 large
Track 8
Franges du signe (1)
Track 9
Franges du signe (2)
Track 10
Franges du signe (3)
Track 11
Franges du signe (4)
Track 12
Franges du signe (5)
Track 13
Franges du signe (6)
Track 14
Signal sur bruit (1)
Track 15
Signal sur bruit (1)
Track 16
Signal sur bruit (2)
Track 17
Signal sur bruit (3)
Track 18
Signal sur bruit (4)
Track 19
Signal sur bruit (5)
 Sleeve Notes 

About the Artist

François Bayle

bayle_portraitb. 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 until 1997.

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, 1993.
Parcours d’un compositeur— M. Chion/Mssiqees et Recherches, Brussels, 1994.
L’image do son/Klangbilder— lmke Misch - Ch. v. Blumroder/Lit verlag, Munster, 2003.
François Bayle, portraits polychromes — M. de Maule/Ina, Paris, 2004.
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).

About the Music

bayle_butterflyto the model listener... warning

My first memories? Only from the sensation of space does the desire, the mystery of music seize me. Moreover, when recalling the 191St/s. the years of my beginning, have I sometimes presented myself as a “child of stereophony”.

In comparison with the pioneers of the concrete or electronic era, they coming from monophony and having demandingly explored the new properties of the instrument loudspeaker, those from the next stage, to which I belonged, seemed at first hardly different. Many only saw between mono and stereo a purely technical distinction: two channels associated on the same support, a convenient diaphony.

The sound of a monophonic loudspeaker remains attached to the sounding body or to the instrument it transforms and prolongs with an electroacoustic extension. Whereas the spatial sound, having become autonomous by its capacity of moving itself, crossed the line of non return to the initial cause, becoming a birdlike now.

Yet, a step had been taken, a limit had been transgressed...

In considering only one sound event but suddenly spatially defined and appearing as if magical, not situated on loudspeakers anymore but between and around them, floating and mobile, objectively present and pure movement, then the wall of sound had been broken, the instrumental tropism cleared, another reality became accessible, a pure spatial percept.

It was not a (an electroacoustic) music before one anymore, but a musical phenomenon in the hollow of consciousness. Not a perception attached to a visible instrumental mode, or a hearing led by the exterior anymore, but an activity of hearing, that of a world of emotions and perceptive thought, that of a moving space of “temporal objects”, recognised/wanted from the interior.

If, having been the first to open the door out of the usual space - more attentive than others to the risks and perils - I dared on this new moon only a few first steps. Their success encouraged me to undertake an indispensable Acoustic Experience that definitely decided my future orientation.

From Es paces inhabitables of 1967, and even more so from Camera oscura (‘76), this bias asserted itself, more than stereophonic: specifically utopian (by utopian, have often designated my long works, immersion spaces prolonged in the world of phenomena L’Experience Acoustique(70- 72) Le Purgatoire from the Divine Comedy (72) etc and later Erosphere (80)- Son Vitnsse Lumiere (84) or more recently La forme du tempo est un circle are among these “utopian” works)

Before becoming acousmatic. But this is another story. F. B.

about Camera oscura 1976, revision 2000— 38’39

seven preludes 1. sequenza 2.smorzando 3. staccato 4. toccata  5.
vibrato – 6. rubato 7. ripieno - and labyrinth

bayle_1first a word on this organisation : several rather strict little forms prepare for a rather free large form, of which the fantasy (or the caprice) would find itself thus consolidated.

The preludes are introduced by a title that is an allusion to the vocabulary of interpretation nuances as if one had to play these pieces on an imaginary keyboard. These indications are to be taken seriously and concern the right attitude of hearing that one should adopt to be able to ‘hear’ with all the necessary cheerfulness. A “sound character” appears several times throughout the work like a human modulo, as to provide a reference, a scale. (One may think of L. da Vinci’s man inscribed in a circle and representing ‘the image’ in the camera oscura). What will attract, interest the curious ear are the multiple dimensions of space, staged in various ways in the progression of the seven preludes, (therefore this Camera oscura would make one think of the impressions one has when examining ‘views’ through a stereoscope).
The first four preludes alternate the open and the closed, (4-toccata- the shortest, condenses in just over one minute the intensity of closure). From the 5th onwards, a new dimension arises, the ceiling is blown away: the camera seems to open on a sky of harmonics, of tones... in the following preludes, the spectre is enriched: from a black and white drawing to the life of forms and coloured volumes.

