Cycle des Souvenirs 

Cycle of recallings – Exploitation of Concepts No. 2 (1995 – 2000)

sound and image installation for 6 CD and 4 Video Projections (duration: unspecified)

Realization for the sound : Césaré Studio, CCMIX, Atelier Post Billig : with the voices of Elise Caron, Brunhild Meyer and Kora Bruckhoven

For the image : Studio Les Pieds au Mur Production, cutting : Laurent Hochart

With the participation of Elise Caron


— Diary in disorder


April 8, 1995

The sound device will endeavor to create a curved surface curve, which should surround the spectator-audience. But according to the place where it will be, it will receive the sounds of different distances. That means the audience will feel more or less space, large plans or of distance while changing place.


Thus one can imagine six independent sources which could be perceived as insulated, but which can also mix with the point to create a total environment.

These six sources will play independently the ones of the others. They will not be synchronized, but will be superimposed in time in a hazardous way, as the noises of the life are superimposed by chance while arriving in our ears, or more deeply, while arriving in our intimacy, the secrecy of our head.


Six sources, that means also six CD, or six times approximately 70 minutes. Approximately, that means that there will not be the same duration of sound, each disc will be of different duration so that, buckled on themselves, the superposition of the six CD is never the same. Am I quite clear?


The composition of each CD will be the same one: they will be composed of 4 elements.

– 1) element word (voice, words, fragments of sentence)

– 2) realistic element (noises of the environment, more or less recognizable)

– 3) silence (vacuums of long and different sizes)

– 4) element harmonic sound (abstract “or instrumental sounds” in layer).


Therefore, these elements will be superimposed in the time in a hazardous way and will create in space a changing surface.



June 8, 1995

On April first, I started to invent a working method. I thus imagined that there would be in this installation, texts dispersed in space and time.

To write texts did not seem to me a problem, but I wanted that the idea even writing obeys the laws of the chance. I thus had to find rules of play.


I said myself : well, I will for example work with 50 words. Here what I wrote on April first.



April 1, 1995

50 words.

Randomly selected in an orthographic dictionary, according to a not to be qualified method. I decide to choose 50 other words while using the Petit Robert. By closing the eyes one can indeed point the finger on another thing than the word itself, on the explanation, on synonyms, or opposites, etc.

I test. This second list is completely different from the first.



June 8, 1995

The “ashtray” for me, became an instrument of work and one needs that I explaine myself, for those who would not be informed.

I have bits of ideas sometimes, like pieces of bodies seen in the notch of a cloud, and I do not know what to do with them, how to reveal them completely. To strip my ideas.

In short cuts, I would say that I have, in the various traps that I proposed, recently used the ashtray.

By putting bits of numbered paper in an ashtray, I could withdraw anything. They can also represent words.



April 1, 1995

My idea is as follows. I draw randomly from the words or the bits of sentences. My project is to make afterwards, by connecting them in the order where they are, a text.

(I have two ashtrays now: one of form, let us say abstract, and one with a woman laid down on the edge of a basin which forms under its belly, a large curve in hollow. It is in this hollow of belly that I seek my chance.)



April 2, 1995

Yesterday, I drew 101 words or elements from the two ashtrays.



April 26, 1995

I worked meanwhile!

I worked with the general composition of the sound matter. The principle is to have a certain number of harmonic and tonal network distributed on all the sound installation and including a concept of spatialization of the tonalities.


I here will give explanations, can be tedious, but in any case, precise. I have six points of sound system. Each point is set in motion by CD, which corresponds to more or less 70 minutes per point. As I have at my disposal, as well as a certain number of composers, 12 tonalities, I thought stupidly that I could distribute these 12 tonalities in space.

I tried to see whether while drawing the tonalities from the ashtray, I did not arrive at a less systematic result. I thus drew 3 times 12 tonalities and I managed to have by the play of the chance, from the repetitions of tonality, because once this one drawn, I gave it back in circulation in the ashtray, thus giving it a probability of arising.

Then I started to simulate time.

How long has to last a tonal network, how long must last a realistic environment, how much word and how much silence, in 70 minutes the total duration?


To compose this duration.

What can I make in it?

For example 2 speeches 2 minutes, 5 4 minutes realistic environments, and thus 6 4 minutes harmonic sounds; what makes 13 elements and on the whole 48 minutes of sound.

Remain 22 minutes of silence. If I put a silence between each sound element, I need 12 silences, each silence will thus last 1′ 50 “.


