Objet Sonore Deformation

Overall Introduction of the Podcast Series

The exhibition Objet Sonore Deformation at TheCube Project Space attempts to respond to how the way of listening in the human world has been dramatically transformed since the advent of recording technology – recorded sound are used extensively in sound composition, rather than playing through abstract notation tools, resulting in ‘L’Objet Sonore’ (sound object), a concept developed by Pierre Schaeffer in 1948. This concept was then seen as a reformative creation in the concept of composition and performance, subverting the aural relationship between human and sound, and laying the foundations for the development of Musique Concrète (concrete music) and today’s electronic and hip-hop music.

From vinyl records, cassette tapes, CDs, to today’s digital software and streaming media, the concept and use of sound object is now a part of everyday life – electronic music, film scores, and even hip-hop – thanks to the development of recording technology resulting in wider release, the sound is transformed and recreated through a kind of meme in the transmission, forming an independent and concrete individuals. In this series of podcasts, the group will explore the defination of ‘Musique Concrète ‘ and ‘Objet Sonore’, and how they have evolved and been used in the light of technological advances, to get a glimpse of how Musique Concrète has transformed the human auditory senses and shaped the listening experience of individuals in contemporary times.

Episode 1: Introduction to Musique Concrète

The first episode of this series takes a light-hearted approach to Musique Concrète by introducing the listening audience to its historical development and basic concepts: what is concrete? What is abstract? How Musique Concrète has laid the foundation for today’s mainstream electronic music, thus developing more listening possibilities.

Chia-Chun Xu (participating artist in Objet Sonore Deformation)

Known by his singular approach, Chia-Chun XU specializes in controling feedback sound by combining various equipment including no-input mixing board, cassette or Mini Disc players.

Besides working on his projects, conducting workshops and actively engaging in experimental music scenes, he also runs the music label MKUltra Productions that promotes Taiwanese and worldwide noise and experimental music. Since March 2019, he launched a monthly outdoor guerrilla noise gig Outer Pulsation in public under and overpasses in Taipei, which provides both experienced and new local musicians with a platform to develop improvisation skills and experiment in different spaces with international musicians from more than ten different countries.

Episode 2: Sound Sculpting

With the advent of sound recording technology, sound, which was once an abstraction, has become a physical entity, allowing us to sculpt a myriad of forms according to its shape. The second episode features a dialogue between Immanuel Dannenbring and Chih-Ming Feng of Mothra Productions in which they explore how the sound effects of early science fiction films were created, and how the sound impressions/imaginations of synthesizers and even orchestral music were gradually created in the silent space scenes, and expanding the discussion on how to create sound that do not exist in reality with the aid of technology.

Mothra Productions (Immanuel Dannenbring (participating artist in Objet Sonore Deformation), Chih-Ming Feng)

Mothra Productions is a sound production studio that works in close tandem with artists in pre- and post-production stages. With their multifaceted approach to sound, they explore the possibilities of sound interfaces through experimentation and advanced technical execution. They are experienced in collaborating with film, theatre directors and video artists, as well as curating radio/podcast programmes and facilitating sound-related workshops. The studio specialises in pre-production consultations and arrangements, recording, post-production, mixing, film scoring, releases for CD, tape and online music streaming platforms, and experimentation with sound in multimedia.   

Episode 3: zai sheng yuan (再聲緣)

In this episode, Chia-Chun Xu presents his sound work zai sheng yuan, which is based on a live recording of a dialogue between a fairy immortal and a Groundskeeper in a Jigong temple, and through digital and analogical modifications, the content is re-juxtaposed and distorted to create a new sound, in turn responding to the ideology of concrete music. In addition, the fairy nun in the original content uses herself as a medium to bring the dead back into the mortal world, and she becomes a medium of playback, recording and replaying, with the authenticity and credibility of the content no longer important. In the process of repetition, she simply became an individual sound object.