These seven exercises of attention have prepared for the ordeal of the labyrinthe.

As in the arches of a video game, it is by the combination of the previously acquired forms that the attention will find the necessary references to lean on to and to move forward along the course, until the far outcome, the problematic ray of hope.

At first a rhythmic maze, mirrors-forms that look more-or-less alike, that are assembled, woven, fugued. The figures of resonance and of shortened rustlings present themselves as a draught board on which pieces with peculiar walks would move. The progression leads to (index 9 to 10) the danced movement of a prepared piano (reminder of a collage by Max Ernst : allons, dansonslIa ténébreuse...

Then we find ourselves thrown into windings and crystallized sonorities, in which the lines would be lost if they were not supported by low layers, from plateau to plateau, seemingly leading to a muter and muter deep, to the bottom of an abyss that heat and light would reach (maybe), in extremis.

But for the ear, these constructions in sequence, processes, stretching, extensions, transpositions, thickenings, harmonisation, spatialisation, reverberations and dissipation are only forms and impressions left on the memory, in view of a joy of a multidimensional, fulfilled hearing..

As André Boucourechliev has subtly noted, sounds have not to express the feelings they provoke. FB.

about Uninhabitable Spaces 1967- 17’41

1. jardins de rien, 2’57 - 2. géophonie 2’37 - 3. hommage à Robur, 5’20 4. le bleu du ciel, 2’26 - 5. amertumes, 4’21

bayle_2With the distance, I do not have the wish anymore to explain the ‘message’ of Espaces. This romantic work has the excuse of being short, and our ears today will be more surprised by the Japanese concision of each of its movements than by the symbolic field half-opened by their titles.

A more actual interest would focus on the writing and the techniques in what was my first real work (the one that led me to the ideas I have today).

Gardens of Nothing was my first deliberate attempt to organise dynamic processes. By processes or dynamic species, I refer to the various of figures that appear in the temporal development of sound phenomena. This bringing out of time and its division reveals a set of essentially energetic criteria in the physical sense (of sound causes and agents) as well as at a psychological level (of the effects of attention mobilisation, of the degrees of predictability). In these short movements I postulated a logic of flexibility, a grammaticality of various orders:

- the order of solids: notes on a zither, attack/resonance, descending chromatic figures;
- the order of fluids: the sound of trodden gravel; the murmur of waves, sadden movements dissolving. A discreet homage to Debussy in the figures and their resolution on a pure note at the end. A reminder of rake traces in a Zen garden.

Geophony, here a plastic construction in a futuristic style, of vast sound blocs. The dynamic species in presence oppose ‘streaming’ sounds with strong energies to rapid internal movements with violent percussion/resonance.

Homage to Hobur, construction of a progression by the evolution from vague to distinct, from muffled to precise. The depth of the sounds, their register, their mixing develop the pulsation and its echoing answers. The space here is filled.

Robot-the-Conqueror is, along with Nemo, Hatteras, the hero-type of Jules Verne, absolute to the point of suicide, In echo of this symbol corresponds the allusion to Georges Bataille in the following movement, the fragile and frozen line of a continuous melody that seems pushed to the extreme.

The Blue of the Skyworks on constant melodic equivocal, a drawing easily spotted, even though it is concealed by harmonics. The role of low muffled punctuation which play with the layers they release.

Bitterness is to be understood as a continuation of jardins de rien, delayed by the insertion of the other movements. The previous dynamic species are found again at the end of a long preamble of harmonic mist and informal rustles. Disorientated - orientated - broken - this is how the movement progresses, by analogy with the overall form of the work.

The work here is remixed from the barely restored original sounds.

