Surround Sound

Philippe Starck and Soundwalk's "Le Son de Nous"

Arguably the world’s most famous designer, Philippe Starck is known as a visual wizard. Less mentioned is his sonic rigor, but as he puts it: “The quality of my work depends on the quality of music I listen to.” “I have very strict rules…” he continues, “When I need to be extremely creative, early in the morning, I need to listen to music I know perfectly…then when I do daily tasks I can discover new things.” Tuned into Starck’s diurnal listening habits, New York- and Paris-based sonic arts collective Soundwalk (who have created soundscapes for Louis Vuitton and the Chanel Mobile Art Container, as well as with artists such as Paul Auster, Gong Li and Lou Doillon for a series of audio tours in cities around the world) created a 24-hour streaming mix with Starck last September. The mix was accessible to the public during October 2009 via a free iPhone application, and synced to local time so that listeners hear the same sounds at the same time of day, wherever they may be. This year, Starck has teamed up again with Soundwalk for a live performance entitled Le Son de Nous (The Sound of Us), taking place at the MAC Maison des Arts de Creteil in Paris tonight and tomorrow evening (marking the beginning of the Maison des Arts EXIT festival). The collaboration, orchestrated by Eric Dalbin of multidisciplinary arts label Dalbin, will feature Starck onstage, reciting his thoughts on sound and space, accompanied by snippets of field recordings from Soundwalk’s ten-year sonic archive, which is previewed here. Soundwalk director Stephan Crasneanscki describes this noise art as “stories that only needed to be assembled and staged in a new context, each being an invitation to travel.” Adding to this audio-visual cocktail will be technicians and musicians from French radio show France Culture, each of whom, Crasneanscki says, “sends up his sounds like a ball and allows for the improbable meetings of sounds.” The final element comes from the public, who will be asked to recreate “the most primal sound, the scream, the first sound that we emit coming into the world.”

Photo by Yves Malenfer

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Conversations (1)

  • Eddie Courtney
    This is incredibly surreal.
    • Posted By Eddie Courtney
    • January 26, 2014 at 1:23AM
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