Thus I realized that silences were not long enough, that the distribution of this organization on the 6 space points was likely to make a too confused sound matter and which it was necessary to refine more, if possible!


I thus gave again myself 70 minutes and I recomposed them in the following way:

Let us remain, I say to me, at 2 speeches of 2 minutes, but let us reduce to 5 4 minutes realistic environments, and to 4 the harmonic sounds by prolonging them to 5 minutes. What makes 40 minutes of sounds and thus 30 minutes of silence. But as there are less of elements, only 10, if one threads a silence between them, that makes 9 silences and each one of them will have acquired a duration of 3′ 20”, which gives much more air.



April 27, 1995

Let us return to the tonalities.

According to this new reflexion, I have 4 harmonic networks by CD.

Now I am posed to know if there is a means to organize the tonalities in a completely irrational way. I found back my ashtray and I drew 6 groups of 4.

I arrived at the following result and which can peel itself in the following way: Let us note first that there are tonalities, which did not come out like F and B. With the result that there remain nothing any more but 10 about it.

Then there are some who came out oftener than others: 4 times E B and G B; 3 times G, D and D B; 2 times E and A; and only one time H, C and H B.

That’s where we are!



April 28, 1995

I need 10 words by CD, which makes approximately a word every 7 minutes.



May 1, 1995

I decided, after many calculations in the details of which I will not enter, that there will be 4 texts, each one in three languages. It remains to be calculated how the texts and the languages can mix in space.



June 8, 1995

When I spoke on April 1, of my first tests with 50 words, it was to get me experiment. Now I acquired an extremely virtuoso practice of the dictionary.

I take the Petit Robert, I close the eyes, I open it randomly, I impulsively put the finger on the space of the page.

I open the eyes, I raise the finger, and I see a fragment which belongs to the explanation of a word, but which in the opening of my eyes, seems to me a poetic object. These fragments are for me the pearls of the chance; it is enough to connect them in poems.



May 1, 1995

On the one hand, I have the words. 10 words by CD, which makes 60 words (I should say 60 fragments of sentences).

I decided arbitrarily, I cannot say authoritative since I am alone and that I choose for me, to use the same words to write the texts. Thus the words on the one hand are dispersed and on the other hand gathered.

All the texts are said by voices of women.

Diction will be very worked, hesitant but arbitrarily, will be broken gently by time, will be precipitated and distended.



May 22, 1995

The realistic environments will be very recognizable, or fairly recognizable, and even almost abstract.

But they all will have a relationship with the memory, the intimacy, my subjective vision of the world, which surrounds me, with my recallings.

Each 4-minute element tells a small story and gives to listen to a dramaturgy. It is a composition. It is a manner of excavating in sounds that I recorded a very long time ago, which I had never used, that I had forgotten, and that now I recompose. It is also to record things of my present. It is to mix the times. It is a course.

I make lists. For example elements: sea, wind, the volcano. Frictions: fabrics, skin, the body. Circulation: the city, the train, boats, steps. Landscapes: environments of nature, noises of the night. Interior: noises of the house, make-up, musics heard with far.



June 16, 1995

According to my plan, I must compose 24 “realistic environments”. Here where I am. I realize that reality is rather suggested than represented. But the sound is made like that, to send a fantasmatic image which one feels well that it belongs to a reality whose one would have forgotten the cause.


Here the Rollin street where I was born; Here the Arenas of Lutetium where my parents took me along “to play” when I was a little boy, and the Mouffetard street where I made my market for a long time; and here is the house, they are our noises, our door, our staircase, our forks and spoons. My interior; here the make-up, I was always fascinated by these small noises which I hear by far. With the stop of the tram in Amsterdam, sitting in the shelter, I record without moving all that occurs in front of me. Here the sea in Portugal during the Revolution of the Eyelets, and the fireworks and the mass which and an intense activity in Portugal. Here Vintimille, the old village balances some on the border. It is also “Mysterioso” the theme of Thelonius Monk which I worked over again as in a very vague dream; of course my places of work and the objects which surround me; and finally the body of the woman which was always the subject of my attention.



September 24, 1995

Like observation after the end of work, I realize that for a great part, it is like a work on the memory, the immobility and the movement.

Indeed, if the sounds known as realistic are taken, which should be rather called narrative, one sees that they belong to my personal memory, let us say the intimacy, as for example all these noises which I recognize as being mine. But I am the only one to know it.