• towards an epistemology of hearing

bayle_3François Bayle’s music is to be considered as a fabric, a fabric of relationships open to constant evolution, aiming at transformation more than information, feeling more than awareness. A fabric of relationships so dense that it expresses it’s own life, a logic having it’s own laws: weaving sounds as we weave life.
The ear of velocity (l’oreille de velocite -according to Bayle’s own expression - makes it possible to go beyond the analytical character of machine manipulation in such way as to reach the synthetic dimension of the presiding rules which shape the result obtained. It is a matter of exploring the forces at stake and of perceiving their meaning. Reality is not sound, but the act of listening, where the perceptive gesture is the essential element: percussion is not only shock, but the manifestation of bodies as present. This is a dynamic and living conception, without beginning or ending, indicating the exploration of an interior world, and integrated in his music, which, like natural phenomena, ceases more than concludes.

In placing perception as the starting point, thus guaranteeing human reality, Bayle‘s musical project appears almost subversive in relation to certain spheres where intellectualism is still all present, and in relation to the mediation of a thought inaugurated by the first tools of infra or ultra-perceptive exploration, such as the microscope... or the microphone.

The processes related to electromagnetism have led to new disciplines, whose expressions are specific, have revealed another world. It is not the muscular body that is requested, but the expression of the electrical body that is aimed at. Consequently, the singular and specific project of Bayle‘s acousmatic music is to transform the materiality of sound, of space, and of the technical devises of sound reproduction. The relationships between forces and mechanical restraints - those of acoustic music- are replaced by relationships of speed, specific to the electrical world, and whose extent is particular to the electroacoustic world. Bayle’s music appears as revealing the multiple forces at stake: those mechanical, electrical, magnetic, psychological, emotional, sensory... forces whose virtuality is only apparent.

In view of an experience, that is, to enter in contact with a process in such way as to keep the conscience awake, Bayle shares with us the logic of totality, rather than that of separate parts; the logic of construction rather than that of decomposition. Time appears as the sphere of being, where the future constantly erupts into the present: the trihedron is more interior.

This music puts the listener face to face with the essential element: a core which is animated by its own forces and reflects simultaneously every conflicting though complementary restraint. By its organic character and its nature, the body is constantly invested by transmodality. F Bayle is very clear: it is in the making that the meaning is born.

With Espaces inhabitables, F Bayle, as early as 1967, exceeds the stasis of sound objects which meet with the laws of mechanical physics and of gravity. In the end, the electronic sound exceeds the characteristics of matter and colour, losing, at the same time, weight and stiffness, so it can be considered in terms of intertwined plant-like lines, as free as the oriental artist’s paintbrush on a sheet of paper. Like the pictorial stroke, where spirit and matter mingle, F Bayle’s first sound lines already reveal, in this early work, the intersection between two worlds: the outside and the inside, the interior and the exterior.

Camera Oscura (1976) reflects an organic conception of the whole: not that which studies anatomy, but that of the botanists in the tradition of Goethe, i. e. observing a phenomenon in situ, globally, from the perceptions we have of the phenomenon, and where an element is under the influence not only of it’s own restraints, but also of those of surrounding phenomena. The sterile context of the laboratory is deserted for complex phenomena, whose movements we can only hope to embrace, and maybe be able to understand their meaning.

Bayle ‘s work is like a garden. The garden where, out of curiosity he has sown seeds of rare flowers. On the look-out, he observes closely the growth of his shoots, but also those unexpectedly brought by others, by birds, insects; the plant’s transformation through it’s primordial movement as well as it’s subjection to external phenomena: the disruptive wind which also enriches the garden of new essences, the nourishing but destructive sunshine, the saving humidity or the devastating torrential rain... At last, he contemplates the short-lived result of each instant, the relationship established between the various plants according to their colour, their shape, their size, their reaction to wind, light, water, neighbouring plants... The relationships brought by our own history.

And, without being concerned with science, or biological, geological, meteorological, physical, acoustic or other studies. he makes us take part in a lesson of life where individual autonomy is of fundamental value.

…forces acting on forms

The world of noise, reflection of the world, Bayle conceives his raw material -the energetic stamp of a sound occurrence- as a means of access to sound: the form of an outline, a material with plastic qualities, distortable, malleable. Declining this initial form, varying it’s outlines, constitutes the prime matter of Bayle ‘s acousmatic project.

The modeling of contours and the transformation of forms reveal the morphological proprieties of sound entities, but above all they require and stimulate the perceptive faculties of the listener. The ear is the starting point and the guide to an empiric method oscillating incessantly between action - listening (ecoute-action) and operation-listening (ecoute-operation).

The notion of gesture is at the centre of Bayle’s musical activity: the gesture as call or core. This is the initial et-boum (F. Schirren), the impulsion that opens, the trigger that entails and that we find in most of the composer’s pieces. But there is also the launching of movements, the central gesture reveals the energies at play, which are relieved by the electronic instruments/tools. And the rhythm, shaped from the author’s psychological universe, guarantees the gesture’s reality. The manifestation of a movement but above all the expression of a ‘law’,
this gesture provides the relationship between body and mind, between matter and energy, and allows the instruction of a form of conscious ness in relation with our sensory and cognitive capacities, therefore actualising primitive schemes, reactivating them under a new light.
The evolution of music then appears through the notion of force acting on forms, of dynamic forces
. And the exploration of an image’s identity establishes a work area, guarantees the development of ranges of forms and values

As light modifies the aspect of objects, Bayle methodically examines his ranges through deformations, reformations and transformations he stimulates according to a process which has three polarities. These polarities are labeled image-sound (son-image), diagram sound (son-diagramme) and metaphor-sound (son-metaphore).
The total sound that is retained and identifiable, the iconic making, represents through it’s simplest examination, the image-sound mode. This mode puts forward the forms in presence, the image with isomorphic qualities which already reveal the abstract outlines and which distinguish themselves from the figurative or causal references of a recording.

The diagram-sound proposes a layout of the image, it gives clues, suggests the force lines of forms, and exceeds the anecdotal history of the object. This is the reduction phase of a sound complex, the image with its different levels of apprehension/appreciation, according to elementary energetic categories. An event, anchored in its materiality and its anecdotal icon text, unveils its essential characteristics, those common to its kind and guaranteeing a harmonisation.

At last, while underlining the dynamic forces, the metaphor-sound constitutes the transfiguration of form in view of a generalisation, it reveals the archetype: the filtered envelope of its material components, polished from inert elements, becomes a model, it establishes a figure.

Bayle sets down this declension process, in which the transformations remain intelligible, as an organising intention of the listening itself, of which the main vector is the subjective relationship impressed on the object itself which is reduced to this function.

To the methodical construction of a duration by a coercive activity, i. e. the succession/superimposition of as many inert objects, Bayle tries more to make gestures and favourable conditions for the autonomous growth of a free organism. His music, by a psychological tuning of instinctively chosen values, in echo to physiological rhythms or interior climates, corresponds to a singular musical activity, to a paradoxical logic and to a different and profound reality.

The intention is not to constitute a structure, a notion which implies rigidity and predictability, but to find mainspring articulations. The notion of form then indicates the initial entity, the strap work made up of the declensions but also of the global length; each step is the manifestation of a specific level of perception. It is then a matter of listening to what generates form, its logic, more than the form itself, the concrete manifestation, the sound.

The form as a dynamic process is also the trace of human activity. One of the purposes of acousmatic modality as defined by Bayle seems to be of an ethical nature, a regression in view of a liberation:

rendering perception available to the cogency of form, rendering the hearing its freedom, a hearing which is conditioned by a musical theory in which the normative stakes exceed the scope of music.

Translation Fiona Swan

François Bayle’s approach 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 and René Thom revolves. He was born in Tamatave in 1932 and educated in Bordeaux, but he did not follow the traditional curriculum of musical studies. It was on his own, at work and 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 and seeks to setup an imaginative logic of thought and expression.

Grand Prize of the Ville de Paris, 1996— The Magison label publishes most of F B. works.
After Brigitte Massin in Encyclopedia universalis (Paris Albin Michel)

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